One of the lessons that Nonceba Hlengani learned as a businesswoman, was to take every bit of advice seriously. And it was this lesson that resulted in her skincare brand, which was launched in 2017, already being found on the shelves of over 80 Clicks stores across the country. Hlengani told to Vutivi News that her business, Xitsavi Health, started out as a family venture, due to her problems with acne.
Its flagship products are Zuru Skincare and Zuru Baby skincare products. “I’ve always had terrible acne, and as a result, my self-confidence took a knock,” she said. “My family was very concerned about this, and after trying a lot of products unsuccessfully, I started searching for natural products to help with my skin issues. “My father suggested to me that I consider exploring a partnership with CW Pharmaceuticals in order to help me create my own product.”
Hlengani, who was born in Limpopo but grew up in Gauteng where the business is based, said that their partnership with CW Pharmaceuticals, which is a contract manufacturer for cosmetics and personal care products, got the company off the ground. “They helped us with the manufacturing and helped us with most of the funding,” she said.
Hlengani, who is a marketing graduate, said that when the brand launched, she sold online and at expos. But this proved to be very difficult. “Selling online has not been easy because it is a foreign concept for most local people, especially the elderly customers,” she explained. “It also places a limit on those without smartphones or access to the internet.”
After struggling to make a decent amount of sales, the business identified Clicks as a suitable retail avenue to sell their products. But that also came with its own struggles. We approached them several times, but without success, and when we finally did reach consensus, we still had to manufacture the products on a very large scale,” the businesswoman said.
“Our partnership with CW Pharmaceuticals came in handy because they were willing to share the risk with us.” Zuru products are tailor-made for all skin types. And the Zuru Baby range includes baby hair and body wash, baby lotion, baby bum spray, baby bum paste and baby tissue oil. Hlengani considers her products being sold at Clicks as her biggest achievement.
“I would not have gotten anywhere without taking the advice I received very seriously,” she pointed out. “I entered into a sector where I knew nothing, but because of this I found myself reaching such milestones.” Hlengani’s dream is to see her products being sold across the continent. “I wish to see us move away from imported products to using products that are tailor-made for the African skin,” she told Vutivi News.