Successful black owned and managed companies are on the rise in South Africa and Bongile Tsotetsi has also raised her hand very high to be counted among this ilk. Bongile has founded one of the fastest growing diversified companies in the Free State with revenues growing twofold in 3 years. Hamisa Transport and Trading started by supplying mining, industrial and engineering products in 2010. The business also transport school children for sporting events on behalf of the Department of Sports.
In September 2010, Bongile approached Seda with a new business concept which would further diversify her business into new sectors of the economy. The new areas were building material supply to households and commercial customers – bricks, roofing material, plumbing materials, doors, etc. – and welding consumable distribution – gas apparatus, protective clothing and arc accessories, and welding electrodes for commercial use.
Given that the new proposal was a start-up concept, Seda’s assessment flagged the obvious conclusions that the venture was a bit risky with no clientele behind it or immediate income, no business place or funding in place, and there was a high need for marketing given that the business concept’s success depended on it being known by consumers. There were also accreditations or certifications of goods by regulatory bodies to be borne in mind – amongst them the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) for certain products.
Seda proposed the following intervention to help the venture off the ground:
Development of marketing and promotional material
Procurement of accounting system
Consideration of e-marketing initiatives
And attendance of export awareness workshops
The growth of Hamisa since the intervention of Seda has been incredible with the company recording revenue in excess of R5 million in 2013. The company has also been receiving recognition from peers and clients such as Transnet Engineering. Hamisa has been invited to exhibit by Transnet, further exposing it to potential new clients.
Hamisa counts a R2, 5 million contract with Transnet to install seam welding machines as one of the highlights of the past few years. The company’s relations with Transnet also resulted in a joint donation of 11 welding machines to Free State technical high school. Propelled by the good fortune, Hamisa has expanded its product offering to include industrial petroleum products, and job opportunities are also being created.
The company’s growth is not only as a result of its service delivery, but also because of the brand development and marketing initiatives undertaken with the assistance of Seda.