Victoria Quaye dreamt of a world where everyone would have access to safe and clean water, this passion has steered her life’s work.
During her early teenage years, her mother and her came up with an idea of how to filter water.
When they realized it tasted good and they started receiving positive feedback from people, they decided to start selling it to their neighbors and the community.
She believes that is how she fell in love with treating water.
She grew up on the streets of Accra, selling water to make ends meet. She remembers the satisfaction she had seeing people drink water to quench their thirst. What thrilled her was the knowledge that somehow she was contributing to this feeling and more importantly, she was providing them with clean water.
Victoria studied Communication Studies at Ghana Institute of Journalism and later Water Treatment at the Center for Education and Advanced Training (USA).
Her interest in clean and portable water has pushed her into the water world. She is now heavily invested in the borehole and water treatment industry. Every day she learns more about the production of mineral water, borehole drilling techniques and water treatment.
She is currently the CEO of NaaviQ Company Limited and she has been working in the water industry for over fifteen (15) years, focusing on clean portable water for every individual in Ghana.
‘I AM WALKING ON WATER’
Her company, NaaviQ Company Limited was born basically out of passion but it was a sub-company to a water treatment company until 2015 when they decided to produce water on a daily basis for various institutions in Accra and its environs.
Given the fact that 70% of the human body is made up of water, NaaviQ Company Limited has at the heart of its core values that any single drop of water entering the human body must be purified. So they ensure quality and health in very drop of water they produce.
This makes their after sales service team to always be on the move (regular checks on equipment). Their people are crucial in the delivery of services and solutions to their clients. NaaviQ Company Limited has staff strength of fifteen (15), consisting of professionals: administrative personnel, operations manager, sales manager, drivers and factory hands.
All of these people are accredited to their various professional bodies and have practical work experience to deliver on the job.
‘GIVING WATER A TASTE’
When she started this company, she asked herself, what she could do to improve lives in her society. She remembered the hardships she encountered selling water on the streets of Accra at a very young age, so her team and her decided not to just have a company that makes water but also improves the lives of the people and helps reduce poverty and build capacity – so that is what they do.
They came up with a training system where they went to the rural and urban areas to provide training connected to making water a business.
These entrepreneurial skills include:
• Borehole installations, servicing, and maintenance.
• Installation and servicing of automatic packaging machine (Koyo).
• Plumbing works (surface pump installation etc) and electrical works.
• Hand pumps installation.
• Proper way cleaning of tanks, up keeping of factory, filters arrangement, interpretation of TDS /PH.
• Installation and servicing of RO.
• Laboratory testing.
From this programme, the trainees have gained employment and earn good salaries. While others have gone ahead to start businesses of their own. Wherever they travel to, they can depend on their skills to survive.
Also seeing women and children from these rural communities go through a lot of stress and hustle just to get good water for drinking and for domestic purposes was very devastating so that motivated her to reach out to these villages to help them get wholesome water. Seeing innocent children as well, not having the proper attire for school also made her restless.
Their company now uses 30% of its profits for training. They also provide basic necessities such as books, chalk, shoes, and pencils for underprivileged schools in rural areas.
‘LET’S TALK CHALLENGES’
On most occasions, she is the only woman in a male-dominated industry. This can be tough and this has been evident through some competitors and clients wanting to have less than ideal relations with her. Mostly they would not want to engage her on professional terms as they would their male counterparts.
Locating villages to provide them with good water can also be hectic, due to red-tape and also the chiefs and community elders insist you give them money too. This can be very frustrating so they render account to the elders for them to know how much they spend on a project.
‘THE SILVER LINING’
Her interest in pursuing excellence has earned her national recognition and global accolades:
• The United Nations Youth Ghana Ambassador for clean water and sanitation at UN youth Ghana (SDG6) due to my passion to train (skill) the youth in our society 2017-2018
• The Stockholm International Water institute (SIWI) as WATER WOMEN nomination in July 2017.
• Thabo Mbeki foundation (South Africa) and the Uongozi institute’s (Tanzania) promising 100 young people on the continent to participate in African youth leadership forum with Head of States.
• The Female Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2018 at the young entrepreneur awards 2018.
• The Social Entrepreneur of the Year for the 40 under 40 awards in Ghana nomination.
She has also been featured on media programmes and on television networks such as ‘Tales from the Powder Room’ on GHONE, Biz trends on TV7. She was once selected as one of the rising female entrepreneurs in the male dominated industry on Uncovered on Starr Fm.
“I don’t believe in being modest about my achievements, because it is important to celebrate each milestone not only are they accolades and laurels but also an indication of how far I have come in achieving my quest and my dream in providing clean and healthy water. I am happy that institutions and the world at large choose to attest to this fact.” Victoria said.