Since the discovery of sachet water also known as ‘pure water’ business in Nigeria in the 90s, many youths have actually explored the beautiful opportunity in the business. To some, it is a big time business that its demand cannot at one time decline in the market due to the importance of water in the life of every created thing. Though it is a capital intensive business, it is also a very lucrative one for business minded youths.
Mr. Anthony Ugwu, a father of six who hails from Amaifeke in Imo state, is one of those who have benefited hugely from pure water business in the past and still making large his pocket from the business.
According to him, he wakes up early in the morning just like other government workers to resume in his pure water factory on a daily basis just to eke-out a living. “I strongly believe in the popular adage that says: ‘what is worth doing is worth doing well, and for that, when I discovered there is a high consumption of sachet water in the country, I keep my head above every bottleneck that would deter me from entry into the industry,” he said.
“I started my life as a firewood and charcoal seller in Abuja far back 2003, then I was actually making a good money to sustain my family but as we increase in the family and with agitation from my wife concerning spending much of my time in the bush searching for firewood, gave me concern and I started looking for another business. Fortunately to me, a friend of mine whom I confided in told me I could manage and make much money from pure water business without having to stress myself,” he explained.
Mr. Ugwu said he quickly keyed into the advice of his friend because he noticed over 120 million people consume sachet water on a daily basis considering the fact that a lot of them have no access to tap and clean drinking water. He also noted that though this business is seasonal, it is still booming even during the rainy season.
“Even when my friend who introduced pure water business to me kept emphasizing on the huge capital involved in establishing the business, I did not dismay about the capital intensive, rather, I looked on to maximizing the opportunity of investing into the business even though it takes borrowing money from bank.
“The first step I took was to dispose of all my goods that is, firewood and bags of charcoal I had at that time. After selling off all my goods, I gathered the money I made and channelled it into pure water,” he explained.
Mr. Ugwu disclosed that before one will venture into pure water business, there are necessary things one needs to put in place. “The steps to take in setting up pure water business are to first of all make financial budget of the business and know what the business requires. After that, register your company with the corporate Affairs commission. However, as a beginner you also need to consider acquiring the following assets and items: land or rented space, borehole, automatic fill and seal machine, bungalow factory set up, NAFDAC approval, staff, and invoice or receipts. With all these things, one is fit to start.”
Still speaking on the tips for setting up a pure water business, he also notified that where there is no borehole, one may just use his or her own water tank and buy water from tankers. He or she will also need a stainless steel treatment plant connected to your tank that filters out particles and then connect the feed pipe to a UV system that kills bacteria before feeding the treated water to the machine.
Speaking on the challenges, Mr. Ugwu said the cost of starting pure water business is high and this will only discourage those who do not have enough capital to start the business. “The cost of opening a pure water business is not less than 5 million naira minus the cost of vehicles. And this is not within the reach of low income earner who has the interest of establishing himself. For instance, getting approval and meeting up with the NAFDAC requirement is a long process. NAFDAC has a certain way for the structure of the building. The rooms should not be less than four and the building must be fenced. You can go to NAFDAC and receive their requirements. After the installation and some other conditional requirements to meet with NAFDAC, you hire someone to process the permit with NAFDAC. It is easier to get your permit through someone who knows how NAFDAC operates than doing it yourself. To get your NAFDAC number shall be up to six months after NAFDAC had inspected.
“We are also faced with fierce competition. Despite the fact that pure water business is capital intensive, many people who know the secret and gains in the business have flooded the market with their brand. And with the competition in the market, the profit margin is influenced at any given adjustment in the market,” he concluded.
On his achievements, Mr. Ugwu said that pure water business has actually changed his fortune and he now operates in less hazard condition compare to when he was selling fire woods and charcoal. “Pure water business is stress free provided you have automatic filler and sealer machine that will aid the job. Again, you can get the job done through others by hiring staff that can package and circulate the goods in the market,” he added.
He also added that his income has seriously increased by the double of what he used to make in his formal business. “I have no regret going into pure water business because it is lucrative. Through the business, I have acquired a lot of landed property, trained two of my children in the university while the other three are still in secondary school. I built my own house and today my trucks are operating everywhere round Abuja.”

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