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GINNOIR: Elevating african excellence with high-quality gin

Matshela Seshibe is the founder and director of BlackStar Beverages, a brand representing Africans’ ability to take charge of their destiny. Seshibe says BlackStar Beverages reinforces the notion of African excellence. “We have what it takes and must not seek external validation. We know that if we run successful businesses at each stage of the value-chain, we will give more people opportunities to participate in the economy. We are proudly and uncompromisingly South African,” adds Seshibe. “ South Africans can produce high quality products that are on par with, if not better, than those imported from other parts of the world”.

BlackStar Beverages entered the alcohol industry after research and realising good potential in the ready-to-drink segment in the sector. The sector is one of the fastest growing and reflects the consumer trends towards choice and premiumisation. The products are targeted mainly at millennials and female drinkers who, according to recent statistics, will form the backbone and dominant force in the industry.

BlackStar Beverages signature brand, GINNOIR, comes in gins, and gin & tonic premixes. It is the only brand that offers gin & tonic in a unique and special flavour, grapefruit. In test tastings grapefruit is garnering support across the consumer spectrum. The other flavours are original gin & tonic and dry lemon. In all its offerings GINNOIR provides perfect balance between gin, alcohol and flavours. “GINNOIR is a high-quality gin and gin & tonic brand geared towards classy, upwardly mobile millennials, ladies and gentlemen with similar tastes. The customers are trendsetters, ambitious and outgoing,” explains Seshibe.

As profitable as the industry is, Seshibe says the key challenges are a route to market and the dominance of legacy players. Being a new brand means that you have to give consumers and consumers a reason to buy your product, a unique proposition. Fortunately, GINNOIR is a high-quality, handcrafted, innovative alcoholic beverage that is well-positioned to serve the needs of goal-focused, classy, and upwardly mobile millennials and young at heart.

Seshibe is an experienced business executive with vast experience in various roles and companies in the FMCG sector. His entrepreneurial journey has taught him to be humble and patient. He has also learnt from everyone. This includes consumers, customers, suppliers, employees and even competitors. Ultimately, “running a business is a team sport and you cant win alone”, he says

According to Seshibe, entrepreneurs walk a tough and lonely road but the benefits are rewarding at the end. Despite the challenges, he says entrepreneurs need to do their research,  prepare to work hard and smart. They must realise that ideas are a dime a dozen, but until you act you are daydreaming at best. “In order to be successful one needs to study the environment, identify problems, and develop solutions for your customers”, Seshibe says. He adds, “Serve with excellence at all engagement points and know that being successful comes down to tenacity and execution.”

His entrepreneurial journey has been one full of lessons but one thing he admits is that running a brand like GINNIOR inspires him. The brand’s identity is aspirational, hopeful and innovative, which bring out its mission of making life a pleasure. More importantly, it encourages who touch it to have ambition and reach for their dreams.

GINNOIR is the new kid on the block but it’s one kid who is destined for greatness.

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