A Liberian industrial chemist and body lotion producer is seeking investors that will help expand the production of his body lotion to a capacity to meet public demand.
Kokpor Daynuah, a graduate of St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, USA, started Panzsir Cosmetics, LLC, following a range of jobs at US-based labs including Paddock Laboratory, Corgill, Upsher Smith, and Medivators. Panzsir body lotion using organic ingredients found in Liberia.
In a recent interview at his production site in Brewerville, Mr. Daynuah says market testing has proven positive signs of the Liberian-made product and demand is increasing.
Nevertheless, challenges still remain, interms of inadequate supply of electricity and road network to increase production and meet the rising demand.
He said they have electricity from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Brewerville, where they are located, and such limited time yields limited productivity. Furthermore, they cannot go to other counties because of bad road network.
“We need equity investors who will go into agreement with us that after investing their money they will be able to receive dividends after two or three years. We need investors in the business because we are seeing positive market signs and we need to produce more to meet the current demand,” Mr. Daynuah said.
Going further, Mr. Daynuah said “The money we make will not go out of this country, and our production is also helping to reduce poverty as our ingredients, such as coconut oil, palm oil and other materials, are acquired locally through vendors that harvest or produce them. We don’t want free money from investors of government because our business is profit-driven. All we want from government is to connect us to investors who will bring equity investment in the business to reap at a time we all will agree on.”
Daynuah told this paper that he has come to Liberia after developing the vision to produce industrial materials including shampoo, body wash, body lotion and other kinds of soap because doing such in his own country would yield better recognition and benefit for his country rather than in the United States where companies that produce such goods are many.
He said another challenge in making business here in Liberia is failure to have streamlining process that will get entrepreneurs have their documents on time.
“Making business in Liberia is tough because there is no streamlining process that will allow people get their document on time after paying money that is requested, and we who are simple in appearance cannot be respected by government officials and those who have money,” he noted.
For now Mr. Daynuah said he is the only person who performs the formulation and composition of the materials needed to produce the body lotion, and will want to train Science students enrolling at universities in Monrovia to develop the same idea.
“For now I am the only person performing the formulation and composition of the production. It is my desire to train some Science students from the local universities to be able to produce not only the lotion but other chemical products,” he stressed.
The young Liberian industrial chemist said he was motivated by an elderly man in North Dakota to strategize plan for Liberia in his career, “and this is what got me to ask my grandmother to teach me how to make soap. She showed me a tropical plant in our village her called ‘Panz’ in the Dan Language. The ‘Sir’ used at the end of the entire word represents the first name of my grandmother for her role played.”
“Our grandparents as you may know used such plant long ago to produce country soap because the leaves foam when rubbed together, but I could not use it in the U.S. It is how I went into studying Chemistry and working in the laboratories and later decided to produce the lotion using local products from here,” he added.
He worked at Paddock Laboratory as a Stability Analyst, at Corgill in Research and Development (R&D), Upsher Smith as Method Development Chemist, Medivators as R&D Chemist, and Tape Mark as R&D Chemist.