We are Fresh.

We are Family.

Sympli story

The Sympli story was born from our enjoyment of home-grown food and our desire to support agriculture in Nigeria, where 3 generations of our family have made home. Venus Processing & Packaging Limited (VPPL), the company behind the Sympli brand, was first founded to source and process pineapples for export.

Determined to share the incredible taste of Nigeria’s sun-kissed pineapples, we saw freezing as a solution to post-harvest loss and the country’s need to earn foreign exchange. In 2011, we exported pineapple to Belgium, gaining praise for the delicious taste. Yet, we struggled to develop large-scale farmers for the necessary specifications. We also tried frozen papaya, mango, and chillies, to no avail.

Still, we weren't ready to give up. We just needed to try something new!

Seeing huge potential in Nigeria, the world’s largest producer of yam, we launched Sympli frozen yam chips in 2014. People wondered who would buy frozen yam, so we worked to change hearts and minds one bite at a time. We wanted to make Sympli ‘Delicious Like Home’—to deliver home-cooked food people proudly serve to loved ones. It took 8 years of field research, evaluation of 100s of varieties, and continuous product development before we arrived at ‘the Sympli Yam’. The result is our crispy and delicious Sympli Yam Fries!

We’ve grown our product offering, now offering a wider range of authentic Nigerian food products—Straight Cut Yam Fries, Thick Cut Yam Chips, Ripe Plantain Chops, and Sweet Potato Cubes. They can be oil-fried, oven-baked, and even air fried. We also give our all to adding value locally through jobs and the reduction of post-harvest losses. Today, the pineapple, still part of the VPPL logo, reminds us of our journey. As with farming pineapple, our company has taken many years of hard work to grow and is now yielding fruit!

Read more about the Primlaks journey across the decades!

Primlak's Historical Timeline


The Hemnani family resided in Hyderabad, Sindh, in what was then North-Western India. The head of the family, Kodumal, was a well-to-do businessman. He owned three textile shops and served as President of the Sindh Cloth Merchants Association.

Like many people, Kodumal planned to live in Sindh forever with his loving wife (Radhibai) and their seven children (Mohini, Rattan, Ishwari, Ram, Lachmi, Arjan, and Ashok).


Kodumal Hemnani was afraid of the worsening security situation after India’s partition and Pakistan’s creation in August 1947. Fearing for his family’s safety, he convinced his heavily pregnant wife and his children to migrate overnight. Radhibai went into labour en route and disembarked the train in Jodhpur to give birth to their eighth child, Kamal.

Kodumal joined his family six weeks later, but they were now penniless because he had been unable to sell his business. Determined to provide a better life, Kodumal restarted from scratch as a commission agent. The couple was blessed with their ninth child, Raj, two years later.

1952 - 55

After stints working with their father, Rattan (aged 20) and Ram (aged 19) left to work with their uncles in Japan and Hong Kong respectively. Radhibai delivered her tenth child (Prakash), bringing the Hemnani children to three girls and seven boys in total.


Ram moved to Lagos, Nigeria, to start an indenting office for his uncles. Travelling with his partner from town to town in a Volkswagen Beetle, they took turns driving from morning till lunch time.

They visited markets during the afternoons, before spending the night in a town and moving on the next day. They crossed the length and breadth of Nigeria during this period, visiting nearly every major market.

Arjan moved to Punta Arenas, Chile, and started working in a company as a shareholder.


Rattan’s uncle offered him a shareholding in Japan. As the political situation in Nigeria worsened, Ram moved to Cameroon, where he was also offered shares.


Rattan, Ram, and Arjan were on leave together in Jodhpur, when Kodumal gave them fatherly advice that changed it all. “Start your own company to support our growing family,” he said.

The young men latched on to those wise words and, in true family style, named the company P R I M L A K S, the letters chosen from each living family member’s first initial.


The first Primlaks company was set up in Kinshasa, Congo, by Rattan, Ashok, and their cousin Kishin.


On October 1, 1971, Ram returned to Nigeria to start Primlaks, with the acquisition of Best Store Limited, a trading company located in Balogun West Street, Lagos Island.

Ram was later joined by Kamal and Raj. Arjan moved to Manaus, Brazil, to start a Primlaks company, where Prakash later joined him.

(Kodumal Hemnani and his seven sons. From left to right: Prakash, Kamal, Ashok, Rattan, Kodumal, Ram, Arjan and Raj)

1972 - 79

Primlaks started their frozen food business in Nigeria by building a network of cold rooms and importing Titus (Mackerel), Kote (Horse Mackerel), Shawa (Herring) and Panla (Hake) as an affordable source of nutrition.


A services division was formed to coordinate financial, information technology, logistics, clearing and forwarding. This arm operated as an independent profit centre with a clearing license and offers services to both Primlaks and select external clients.


Primlaks began commercial fishing in Nigeria by investing in trawlers to produce frozen fish for local sale. The operation went on to invest in shrimpers to catch, process, and pack top quality prawns for both local sale and export.

1982 - 87

Having already invested in food, providing people with shelter was seen as a logical extension, as both are essential in improving the lives of people – something Primlaks is passionate about. A factory was established in 1982 to produce zinc galvanized corrugated steel roofing sheets so that the growing population of Nigerians did not have to rely on thatched roofs for shelter from the rain.

In 1987, Primlaks expanded the shelter division to offer nails, welded steel mesh, fencing, binding wire, quarter rods, and flat sheets, which are used in the construction industry to build housing, buildings, bridges, drainage.

1992 - 98

The second generation of Hemnanis joined Primlaks in Nigeria and abroad to continue the hard work of the founders.

2011 - 22

Venus Processing & Packaging, a Primlaks company, started producing frozen pineapple for export. The company later pivoted and, in 2014, launched the Sympli brand to produce crispy and delicious yam chips and fries.

Today, Sympli has two yam products: Sympli Straight Cut Yam Fries and Thick Cut Yam Chips. We continue to extend our range of authentic Nigerian food products, having successfully launched Sympli Ripe Plantain Chops in 2020 and Sympli Sweet Potato Cubes in 2022.


Primlaks is run by a professional team and has transitioned from a family business to a business family with the values of the original founders. Everyone at Primlaks is focused on the provision of affordable and top-quality food, shelter, and services that improve lives.


A future we’ll toast to!

To popularise African cuisine globally, one delicious pack at a time. By so doing, increase demand for Africa’s perishable crops, which will reduce post-harvest loss, create jobs, and sustainably increase global food supply.


Sympli the best

To be the leading brand of authentic, top-quality African cuisine that is delicious, wholesome, and easy to prepare. To use our success at home as a springboard for global expansion.


"Sympli has shown that we can cut yam, deep freeze it, and prepare it with its freshness intact."

– Akinwunmi Adesina

(2014) Then Minister of Agriculture and Rural Dev, now President of AFDB

"I am very happy to see this type of innovative thinking in Nigeria. What Sympli is doing is revolutionary and this kind of value addition is exactly what we need at a time that government is working seriously at addressing the food issue in the country."

– Audu Ogbeh

(2017) Then Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development