Telita Chitsulo is the founder and Managing Director of Beulaland Food Processors. She is a trained Entrepreneur and holds a Diploma in Education. She has traits that make it possible for the company to achieve its coordination and logistics management of the operation. Telita Chitsulo manages the business with a staff complement of seven employees.
She was motivated to venture into the value addition business out of a pure passion for entrepreneurship. Her main inspiration was not the money but the freedom with which she could realize her business ideas. The best part is that she has reached a point where now money works for her and has seen more money coming into the business.
Beulaland Food Processors was registered with the Department of Registrar General in 2015 under the Companies Act. It is a whole food agro-processing company that provides consumers with healthy whole foods to ensure people have healthy diets and healthier diversified menus. The company buys and processes groundnuts into peanut butter which is the company’s primary product.
The company has a simple business model. It works with smallholder farmers to empower them with access to a ready market as it acts as the off-taker for groundnuts. It also trains the farmers in good agriculture practices (GAP).
The processing company has constructed a new processing building on the outskirt of Mzuzu City on Nkhata-Bay Road in the Msongwe area. This processing plant is situated some 300 metres from the Police roadblock on the road. Currently, the business operates from Bee Hive House in Hill Top, a suburb of Mzuzu City. The company also owns the premises comprising office and store spaces, separate from the processing unit block.
Beulaland Food Processors products are certified by the Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS). Its peanut butter is packed in attractively labelled plastic jars. This packaging and the product certification have clearly differentiated the brand, giving it an upper hand on the market. The certification by the MBS will go a long way in fulfilling the business’ vision to lead Malawian processors of nutritious foods to see a healthy Malawi.
The company owns a peanut butter processing plant, a warehouse and some processing pieces of equipment that play a major role in giving it a competitive advantage over other businesses that operate from rented buildings. Its products can now be found in the high-value supermarket across Malawi. The number of smallholder farmers that supply it with raw materials has increased from 200 to over 1,000. This is a result of the company’s improved capacity, both technically and financially, due to the numerous windows of opportunity that have opened up and are well utilized. Among the opportunities is the training that Telita Chitsulo received from the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Institute (SMEDI).
“SMEDI has contributed immensely to the company’s growth. The training in Entrepreneurship, Business and Financial Management from SMEDI has proved to be so vital to the development of my business. In addition to that, I have participated in gemstone polishing, value addition/agro-processing of mango and cassava, and briquettes and compost manure production training provided by SMEDI. I certainly would advise aspiring and existing entrepreneurs to access some of the business development services that SMEDI provides if they want to improve business operations”, declares Telita.
Beulaland Food Processors, of course, has not been spared by business challenges. The company has had to deal with over 1,000 groundnut smallholder farmers who have challenges of their own such as low production capacity, a lack of proper storage facilities to minimize the occurrence of aflatoxin in groundnuts. The lack of extensive distribution networks for peanut butter is another challenge that the company faces. The company’s processing plant is situated far from the warehouse; this makes it costly to move raw materials from the warehouse to the factory. Also, the type of processing equipment and delivery vehicle that the business uses is more suited for domestic production than industrial/commercial production. The company requires automated machinery to improve production capacity to meet market demand.
The Managing Director for Beulaland Food Processors believes that anyone can create a promising future by embracing entrepreneurship. ‘’The best way to predict the future is to create it,’’ she says.