Today Rising Africa Hails the Coca Cola Awardee: Yaw Adu Gyamfi Poku.
WHO HE IS
Yaw is no stranger to quality. He grew up with a father whose extensive work in top ranking industries such as Proctor and Gamble honed his appreciation for excellence in product delivery. After his degree in Chemical Engineering and confronted with the obvious lack of visible Ghanaian products in the shea butter industry, Yaw decided to start a business that used this vital ingredient to make a product that would make his homeland proud.
SHEA-ING PEINI WITH THE WORLD
Peini is a cosmetic brand consisting of hand lotions, body lotions, hair creams, and insect repellants. Carefully manufactured under the keen eyes of the founder, the quality of Peini products meets the highest world standards and it can hold its own against any household product found in department stores and malls across the world.
There are wonderful products produced in Africa which receive low patronage and respect due to poor packaging and branding. The Peini story is very different from that. Trust me, once you open up a container of Peini, the first words out of your mouth will be, “What? Is that really made in Ghana?” Yes it is, and yes it is made in Ghana and Africa.
Yaw continues to work on his brand and wants to make it one that is recognizable in every household in the world. For every store and major outlet anywhere in the world, especially in Africa, Yaw wants Peini products to be readily and easily available, patronized and loved.
THE SHEA VALUE
The Peini brand is worth its weight in gold because of its impact especially on women. In the first instance, it is good for the several hundreds of women who make shea butter and rely on it as a source of livelihood. By targeting the shea butter industry, which is a strong domain of women, Yaw is improving the incomes and livelihood of about 600 women in the Northern Region of Ghana. Due to the quality and market value of his products, women who work with him can literally bank on him. They find it easier to access financing from financial institutions and they have a sustainable level of income. This social consciousness does a lot to alleviate poverty in an area where many young ladies have to migrate to the South to indulge in risky and manually taxing jobs such as becoming head porters.
Yaw’s business takes raw material (Shea Butter) which has little market value, refines it, and sells his products at a higher cost in domestic and foreign markets. Needless to say, he is boosting the economy of the sub region in trading quality goods. The more his trade grows, the more the economy flourishes. Plus, this growth has a visible impact on the women who are at the early stage of the value chain. As Yaw puts it, “our growth is their growth.”
Then, there is the finished product. It is effective, good quality, devoid of dangerous chemicals, pocket friendly and deliciously fragrant. Interestingly, Peini is usually patronized by women. This means women start and end the value chain of the Peini production story.
In addition to all this, Peini had joined the fight against malaria, a disease that kills thousands of Ghanaians yearly. Peini is doing this by donating proceeds from the sale of their mosquito repellants to orphanages in Ghana.
The journey has not been easy for Yaw. It has been difficult changing the status quo in a continent where people do not feel anything of quality can come from our own. He has had to persevere even when people are quick to laud more established foreign products while shunning their own. In the face of all that, he is overjoyed that there are many customers who love and are proud to be using Peini products. The support of the customers has been a major propellant in the growth of the Peini brand. Yaw is also grateful for the support of his sister Yaa Poku and his father Kwasi Poku, who are at the forefront with him as well as the support of his entire family and staff.
We are proud of you Yaw!