Let me tell you, starting a business is not for the faint of heart. One has to face many bumps in the road but with lots of hard work, determination and an airtight business plan, it shall be successful. I am Victor Udjombala, born in Ondangwa and raised in Windhoek Katutura, manager of Udjombala Combo Bar where most quench their thirst.
This is my brave story #BeBrave
Combo Bar was never combo bar, it faced countless challenges, but at the end of the day it made the right moves along the way. My Grandfather started Udjombala Bar in 1994, as a service to the community. The place sold alcohol and daily basic needs, e.g., bread. The business did so well even expanding operations to the North.
The button was passed onto my Uncle after the passing on of my Grandfather in 1997, and my Uncle kept the business going, moving crazy volumes from a very small area, that was the attention to detail my Uncle had until COVID-19 hit.
In the year 2021, during the completion of my studies in Logistics and Supply Chain Honours at NUST, I started selling alcohol combos. It was very difficult at the time as I had to maintain the bar and at the same time focus on completing my studies. It was never easy due to the fact it was during the COVID-19 crisis, and I was a student trying to complete my studies.
In addition, another obstacle was trying to keep all the alcohol cold with few facilities. At the time we only had a single door fridge and one small deep fridge that were operating. As a sole trader, being the only one able to go buy stock, open the bar, and do the selling as well was very difficult, so I hired someone trustworthy to sell. Secondly, logistics has always been a problem, transporting alcohol from the point of purchase to the bar with a taxi on a daily basis. Furthermore, as no POS was installed everything was hand-written to keep track of things such as stocktaking. Nonetheless, through perseverance we rose from a small business of only two employees to now having more than 7 employees who do different tasks daily, such as record keeping, daily stock counts, daily cashing up, etc. Moreover, from only having had one outlet to now having two outlets, with one of the outlets employing four individuals, and now striving to grow even more and have more outlets throughout the country.
Although it was hectic I refused to give up and tried several times, and eventually with all the hard work, support from family and persistence, it turned the Udjombala Bar, which is famously known as Combo Bar, into the people’s favourite bar today. It was not all by myself but by a team of very dedicated employees, who over the months dedicated themselves selflessly by working overtime and under extreme pressure with minimal resources, but all tried their level best to provide customer satisfaction by maintaining the status quo of serving cold and chilled beer to our customers.
I would also like to thank Namibian Breweries for having given me the opportunity which has rapidly improved not only my life, but the lives of those employed by Combo Bar as it has helped our business grow even more.