Olakila started its activities in 2010 under the name Oladix, a limited liability company based in Cotonou, Benin, which was founded by Mr. Ghislain Christel Sedaminou Zanfongnon. The main objective of the company was to buy cashew nuts in shell from northern villages in Benin and supply Indian export companies in Cotonou.

After one year experience of local trade, the company decided to explore export opportunities .  The first export operation took place in 2011 in Cotonou, Benin. An initial volume of 300 ton was exported to India under the Oladix brand name in small partial shipments of 34, 50 and 100 ton throughout the season.

 

The following year 2012 another 300 ton was exported from Benin during the period March to May.  At the end of May the good quality nuts were no longer available in Benin and Mr. Ghislain Christel Sedaminou Zanfongnon decided to go to Guinea Bissau to explore the export opportunities to be able to meet customers demand. In this country the harvest and export season starts later then Benin; the export period goes from May to September which make it two complementary origins.

More than 8 years’ experience in procurement, quality control, stock management & export/import logistics

That year Guinea Bissau was facing a lot of difficulties in commercializing its cashew crop. Continuously falling prices and a lot of defaulted contracts led to a widespread famine in Guinea Bissau, were 90% of the population is directly or indirectly depending on cashew income to survive.

Impressed by the big production capacity and the high quality of the cashew nuts, the country has become the ideal procurement hub for the founder ever since.

The name “Olakila” was born after a mutual understanding between Oladix and Hakila Agrotech, an Indian cashew import company. Both companies saw the advantages to join their marketing system by using the same brand name on the international market. The Olakila brand was created by joining the first three letters of Oladix with the last four letters of Hakila (Oladix + Hakila).

Olakila was created and registered in Guinea Bissau in the same year and along the years has become one of the biggest, African-owned companies, active in the export market in West-Africa. Having created also branches in Senegal, Ivory Coast, Benin, Togo and Tunisia to strengthen further its procurement network.

From 2013 to 2014 Olakila saw sales growth up to an annual volume of about 2.500 ton.

In 2015 the company participated in the cashew campaign in Ivory Coast, leading to a slight rise again in volume and turnover. The company concluded a local partnership that year which increased its cash liquidity and buying capacity. This reflects in its profit margin that year, making it a profitable year.

End 2016 and beginning 2017 were less productive years for the company due to the high buying prices of the raw cashew all over the West-African local market. A catalysator effect which decreased the buying capacity for many companies and also made the purchase activity very tricky. Thanks to its persistence in negotiating with banks, suppliers and clients the company reached a volume of about 500 ton in 2017.

In 2018 it got a support from the bank ‘’Banco da União’’ through which it could export 3.000 ton spread over a revolving volume of 250 to 500 ton per shipment.

With a team of 18 permanent and 43 seasonal employees, the company has been developing its organisational strengths. Working in direct collaboration with local wholesalers/ farmer cooperatives and small scale processors to cater the needs of the local as well as overseas industrial demand.