German Imaging Technologies is one of the leading manufacturers of compatible toner cartridges for various popular brands in the Dubai UAE region. Read below how Beehive have helped in its growth and the benefits it brought to the company.
What have you done with the funds you raised on Beehive?
We invested 100% of the funds into starting up our Kenya operations. From January – March 2016 we successfully established German Imaging Technologies East Africa Ltd including protecting our trademark, obtaining a dozen required licences, tax and social security clearances etc and most importantly obtained a license by the Kenya Foreign Investment Office. The latter is very hard to obtain and provides foreign investors with strong protection and support. Today we have 8 staff members working for us in Kenya. The challenges were many, as anyone can imagine. To start an operation in a foreign country is always challenging. The first challenge that we overcame was the establishment in record time with all required licences. Many people told us that that usually may take up to 12 months and that so without the Kenya Foreign Investment Office certificate. We started operations in April 2016. In March 2017, less than one year, we became profitable in the month. Our monthly sales now exceed AED 100,000, and we expect total sales of AED 1.2-1.5 million in 2017 at a net profit of around 10%. We can call this venture a clear success.
How has funding improved the business?
The funding enabled the business. Without the funding we would have not been able to conduct the business.
What other support could your business use, aside from funding?
We require support in many areas, HR systems, marketing, sales etc. Like any other sustainable business, at all times we try to continuously improve. Funding is of course crucial. We can only grow based on our profits if external growth capital is not available. Growth capital would be the biggest support as we know how to deploy the capital with meaningful ROI, as we have proven in Kenya with a very short turnaround time.
What are your business plans for the next 12 months?
Our business plan, without diving into numbers, mandates us in 2017 to drive a newly established managed print service (MPS) unit and an export division for our Lion brand. The MPS unit sells / leases MFP printers along with a 3-5 year full maintenance and supply agreement. This creates contractual recurring revenue and delivers clients with peace of mind. In the first 6 months of this year, we have managed to sign up 70 MFP machines at a value of AED 2.5 million over 3 years. This is clear proof of concept that we are moving in the right direction. Our export division is mandated with selling our dedicated partner brand, Lion, to resellers throughout the Middle East and Africa. We have developed this sales channel over 18 months by deploying 1 person, expecting in 2017 revenue to exceed AED 2 million. Both business units are beyond the proof of concept stage. Again here, how much capital we can deploy to grow the qualitative manpower mandates how fast we can grow.
How has the funding with Beehive improved your brand, image or reputation?
Having over 120 investors trusting us with their hard earned funds and having now returned most of their funds with less than one year left to completely pay off their funds including interest payment has been an awesome experience. We never had expected that we would have been fully subscribed within a few hours of listing our requirements and that too at a very agreeable rate of just below 10%. We thank all investors for their trust and are even more happy to be able to announce that their investment paid off as expected and better.
Any other comments?
The experience with Beehive was fantastic and we would love to repeat this experience to fund and fuel our export and MPS divisions.