American Company License Deal with Kosovar Firm Fluidi

Starting in the early nineties with only three flavors of soda and an equal amount of employees, FLUIDI and its owner, Mr. Fejzulla Mustafa, have big plans for future. Although successful in their own right as a juice producer, the company truly came of age in 2003 when they managed to secure an exclusive licensing agreement with the famous American RC Cola Company as the sole producer and distributor of the soda in the region. This watershed moment not only cemented their ability to expand but indeed, to dream of big ideas. This is precisely what Mr. Mustafa is doing today. The entrepreneur has several opportunities highlighted in Gjilan, a far southeastern city in Kosovo, which will not only bring prosperity to his now thriving company but to the economic welfare of the regions inhabitants. It’s always of interest to meet someone that has an understanding of what their company requires to remain viable and relates that to their country’s needs. In this case, a value-added product with large export potential.  Let’s hear a little more from Mr. Mustafa himself on what those opportunities are. 

 

Cleary the deal with RC Cola in 2003 was a big deal for your company. How did the agreement come about?

It actually took us over a year to get a contact at the RC Cola Company. Back then it was a little more difficult to receive such information online; we couldn’t simply send an email like you can now. I eventually was able to meet a top person at the company and from there we began talking business. And you are right; this was a big moment for us. Not only did we represent a popular American brand but it afforded us the ability to activate long awaited expansion in Gjilan [Kosovo] in addition to our sole factory which is located in Presheva [now Serbia]. Although we are strong in Kosovo with RC and represent several neighboring countries we’d certainly like to expand the brand into other markets.

Do you have any other licensing agreements and/or other products?

Aside from our staple juices, Jaffa, we represent Red Rain Energy Drink, which is a top seller in Kosovo. We are also working on expanding into the natural juice segment.

Aside from expanding your core beverage business with natural juices and placing RC into new markets; are you doing anything by way of investment diversification?

Soon we will be investing in cooking oil. Through this we aim to refine the oil into an end-product with about 50% intended for export. We’d also like to cultivate the raw fruits for our other drinks such as cherries and apples. There is a third project in cultivating tomatoes for ketchup; again, an end-product with export potential. They all hold huge potential for success, especially cooking oil as there are no producers in Kosovo and there is high demand. But to be sure, it’s a great benefit to the local economy as well. Farmers will be growing the raw product to be used at our new production facility, which will as well require many new employees. I look forward to contributing to a large drop in unemployment. Of course, we’d like to start all this right away but it requires a large amount of capital. So we are looking for a loan or some other financing.

What size of an investment do these projects require?

The cooking oil refinery will be around 10-12 million euros. To realize all three we are looking at 20-25 million euros. Aside from the financial side of things we have everything else in place; from the land to signing a contract in a few days for a factory which we intend to use for the oil. Alone, seeing these projects to fruition would take around seven years, with an investor(s) it can realized in 2-3 years. All of these funds would be used for machinery and required facilities.