1920’s – 1930’s
Israel Fintz came to Rhodesia from the island of Rhodes in the early 1920’s and in the 1930’s started a small retail business.
His son, Elie launched a wholesale business after completing his tertiary education in 1958. Together with his father I. Fintz and Son was born. Initially, the business imported and distributed basic commodities, later expanding to import luxury high-value products. A factory was established to package food – cocoa, coffee, tea and milk powder to name a few.
Eventually, the business was awarded exclusive distribution by Proctor and Gamble and SC Johnson and in 1980 Estee Lauder was launched into the Zimbabwe market. Agreements with a number of international companies enabled the company to manufacture under licence SC Johnson (air fresheners & household detergents), Wella (shampoos & hair dyes), Shulton (Old Spice, Blue Stratos & Brut deodorants). A range of budget cosmetics Macho and Pretty Woman was an in-house brand. Theofilos Tselentis came to the British colony of Southern Rhodesia from a Greek Island called Cephalonia, at the start of the 19th century. For several decades he operated a general trading store, in the Charter Road area of the then Salisbury. After the second world war, he returned to his homeland Greece and his son Gerasimos returned to Salisbury in 1950.
After several years of working in the bakery industry, he opened a general trading store in the farming district of Marandellas. In 1986, he was joined by his son Peter, as an “apprentice” trader. Over the next 16 years they were a formidable team, that expanded the business, to various trading entities, which were then sold to Jaggers Wholesalers, a subsidiary of Metcash in South Africa.
Peter Tselentis, now a graduate from the “University of Life”, moved to Harare and bought into I. Fintz & Son’s, and a new business was formed in 2004, Fintz Trading Corporation. Over the next couple of years, with Elie’s invaluable business acumen, and Peter’s energy and drive, several other brands distribution companies were successfully set up, and continue operations today.
In the subsequent years that followed, Peter went on to buy Elie’s shares, and Brands Africa Zimbabwe was created in 2011. This was a consolidation of the various Zimbabwean distribution businesses, which included Fintz Trading, Amakai and Brands Direct. The Goal was to achieve scale and leverage, within the market.
2012 – Present
Brands Africa then set up operations in Zambia and then later Malawi, using the reputation and skills developed in the home market. We developed a reputation with our principals as a “brand builder” with strong attention to detail, in handling various high touch ranges.