• Harmonize announced plans to venture into tobacco business.
• Customer preference, religion and heavy taxation might be a stumbling block for the singer's business.
On Wednesday, Tanzanian musician Harmonize announced plans to venture into the tobacco business.
The Kwangwaru hitmaker, through his social media, shared sample photos of his own cigarette brand that he intends to bring into the Tanzanian market.
It is worth noting that Tobaccotactics reports that the tobacco market in Tanzania was worth a whopping $3.88 billion as of 2019.
But should he go ahead and pursue his dream, what are the chances that his brand will be a success story? I break down some of the hurdles that might be a huge stumbling block for him.
As much as a majority of Tanzania's population is affiliated with Christianity, for a brand to be successful, it needs to capture every religion.
Chances are high the majority of the 34.1 percent of the Tanzanian population who are muslims won't support his business since the usage of tobacco is considered haram.
2. Customer preference
Should Harmonize launch his product, he would find it hard to penetrate any market leave alone Tanzanian one.
By now, every smoker already has their preferred cigarette brand and it would be hard for them to shift their loyalty, regardless whether they support Konde Boy or not.
3. Heavily taxed
Taxation is another factor that brings many businesses down and given his is a tobacco product, he is set to be subjected to heavy taxes.
According to afro.who, the share of total taxes in the price of a pack of cigarettes in Tanzania is 43% as of 2017. WHO actually recommended that the tax structure to be increased steadily to reach at least 75% of the retail price.
That is in line with their tobacco-control strategy.
4. Advertising regulations
Despite boasting millions of followers on his social media pages, Harmonize would be greatly affected when it comes to promoting his tobacco business. Tanzania's law prohibits tobacco advertising and promotion 'via domestic and cross-border TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, and internet communications.'
That might explain why Konde Boy deleted photos of samples of his cigarette brand just minutes after posting them on his social media.
To make his Tembo cigarette dream come true, Harmonize stated that he was actively looking for some serious investors adding that the investor is at will to dictate the price which the product will be selling for.
"I need someone to put some serious investment, let's do this together there is no point of doing this alone I need big partnerships," Harmonize's post read in part.
Harmonize said his dream is to have 'Tembo cigarette' source all the tobacco from local farmers and believes it can be a Tanzanian owned and run company.
#tembosigaret pure tobako linalo limwa hapa hapa tanzania..!!!! haya sasa matajiri changamkieni hiii sio mpaka waingie wachina sisi wenyewe tunaweza bei mtajipangia wenyewe wanangu...!!!
(Pure tobacco that is locally sourced. To the rich make this happen we don't have to rely on Chinese investors we can do this ourselves you can set the price yourselves.)
Being business-minded, let us just hope that he will find investors and work around how to successfully establish a strong, competitive and successful tobacco business.