The Introduction of New Products at Asili

 

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Asili Natural Oils is a supplier of natural ingredients to customers in the personal care and specialty oil industries around the world. Asili Natural Oils is a social-impact business occupying a critical link in the supply chain – connecting hundreds of small-holder farmers to high value international markets. Asili is committed to serving customers with professionalism and integrity, thereby ensuring benefits for farmers, customers, and employees.

Situation

In 2012, Karisimbi Partners established Asili Natural Oils with two socially motivated  British investors looking to set up a sustainable social-impact business. The business was born out of a desire to find a private sector solution for a large number of Rwandan farmers who were convinced by well-meaning organizations to plant Moringa trees in the early 2000’s.

When the trees produced their first crop, farmers were distressed to find that there was no one to buy. Asili was created to bridge the gap between these farmers and buyers.

Asili has come a long way since initiating operations in 2012. At first the business focused solely on Moringa oil. However, Asili has recently branched out into new and exciting products, such as Passion Fruit Seed oil, and indigenous products that have never been marketed before, like the Wild African Calabash oil. Asili is on its way to becoming a diversified supplier of specialty oils and is doing so in a way that benefits hundreds of Rwandan smallholder farming families.

ChallengesDSC_2711-001

The introduction of new products to Asili’s oil portfolio has created a number of challenges:

  • Many of these new products are harvested from wild plants and, as such, it is difficult to coordinate a steady supply.
  • Most new products, such as the Wild African Calabash oil, are unheard of in the Western market.
  • Developing new products helps position Asili for long-term success, but it must be done without compromising its existing business line.

 

Services Provided by Karisimbi Partners

KBP manages Asili from Rwanda, and they provide key personnel, including the General Manager. The employees of Asili and KBP have worked together to identify, source and market these new products. In this sense, KBP is supporting all critical areas of the business from sales and marketing, to financial oversight and new product development.

Results and Future Prospects

The introduction of these new products highlights the demand within the cosmetics industry for quality products coming out of Africa. This demand ensures that Asili can continue to expand and to therefore impact an increasing number of individuals.

 

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