We caught up with the founder of Red Cup Village, Luvuyo Ndiki, who is behind SA’s first biodegradable cup.
1.Let’s start at the beginning. Before Red Cup Village. Did you ever aspire to be an entrepreneur?
Yes. One of my grandmothers was a retired teacher who owned spar shop selling paraffin, soap, snacks and other daily needs such as bread. She inspired me to do my own thing in life and not wait until you retired to start something. I learnt a lot about running your own types of business from my family values from farming vegetables such as corn in Nqamakwe.
2.How did Red Cup Village come about?
Red Cup Village come about through the value I have gain through my lifestyle. Red Cup Village was inspired by a story my grandmother told me about a woman, back in the 13th century. This African lady united two rival village-tribes by inviting them to a gathering where she made them drink from the same wooden cup. Without realising the two kings started sharing the same cup which made them share their cultures, visions, beliefs and created unity in the village.
3.Why the colour red?
Red is a colour which makes people to be alert just the same as a stop sign. We want to alert South Africa’s of the social problems we are faced with and also create social cohesion through our unique diversity.
4.What does it mean to you to be behind SA’s first biodegradable cup?
Honestly, this means a stepping stone to becoming a global leading lifestyle through innovative concepts and premium products.
5.What business aspirations do you have?
I want to have 50% market share customers by 2020 in the food services sector, retails, festivals and events for biodegradable cup and other selective biodegradable products in SA. We also want to be a leading lifestyle brand in the world bigger than Apple and Microsoft combined. This vision is something which I have meditated on for years and I believe it will work out one day.
6.Why was it important for you to go green?
It’s a choice which makes sense for us as brand to move this way because it does not make me happy to make money while filling up landfills with plastic which would last for 200 years – 1000 years which does not allow space for natural resources to be developed and ecosystems to survive.
7.What advise do you have for other companies that are trying to go green?
The rewards are plenty for you in the future through going green because the world economy is focusing in this direction through environmental laws across the world.
8.What advise do you have for young entrepreneurs that are in the start-up phase?
Learn each and every department in your business and set time to be a head of the department weekly and see how that will help you grow.
Connect with Luvuyo Ndiki