When Alexandra Court first met Alex van den Heever at Londolozi Game Reserve in South Africa, she was struck by this man’s incredible story featuring tenacity, sacrifice and seeking solutions that help others.
Alex is no ordinary businessman. A former game ranger and conservationist, he has an entrepreneurial mindset that he’s used to establish an enterprise giving opportunities to rural people who otherwise wouldn’t have them.
When he noticed that some of his staff at Londolozi would often not show up to work because of illness, he wanted to find out why. The answer, he discovered, was their diet.
It was then that Nhlayisa was born. Initially launched as a simple fortified porridge, the aim of this new business was to help vulnerable people in Africa who are malnourished. It’s estimated that, in South Africa alone, this is nearly 50% of the population. What started out as a solution to Alex’s low staffing levels turned into a 10-year journey to come up with an innovative product that has the potential to feed millions, including school-aged children who need better nutrition to focus on their studies.
Today, Nhlayisa is a B2B that has a great range of products it sells to companies. The products have the distinction of being totally bespoke, created to meet the precise nutritional needs of local people. Its unique MultiVite Formulation can be adapted to meet different diets too.
Alex had a good product and great ideas, but he didn’t have access to a network that could work with him to develop Nhlayisa into the success it deserved to be. Until that point, the business had been built from the ground up instinctively, with the founder’s determination and passion driving it. It needed input from consultants, professionals and experts who could work collaboratively on giving it direction.
Step forward &Daughters, a consultancy founded by Alexandra Court. As someone who was looking to add value to profitable businesses that are also a force for good, Nhlayisa’s objective of addressing malnourishment in Africa immediately resonated with her.
&Daughters set about looking at Nhlayisa from a strategic point of view. Like many businesses responding to an urgent need, it had grown organically and without any formal strategy to guide it. Nhlayisa had been through various incarnations and added new product lines, yet there didn’t seem to be a cohesive brand. Our view was that it had an inspiring story, but not one that would immediately appeal to potential investors. It needed vision, support and a long-term strategy that would enable it to reach its full potential.
We are currently connecting Nhlayisa to a network of consultants and professionals who can bring their expertise and insight to the business, as well as make it an appealing prospect for investors. This includes extensive branding and design work, a new website, putting in place a communications plan and restructuring the business so that it can be scaled up in the future. The work is ongoing and we envision that the implementation phase will take some time, but we are excited to be part of this journey.
Alex, Nhlayisa’s founder, says: “My ambition is to get this product to the people who need it, the children and the adults who need it, and finding the best way to do that. Working with &Daughters, I am hoping to build a successful partnership to achieve these goals.”
Nhlayisa has the potential to make a meaningful difference in disadvantaged communities. Our approach is to be open and collaborative, knowing that not one single person has all the solutions. It’s about finding and building the right team which enable businesses motivated by social and environmental concerns prosper.