A truly South African owned company with a truly South African developed Brand.
Bongi Shangase the founder of Shangase Brands, a graduate chemist resigned from Unilever in 2008 to pursue an entrepreneurial career. In 2013 she decided to develop her own detergent brand, but with a different concept to detergent powder. “ I was given a sample of a branded detergent paste that sold millions of units in Central Africa , after testing it, I realized we can improve on it and develop a product for the local and Southern Africa market"– and so OhSoBright Laundry detergent paste was born” Together with her partner she bought a small manufacturing plant, set it up in a garage, and started formulating , developing and testing the product and concept. “We went trough numerous development cycles and finally were able to bring a significantly improved and superior stain removal product to the market, far superior than what is currently available in Central and Southern Africa"
Bongi says she tested the product with a number of consumers groups and they all gave very positive feedback. in 2013 Bongi set up a small test market in Durban South and found that consumers kept coming back to buy more products.
"The use of Laundry paste is a new concept in South Africa and tough concept to sell in a very established powder detergents market. Retail businesses were not too keen to help us. We knew the product performs better than powders, but retail buyers were not interested in supporting us!" Bongi says.
Eventually the big break came when a buyer from Masscash agreed to list the product in the wholesale division in KZN. It opened the door for the product, after that various independent family and wholesale stores gave us a chance - and so we build credibility with customers and the market.
Bongi says "It is still a tough sell to retail buyers as the current detergent market in South Africa is dominated by multinationals and a few big companies with very big marketing budgets. Our current challenge is marketing finance and no bank or Institution have been prepared to assist us - we are challenging the big companies with huge budgets and we cannot afford to match them!"
"We have big plans in place and have had huge support from our customers - so watch this space and please support us when you see our product in your local supermarket, very soon you will find us on the shelf of every retailer in Southern Africa"
OhSoBright products are currently sold regionally in SPAR, Choppies, Saverite, Jumbo cash and Carry, TFS and a number of other independent stores. It has been exported to Malawi, Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Botswana.
Shangase Brands is a Level 2 BBBEE company