Chat with Hendrick Mancienne, director of DAN IMPORT ORION MALL, the wholesale outlet of Dan Import | 30 April 2020
‘All Seychellois need to remain united and support each other in any way we can’
Seychelles NATION: Please describe your business to us
Hendrick Mancienne: Dan Import is a proudly Seychellois-owned wholesale business operating in the hotel industry as well as the retail market. We are the official importer and distributor for a variety of goods ranging from ice cream such as the famous LONDON DAIRY, IGLOO, QUANTA, snack products such as Chitato, Jacker, beverages such as Rani juice, Sun Ice juice, Pepsi products, biscuits, Danone fresh milk, flavoured milk, etc. We are also offering a variety of premium hotel quality products in our outlet such as frozen beef cuts (tenderloin, ribeye, striploin, topside), breakfast sausages, french fries from Belgium and much more.
Seychelles NATION: Who are your main clients and how many people you employ?
Hendrick Mancienne: Our Orion Mall outlet which is ideally located in central Victoria in Orion Mall next to the Licensing Authority is open to the public offering a variety of options for wholesaling and a cost saving to the everyday buyer. Our customers range from the general public, to different businesses and organisations. Our outlet employs 5 people and we are open Monday to Saturday.
Seychelles NATION: What impact has COVID-19 had on your business?
Hendrick Mancienne: COVID-19 has had an enormous negative impact on our sales. We have made a tremendous loss in expired items especially due to the lockdown. Items such as perishables, fresh yoghurts which have a short shelf life, etc. Most importantly, our hotel business has practically vanished. We have also seen unsettled credit payments being delayed, thus creating an additional pressure on our cash flow. Our regular walk-in customers have also reduced drastically. However, we have noticed that the few remaining customers tend to buy a bit more than usual due to the fact that their families are consuming more since everyone is at home.
Seychelles NATION: How do you see the coming months?
Hendrick Mancienne: We remain optimistic for the future since first and foremost, our Faith is in the Lord. However, we do foresee difficulties due to many factors that we will have to face. First is inflation. Our main economic pillar has been paralysed and this will devaluate our currency which means that our importations will cost more. As long as we remain paralysed, our currency will continue to devaluate. And a return to normal will only happen once the whole world has been vaccinated, thus logically, years from now. This means our customers’ buying power will gradually decrease further and further. Secondly, the current shortage in foreign currency is cutting our ability to place new orders with our suppliers abroad. This will eventually result in a lot of companies filing for bankruptcy this year, thus reducing further our economic engine.
Seychelles NATION: We already know that Seychellois were benefiting from wholesale/unit sale of your products in your shop in town, now what are you proposing?
Hendrick Mancienne: For all purchases above R100 we are offering a 3% discount to all frontline workers and organisations that are actively participating in the fight against this pandemic and supporting our economy in this difficult time. We will apply this discount to all our healthcare workers, police force, DRDM, media entities, telecommunication companies, PUC, banks, SRC, etc. All we ask for is they either come in their uniforms or simply show their work badges in order to benefit on a 3% immediate reduction on their invoice.
Seychelles NATION: What are your main products right now?
Hendrick Mancienne: Due to the COVID-19 we had to discontinue perishables. Our list of items available now are:
Danone milk 1L - Full cream, Low fat, Flavoured Milk Danone; Pepsi, 7Up, Miranda, MountDew (155ml mini cans); Pepsi, 7Up, Miranda, MountDew, Shani (300ml cans); Pepsi, 7Up, Miranda, MountDew (500ml pet bottles); Pepsi (2.25L mega bottles); Juices: Sun Ice (190ml), Rani (250ml); Amigo juice concentrate;
Jacker chips (75G), Jacker chips (160G), Jacker Wafer Cubes; Cheeseballs, SuperRing, ChickenRing; Chitato (35G), Zess biscuits and cookies; London Dairy ice creams, sticks, cones, Igloo ice creams, cones and lollies; East London Abattoir Beef cuts, Tenderloin, Ribeye, Striploin, Topside; Breakfast sausages; Lutosa Belgium fries; Straightcut 10mm, Shoestring 7mm, Hashbrown, Plain mash potatoes, Rostis, Steak fries, Pub chips.
Seychelles NATION: Any advice about the ‘new normal way of living’
Hendrick Mancienne: During this difficult time, we would like to ask all Seychellois to remain united and to support each other in any way we can. We are a small nation and by standing strong together, we will overcome this difficult period in our history.