From being a receptionist at a herbal selling company to property manager and back to the herbal business is the journey Multi-Pin Trading founder and managing director Christopher Goni has travelled.
BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA
Multi-Pin Trading (Private) Limited is a local small-to-medium-enterprise that has been selling herbal products since 2006.
Goni worked as a receptionist in the early 90s for a company that sold herbal products both locally and internationally where he acquired the knowledge. After leaving the company in 1996, Goni worked as a property manager. He stayed there until he quit to start Multi-Pin Trading.
“One day I just thought of my roots, I thought that spices, herbs and oils can give me life. I left property management in 2008 when things were very hard,” Goni said.
“So that is the reason, I had to think of my spices, herbs and oils and started doing this as an individual, with the support of my wife and children. Without my wife’s support I was not going to make it, so she is the one who encouraged me to give it a try.”
Tiens, Forever Living Products (FLP), Synonys and Green World are some of the biggest suppliers of herbal products in Zimbabwe.
Goni said financial constraints were hampering the uptake of his products and a number of clients were unable to pay in time due to the liquidity crisis and lack of borrowing.
“There are some customers who are supporting us dearly, but for some of the customers, you end up regretting why you have given them the products,” Goni recounted.
Most of the herbal products in the country were imported and provide basic living for most Zimbabweans who sell in return for a fee.
Multi-Pin Trading extracts its oil in its base form through a process of steam distillation, a process which separates the oils from trees located in the eastern woodlands of the country and supplies different pharmacies.
Once the oils have been extracted from the trees, Multi-Pin Trading converts and produces in excess of 500, 50ml bottles and sells to its various clients at $3 each.
Some of the pharmacies include QV and Medics.
Some of its products were Tea Tree Oil and Eucalyptus oil.
Tea Tree Oil provides treatment for cuts, abrasions, rashes, thrush and dandruff, among others.
Eucalyptus Oil provides treatment against colds, flu, headaches and skin care, among others.
Goni said that he gives clients 10% discount when they buy in bulk to attract more customers.
“The company is growing, we started as a family, but now we have seven guys who are working for us.
“Since government said that they wanted indigenisation, Multi-Pin is playing a part in reducing unemployment,” he said.
“I see the company growing, employing other people as well, maybe 30 or so before the end of the year.”
To date, the company is making deliveries to pharmacies in Gweru, Mutare, Marondera and Chinhoyi.
Goni operates the business from his home in Hatfield.