The ROFF R70 in action
At first glance, chartered accountants Josua Pietersen (36) and Isaac Strauss (30) might not seem like your usual maize meal entrepreneurs. However therein lies the fantastic opportunities that are locked up in ROFF Industries' R70. This compact maize milling plant was designed with the intrepid maize meal entrepreneur in mind, and despite their day job, Pietersen and Straus took on the challenge to start their maize mill.
Pietersen and Strauss started their operation in May 2017 and sell both super maize meal and hominy chop. Their leading brand's name is IDLANI SUPER MAIZE MEAL, 'Idlani' meaning 'let us eat' in isiZulu. We spoke to the two maize meal entrepreneurs about their experience with the R70, what their operation looks like, and their advice to like-minded maize meal entrepreneurs.
Q: WHY DID YOU DECIDE ON BECOMING MAIZE MILL ENTREPRENEURS?
A: We're accountants by day, but also farm with maize and plant ± 2000ha. We're numbers guys, so it's all about making the numbers add up. When we considered the viability of starting a mill, we had to take a fundamental business aspect into consideration, which is profitability.
No business is without its risks, and our product price was one of our biggest risk factors considering its current volatility in both the local and international market. The situation led us to process the product ourselves, which would enable us to add the maximum value to the product and also maximize the farms' profitability.