Chanda Chilongoshi

Development of the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) sector is the way forward now, and will be the way forward for Zambia in the medium term. The big businesses should be encouraged to invest in Zambia, but not at the expense of our focus on Small and Medium Enterprises. It has already been acknowledged across the world that SMES are a backbone of any economy.

And for Chanda Chilongoshi, a woman of strong convictions, doing business in a scientific way gives her great satisfaction.
Her mind is scientific; a very inspirational woman of substance and it is no big surprise that she runs a cleaning products business-BroadLine. She is married to Joseph Chilongoshi and they are both scientists who have supported each other through and through.

“My husband has allowed me to blossom. He been very supportive and understanding in and out of season,” she said.
As husband and wife, they started their very own SME which manufactures personal care products and industrial and domestic cleansing products in 1997. For a period of three years, Mr Chilongoshi was running the firm solely.

They then broke off the business and restarted in 2000 with renewed hope and strength for the future of their business, which was located at Langford House on President Avenue, Ndola. Her inspiration for the business came from her deep-rooted love for the country. Her belief was and is that Zambians have the potential to make a large number of the products locally.

She describes herself and her husband as being very ‘patriotic and nationalistic’. Adding a fair bit of humour, she mentioned that one would never find her complaining about Zambia; “Ah potholes, ah Zambia, if it is in a bad state that is our secret, do not cheapen our country.’ She has big plans for the future. The scales of Mr and Mrs Chilongoshi’s dreams are international.

Mrs Chilongoshi, however, is brave enough to understand that every business starts small. Her products are made from petro-chemical derivatives. The flagship of the business is Soft and Shiny Family Shampoo. Shampoo is not the only product in her product portfolio.

She does not feel very threatened by big brands on the market, saying her products are somewhat unique which is why lots of people were using them. “Broadline has superior products formulated and tailored to the needs of Zambian people. That’s where our confidence comes from as a business,” she said.

Mrs Chilongoshi, however, notes that many Zambians are not patient enough to see their business grow. “The reason why Zambia is lagging behind is because we are too satisfied with where we are and do not feel that there is room for improvement,” she said.