From zero to R10 million turnover in 12 months, that is the remarkable growth of a small mechanical engineering company in the Eastern Cape, Coreworth Investment CC. Like most entrepreneurs, Lionel Arnolds and Grant van Giesbergen risked everything when they resigned their positions in 2012 to set up a company that would compete head on with their former employers for customers and market share.
Coreworth specialises in design, manufacturing and installation of complex engineering solutions in multiple sectors such as automotive, electrical engineering, energy, petroleum and various others. The company also has solutions for both light and heavy current reticulation, and has the capabilities to design and manufacture all elements of structural steel.
Soon after setting up the company, Grant and Lionel realised that winning new contracts will be difficult for a new outfit without the necessary marketing and branding of the likes of their former employer. Enter Seda into the picture to assess the situation and offer business development advice. Seda focused on offering marketing support to the business with development of signage and promotional material being a priority. The branding exercise was further complemented by the development and deployment of a company website.
Besides giving the company improved profile and legitimacy before its clients, these interventions also helped the company attain encouraging revenues in its first year of operation. From a first year revenues of R10million, the company achieved a healthy 15% net profit. The company also currently employs about 25 staff members and it is contributing positively to the skills development.
Seda is working with Coreworth Investments to drive the company’s plans to service the international market. Key to recognition in both the local and international market is quality certification. Seda subsequently, assisted Coreworth Investments with their Quality Management System (QMS) accreditation. This is one of the main standards of compliance for the industry.
With the South African market under control, Coreworth Investments has plans to make inroads into the international markets and create more job opportunities in the Eastern Cape by increasing production capacity in line with growing customer base.
Asked about the role of Seda in the company, Lionel says the agency is helping “to mould Coreworth Investments into a professional, successful business entity”.
“People have a wrong impression about government agencies like Seda,” adds Lionel, saying he benefitted a lot from attending Seda briefing sessions.