Alex: Working to Help Solve South Africa's Water Crisis
by Allegra Vallina
Located on the southern tip of Africa, South Africa is known for its stunning topography and cultural diversity. People enjoy watching penguins sunning themselves at the beach in Cape Town or taking in nature’s wonders on a safari. On the other hand, the country is experiencing extreme water shortages. It is predicted to run dry of resources in the future, with a water consumption rate 35 percent above the national average. As water systems deteriorate rapidly, clean water has increased in demand for South Africans. The people are thirsty for solutions, especially affordable ones.
Alex, one of our South African distributors, is attempting to provide that essential aid. After partnering up with Business Connect L3C and chatting with locals in rural areas, he took the initiative, knowing that water filtration products would be sought-after in the future. Alex aims to provide products for water filtration, purification and hygiene. He supplies customers with certified devices that make water useable.
“I want people to think of me as the best person to go to for water products,” Alex says. He takes pride in helping people, from average citizens to developing nations, find access to clean water.
Running a Business
Conducting business is a complex process, full of rules and formalities. For Alex, things are different. Imagine sitting in a business meeting with your mother across the table. Encountering her at home and in the office may seem like a fever dream. This is Alex’s reality, having worked alongside his mother since he was 25 years old.
“Working with family is a double edged sword and is not for everyone,” he admitted. “I have to tread carefully in some instances, while in other cases it makes completing the task easier,” Alex laughs. Despite it not being the typical professional model, he enjoys it. Alex and his mother, Dawn, make a quick and efficient team.
Alex witnessed the difference he was making during the aftermath of two major cyclones that hit Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Their fierce winds and relentless rain led to flash floods, deaths, and destruction. Despite not being able to pay upfront, NGOs reached out to Alex, asking if VF100 filters could be provided. A humanitarian at heart, he decided to lend a helping hand anyway. Through this charitable act, he was able to see how a few filters went a long way for those in need.
Business in 10 Years
In the future, Alex would like to expand to 400 independent hardware stores within the country. One or two physical stores would cut costs and make it more convenient to distribute goods. This will allow Alex’s business to make their distribution processes more sustainable. He prioritizes high-quality goods, personalized service, and inexpensive price points. “I’m willing to go the extra mile and go above and beyond the customer’s expectations,” Alex insists.
As a Business Connect distributor in South Africa, Alex has plenty of experience when it comes to commerce. He suggests for newcomers to be careful about who they choose to assist. Nevertheless, he stresses the importance of empathy and assisting those that need it rather than focusing on profits.
On having any regrets, Alex merely mentions wishing he had started sooner. “Mistakes have led me to this point,” he says. “But, success is built on failure.”
Connect With Us
Would you like to be a part of our network? To learn more about the water filters that are being sold in South Africa, take a look or ask a question here. Chat with our regional directors or ask to learn more!