By AKOMA CHINWEOKE
Mr.Patrick Okere, general manager of Dakento Limited, makers of Matador energy drink, inÂ this interview, speaksÂ on why his company isÂ passionate about curbing the high rate of unemployment in the country and the need for government to consciouslyÂ instituteÂ laws to protect theÂ manufacturing industry.
How did you come about Matador energy drink, since we already have a lot of them in Nigeria?
We are aware that there are different energy drinks in Nigeria, but Matador happens to be the onlyÂ drink that is made in Nigeria for Nigerians. So it is not about the pack, neither is it about joining other groups to import energy drinks. We are the pioneer in this area of indigenous manufacturing of energy drink.
What propeledÂ you toÂ go into production of a product with numerous substitutes in Nigeria?
If you look around, Obama is on heat now because 10percent of Americans are unemployed. In Nigeria, unemployment has been on the high level. Therefore the vision of this company is to curb unemploymentÂ in Nigeria.
This company wants to form an establishment where every Nigerian will have something to do. We also want to contribute our quota to solving unemployment problem by adding value to the economy of the countryÂ since everybody cannot be in government at the same time.
The level of unemployment is high because we areÂ import dependent and largely a primitive economy. In a primitive economy, people should be employed because there are a lot of things to be done butÂ everybody is into importation, despite the challenges to go into manufacturing in a country like Nigeria where you have a lot of infrastructural , energy , and transportation challenges e.t.c.
So, the promoter of this vision decided to take a lead by manufacturing this product, thereby creating employment for many Nigerians.
So far, to what extent wouldÂ you say you gone in contributing your quota towards reducing the unemployment rate in the country in line with your vision?
It is difficult to state precisely because, in this kind of venture, there is bothÂ direct and indirect employment. We are all over Nigeria, from north, south, east to west. We are everywhere which is direct employment. OnÂ indirect employment, we deal with our distributors, wholesales persons and those that make money from the product, in one way or the other, they are employed by us. So, it is difficult to state exactly how many people we have created employment for since the product is already in the market.
Nigerian consumers are very mindful of the taste and quality of the products they buy . How are people responding to the product considering that it is new and made in Nigeria?
If you look at the product, you will observe that there is something like a golden ring on it. The gold is a fore taste of the quality of the product. We have technical partnership with Stanlide GMD of Germany. So it is like a first world country producing in a third world country.
Which category of people is this drink meant for?
In this whole world, a mysterious liquid called water is what has wide spectrum of consumption, there is nobody that doesnâ€™t take water. Children below 12 years of age are not advised to take Matador energy drink. The admission age for this drink is 12years.
What is the composition of this energy drink that makes it different from others?
MatadorÂ has stimuli, vitamins and sugar. Generally speaking, these are the content, but just as there are different ways of cooking soup, the different combination of different materials that we used is what gave us this unique formulation called Matador. Essentially, what energy drink does is to make you mentally alert, it promotes physical activity and it helps you to stabilize your central nervous system because of the vitamin B complex it contains.
What is your demographic target for this product?
Our target is the mobile upward looking man who has taste for quality, who wants to live a good life, who at the end of everyday wants to still keep on.
What are the benefits of taking this energy drink and are there any side effects attached to it?
A peculiar benefit is mental alertness. It also promotes physical activity, most importantly, it is a stabilizer of the central nervous system and it contains vitamins. It doesnâ€™t have any side effect. You can take as much as you want. It all depends on your capacity. Also, this product contains caffeine which will help give you that stimulating effect. Caffeine is not the main content of energy drink; it is only a complementary product. Right from the inception of man, man has been taking caffeine, therefore it is safe to take caffeine.