“Our company is very similar to the garment factories in Hawassa Industrial Park,” says Eyob Bekele, Managing Director and Owner of Desta PLC. “We can produce what they produce, and we have the same problems. What sets us apart from them? We are completely supported by local investment,” the family entrepreneur points out with some pride. Indeed, in recent years, the Ethiopian government has focused on luring large Asian ready-to-wear companies with tax and investment incentives into newly stomped industrial parks. The local middle class was on the sidelines. Few companies are hopeful about foreign exchange management and a lack of contact abroad.
Desta PLC has created 500 jobs with the Butajira Expansion Project. Exports – and thus hugely important foreign exchange revenues for Ethiopia – are planned for up to EUR 10 million. Eyob Bekele is already thinking a step further: “If we can reach our full potential, it will create employment opportunities for more than 2,000 people. Despite the challenges in the industry, we have been able to maintain stability over the last six months through our exports.”
Photos: Desta PLC
“At Desta, you learn more than just to sew”
Many young people are being given jobs as part of the expansion of production. They are not only happy to have a permanent job. “The training in sewing and the work culture that Desta maintains is very valuable knowledge for many,” says Sewing Line Manager Kedijah. “Desta doesn’t just teach you sewing. It is also about overarching things such as efficient time management. I have been with Desta for over two years now, including training time. I’m now a Level 2 supervisor. If you do a good job at Desta, you will also get the chance to develop further.”
Desta PLC is a family-run company based in Addis Ababa. Desta offers a wide range of knitting, cutting, sewing and finishing services, including accessories and embroidery. Desta specializes in T-shirts, knitwear and the ready-to-wear of uniforms and workwear. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.