3 1/2 months ago I decided to go to Nedbank to apply for a start up business loan. They told me that we have to do it with Khula. So I presented them my business plan, which is in their opinion very well researched and highly professional. The business banker there told me he is impressed by it and is positive that he can help me.
When we went through the check list we found out that you have to be SA citizen to be able to apply for a Khula loan, which I am not. Isn"t a problem though, because my girl friend and partner in this business is SA citizen, so we applied in her name, as the business banker suggested. He told me it will take about 2 weeks to get a response. So I waited, nervous but patiently, 2 weeks, 3 weeks, 4 weeks, 5 weeks, 6 weeks, 7 weeks.... after 2! months he had the first repsonse from Khula. Which was following: (more or less)
"business plan is very well researched and professional (again), bla bla bla, we need the following information: CV of my girlfriend (remember, we had to apply in her name), balance sheet and a letter of intent from 1 future client"
One week later I went back to the bank with the CV, balance sheet, a letter of intent from a distribution company with more than 1000 clients all over SA, more than 500 are their own branded, specialised retail stores, that all supported by a 2 page motivational cover letter, again presented in a very nice way. The business banker was happy about that again, said this letter of intent is great, the CV shows all the necessary requirements, bla bla bla.
Another 2 weeks later the response from Khula, which was following:
"Bla bla bla, we can see the intention from company X to buy so and so much stock every month, bla bla bla, however this does not guarantee that they will reach the forecasted sales. Besides that we can see that there is experience in sales, but not in importing. The import process is very complicated and needs lots of experience and expertise"
Huh?!? First they ask for a letter of intent and now as they have it they are not happy with it? What is going on here? This company that wrote the letter is one of the biggest distribution companies of it's kind in SA. He even wrote that they will support us in every way with their own distribution channels (which was planned from the beginning). But this is not the only company, there are 2 other companies (you all know them but I'm not mentioning it now), and 2 specialised distribution and sales agencies. Besides that this business has many more distribution channels, which are all supported by a well planned marketing plan. Oh, and btw, the purchase quantity of only this client covers 95% of the needed sales quantity to break even.
Import process? I though what da **** is wrong now??? Paying and receiving the products isn't that complicated, is it? What kind of person has written this nonsens? They said there is sales experience but no import knowledge. Hello??? The CV that I submitted says clearly that my gf was importing and distributing stuff overseas for 3 years!!! Isn't that enough?
After this the banker asked me to write a latter again, which I did. A 2 page motivational letter which explains all those things. Knowledge, me as a mentor (and I definitely do have enough business experience), marketing activities that reach more than 500.000 people in the first month, bla bla bla.
The business banker read it, agreed with all the things, submitted it, and asked for a second opinion of another assessor, because he doesn't agree at all with what is happening here. I provided EVERYTHING they asked for and we have ALL the necessary requirements.
That was the last thing I did, 2 weeks ago. I am trying to reach the banker for 3 days already, no response. I had him on the line for a second on Monday, he said he has some news but clients, he will call me this afternoon. Ya sure, since then I tried to reach him I don't know how many times.
So, I am giving up at this point. The last couple of months have been the most nerve wrecking ones in my life, and I just don't want to proceed anymore. I am sick and tired of all this s*** that is going on here.
I DO know that this business will be viable and I DO know that it is planned very well. The product is just amazing, there is nothing similar on the market. And people DO need it, that's a fact.
It seems to me that they just don't feel like giving the loan and now they come up with ridiculous things. I am NOT saying what I think why they don't want to give it.
Sick and tired