Lohocla™, just read it backwards….
I was fortunate enough to meet the brains and brawn behind Swazz Group, a (B2B) company centred around coming up with creative and innovative solutions for the public and private sector. Young, Ambitious, Innovative, Enterprising are just some of the words that come to mind when I think about these individuals. I met co-founder Llewellyn Tshesane, PR and communications manager Nonkululeko Nkabinde and Creative Director Lesego M, and what a mind-blowing 2 hours it was.The Innovation Hub’s Maxum Business Incubator boasts with a number of entrepreneurs who have groundbreaking innovations. Swazz Group is no different, a startup that is about to change the game.
Swazz Group, is exactly that, an innovative ‘swaggy’ company made up of young, innovative, passionate young people who not only are experts in their respective fields but have a passion for changing the innovation game in Africa and ultimately the world. With great goals and a clear vision of where they see the company going in the next couple of years, they are currently doing amazing things in different sectors. Their recent project LOHOCLA™, is about to shake the grounds in the beverage industry. LOHOCLA is an anti-hangover shooter, yeah amazing I know. So how it works is that you take the shooter before, during or after consuming your alcohol and what it does is remove the beer googles and allows you to take back the night playing. The Lohocla shooter has been clinically proven to help prevent and cure the effects of a hangover thus restoring your cognitive abilities, co-ordination and motor skills.
Nunnovation caught up with Swazz Group and this is what they had to say:
N: How did the name Lohocla come about, we know its Alcohol spelt backwards, but who came up with this great idea?
S: The great idea was sparked by the co-founder and CEO Llewellyn Tshesane; he discovered there was a gap in the beverages market for a solution to hangovers. Other solutions on the market did not meet the direct need and problem of the consumer when and where they needed it. Any solution must be tailor-made for how the consumer experiences the problem and that is how Lohocla™ was reverse engineered. The packaging and practicality of the product is what is going to blow the minds of people.
After much collaborative thinking on a suitable name for the product, between the three co-founders, Llewellyn, Vini Gege (COO), and Khaya Hlatshwayo (CFO), it was Khaya who came up with the name for the product during an unforgettable moment.
N: When can we expect Lohocla in stores?
S: The product will launch in August, and we will decide who gets it first but all will be shared on the Lohocla™ South Africa page on FB with the website launching when the product launches.
N: What inspired the concept?
S: They say, “create the things you wish existed.” The concept was inspired by the simple reason of wanting to create something new, cool, big and exciting that is epic enough to dominate internationally. The world has become boring and we wanted to shake things up a bit and prove that anything is possible and that it’s our time now as young people. We wanted to prove that doing big things is not about demographics, backgrounds or geographical location, but about having big dreams and following through on them even bigger. We decided that playing small was now a losing formula.
N: What are your biggest hurdles as a startup company with an innovation that probably has a lot of R&D involved in it and how did you overcome these challenges?
S: Well the biggest hurdle was creating the product. We created it from absolutely nothing and the struggles we’ve faced initially were funding. The Innovation Hub gave us seed capital to prove our concept with clinical trials and we bootstrapped it ourselves. We have generated a lot of interest with Venture Capitalists now and so accessing funding seems to be covered but our biggest hurdle now is choosing the right investor who has access to global markets and making sure that when we launch the product, we are able to hit the market hard, and scale as quickly as possible in South Africa and internationally so we can dominate.
N: What else can we expect from you as a company?
S: For now you can expect another company under the group that will be an African Entrepreneurial Brand called “The Pursuit™” which is still a secret but we’ll say a part of it is a TV Show which will air on CNBC Africa. Our aim is just to tackle problems society is struggling to deal with and so you can expect some ICT and device Innovations next year too. The rest are ideas at the moment and you’ll have to follow our Swazz Group and Lohocla™ South Africa Facebook pages to find out more but it’s all exciting stuff.
Success is a relative term that is quite broad, we can take hours trying to dissect it and simplify it, but what is common about this term is that it represents, ‘conquering’, ‘breaking barriers’, ‘winning’. The need to succeed is what drives these entrepreneurs, it inspires them to jump over the hurdles of limitation and unlike many, pursue their dreams. Africa is in dire need of such people, people with a passion to improve their circumstances and brave enough to change the status quo. Big ups to Swazz Group, looking forward to a whole lot more that you have for us….