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Learn the language, look after your staff and be patient. These are just some of the requirements Torben Sørensen, the Danish general manager of the Matola-based Liquid Logic Mozambique, lists as he looks back on his 22 years in business.
Liquid Logic´s business is literally hot and cold: draught beer, coffee and cooling. It started with a contract with CDM, Cervejas de Moçambique, back in 1997. The company quickly expanded: a Beira office opened in 2006, Nampula in 2009 – and now specialises in the sales, installations and maintenance of draught beer taps, commercial-use refrigerators and air-conditioning, Nestle coffee machines being the latest addition. At the moment Liquid Logic is the leading operator in its field in Mozambique and part of the Dispense Logic Group, with a head office in Johannesburg and operations in 10 African countries. The client list includes companies such as Vodacom, Pep and Coca Cola.
Sørensen leads a staff of over 60 professionals, all Mozambicans. Finding skilled staff, such as electricians and refrigeration technicians, can present a challenge, so Sørensen works together with schools in the Maputo and Matola area, offering apprenticeships. Increasing the workers´commitment can be simple. For instance, offering each worker a uniform of his own helps, as they feel the need to care for their own working gear.
Other hints for a person planning to open a business in Mozambique? Never come without a solid contract, Sørensen emphasises. Leaving family behind is not a good idea, either – Sørensen spent his first year in Maputo alone until his South African wife Anne came along with their daughter and started her own business, ‘Next Adventure Lda’, focusing on the fabrication of luxury mosquito nets. Having a family with you makes you feel at home and helps you commit, Sørensen reminds.
Liquid Logic Mozambique Lda was established in Maputo 22 years ago as a branch of the South African Liquid Logic Durban. The objective was to become a leader in the field of asset management and refrigeration allied sales and services. Air conditioning services and draught beer departments were added and, in 2017, coffee dispensing machines. Liquid Logic merged with DDS (Drinks Dispense Services) in 2016, now under the name of LL/DDS Africa Group of companies. The staff consists of 74 people. The annual turnover is Mts 120-150 million.
By Lotta Ehrnrooth
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