Rhodesian Industries Co. (PVT) Ltd.

Rhodesian Industries Co. (PVT) Ltd.


Rhodesian Industries was established by the Margolis family in 1931 in Nyazura, Manicaland, before a moving to Salisbury.

The Margolis family originated in Lithuania. Of the nine children born between 1875 and 1898, three brothers ended up in Rhodesia: Harry, Salman and Berel. Harry and Salman originally established Rhodesian Industries as a family partnership.

In the early days, the company only processed groundnuts for the family’s oil factory and used tallow in the soap business. However, in the 1940’s it developed it’s most prestigious product – Olivine oil. The famous Big Ben laundry bar was produced soon after. Both products are still being produced and are huge brands.

In 1950 it became incorporated. Later, in the 1950’s, it added a candle factory and the business expanded in line with the development of Rhodesia, later processing cottonseed oil for margarine and bakers’ fats.

In the 1970’s the business changed its name to Olivine Industries and in 1982 the business became a joint venture with Heinz. The business continues today but experiences issues with Heinz, who refuses to source food from farms seized by the Government.