PROTON Bakers says it has recorded 400 percent growth in sales in Bulawayo alone where it has created 153 jobs, a year after entering the market in the southern region.
The Marondera-headquartered firm is on an aggressive expansion drive in the southern parts of the country, where it seeks to create significant market base to pave way for the establishment of a manufacturing plant .
Addressing guests at the company’s one year anniversary in Bulawayo last Friday, managing director, Mr Gerry Tselentis, said their expansion drive was expected to avail more employment opportunities for people in the Matabeleland region.
“Proton bakers started with a delivery of 8 002 units. The Bulawayo market responded extremely positively to the proton product with established sales of about 5 000 units per day. We have seen a gradual increase in sales to about 20 000 units per day,” said Mr Tselentis.
“The company, like many others in the bakery industry, was operating under stress and all growth and development initiatives were being suffocated. We have every intention now to pursue growth opportunities for the benefit of the company, its employees and the surrounding communities at large. The opportunity of setting up a manufacturing plant in Bulawayo is now distinct as is the possibility of expansion to other areas such as Plumtree and Esigodini.”
The bakery firm employs 1 200 people nationwide and 153 in Bulawayo. It has pledged to continue contributing to the country’s sustainable socio-economic development.
In an interview on the sidelines of the event, Proton technical director, Mr Spiros Tselentis, said the company’s latest product, crunchy cookies, has been received positively by the market and they will continue to promote their confectionary products. He told Business Chronicle that Proton makes about 600 cases of crunchy cookies per day.
“One of the big pushes that we are doing right now is our cookies. It was quite a small part of our business before, but there are plans to take the cookies nationwide.
“It’s an easier product to take nationwide because it’s not as perishable as some of our products,” said Mr Tselentis
“The cookies have been received very well by the market, we have been so pleasantly surprised and the market has responded well to the quality and that’s what’s given us the confidence to expand our plant on the biscuit side and really push that along.”