Biozest is a South African energy drink sold in South Africa. By all accounts, the product is successful. But this is not what drives Sibusiso Tshabalala to work relentlessly on turning Biozest into an international product.
“I grew up in a community suffering from diabetes and that inspired me to design a product that will suit the diet of a diabetic and give them something to drink without affecting their sugar levels while maintaining energy throughout the day,” he explains. It’s estimated that more than two million people in South Africa have diabetes.
Sibusiso has been an entrepreneur for 20 years. The common thread that runs through all his ideas and ventures is providing communities with products that make life easier.
“My first business was a consultancy that designed employee benefits like health care and wellness. We decided to diversify and design products for medical aids to complement the business.”
He developed a range of in-house braai products in 2007. “Currently, that business is one of the most successful suppliers of Pick n Pay house brand and other brands around Africa.”
He started Biozest Pty Ltd in 2014 with Dirk Geldenhuys. The company manufactures and supplies a low-GI sugar-free drink for people with chronic illnesses and those who want to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Like many entrepreneurs in the health and wellness industry, he recognises the value of educating customers about health. “We need to educate customers and children about healthy diets and make our products easily accessible by getting into all stores in South Africa.”
Before being accepted onto the SAB Foundation Tholoana Enterprise Programme, Biozest was only sold as a cordial that you mix with water. “The Tholoana Programme helped me turn Biozest into a ready-to-drink product,” he says. “It also helped us expand our supply to Dischem, Spar, and other retailers.”. Biozest is also distributed through dieticians and independent pharmacies around South Africa.
His Tholoana mentor, Ismail Kajee, describes Sibusiso as a dedicated entrepreneur that follows through on his dreams. “He has overcome many challenges that most entrepreneurs face in the FMCG industry. Sibusiso has successfully launched his sugar-free drinks at Pick ‘n Pay Family stores and recently at Dischem. His understanding of how to launch new products, contracts manufacturing, distribution, merchandising, marketing, and price negotiation has given him the traction to lift his business from strength to strength,” he explains. In addition, he says that Sibusiso has benefited through personal self-development from the Tholoana Programme through workshop attendance, mentoring, auxiliary support, and networking with other Tholoana entrepreneurs.
Sibusiso’s vision is exciting. “Our main focus at the moment is growing the brand. We want to get it into all restaurants, food courts, and all major retailers. Our vision is to make Biozest a global health brand. We are currently in discussion with a world-leading brand to join forces with them,” he concludes.
For more information about Biozest, contact Sibusiso Tshabalala or call him on 011 949 8908.
For more information about the Tholoana Enterprise programme visit the website.