For a former gold miner, Nyadzeni Makhado, travelling behind the trucks transporting materials from his workplace to various factories was like he enrolled at a college studying for a course in logistics.
The self-taught transport businessman, Makhado “graduated” in 2014 and subsequently ventured into a logistics business.
Today, the black-owned company, Prodeliver based in Rivonia, Sandton, provides logistics and mining services including transportation of commodities and palletised materials.
“Together with my partner we bought a truck as a start-up but while running the business we soon discovered that doing it part time was difficult as they would be underground most of the time and out of reach for our clients. We then quit our jobs and focus on our business on a full-time basis,” said Makhado.
With the complement of six employees and four trucks, the business is growing by lips and bounds.
Makhado said he had always wanted to become his own boss, owning a fleet of trucks.
Hard work and determination saw their company, Prodeliver sailing through, becoming the overall R300 000 winner, in the 2018 Eskom Business Investment Competition (BIC) at an awards function held on Tuesday, September 4 at the Indaba Hotel in Fourways, Johannesburg.
“The level of completion was tough, and I thought maybe if I’m lucky I’d win my category or be a runner-up, I didn’t expect to be the overall winner of such a big competition. We will invest The prize money into the business. We’ll use some of it for operational costs as we work on scaling and growing,” said Makhado.
With R1.3 million worth of prizes at stake, the businesses slugged it out for top honours in three categories; manufacturing, trade and services and engineering and construction.
The BIC, which is now in its tenth year, is an initiative of the Eskom Development Foundation aimed at recognising and rewarding small businesses that are contributing towards building the economy by creating jobs and fighting poverty.
This year’s overall winner of the competition, getting a prize of R300 000, is Prodeliver Group, who took a prize of R300 000.
He had always wanted something that could make him passive income and he thought was it.
He and his partners bought a truck as a start, but while running the business they soon discovered that doing it part time was difficult as they would be underground most of the time and out of reach for their clients.
They then decided to quit their jobs and focus on their business on a full time basis.
Six employees and four trucks later, the business is still growing and they are targeting even more expansion.
The duo want to open their own depot and to ultimately have three depots in the country as well as their own warehouse.
They would also like to explore drone transportation in future.
Makhado said he was totally amazed when his company’s name was called.
“The level of completion was tough and I thought maybe if I’m lucky I’d win my category or be a runner-up, I just didn’t expect to be the overall winner of such a big competition. The prize money will be reinvested back into the business. We’ll use some of it for operational costs as we work on scaling and growing,” said Makhado.
As part of their prizes, all BIC finalists will exhibit their businesses at the Small Business Expo (SBE) from 6 to 8 September 2018 at the Ticketpro Dome in Northriding.
The expo helps SMEs to grow by giving them an opportunity to market themselves and interact with like-minded entrepreneurs, corporates, potential investors and clients.
Chairman of the Eskom Development Foundation, Chose Choeu, said the BIC is one of the foundation’s leading enterprise development initiatives.
“This year is particularly special as the BIC celebrates its tenth anniversary. It has been 10 solid years of contributing to economic development by propelling small businesses to higher levels of operation. This is a huge milestone and a sign that we are doing something right,” added Choeu.
Winners per category:
- Winner – Emilio’s Gourmet Foods (Johannesburg, Gauteng)
- First runner-up – Maiktronix (Kuruman, Northern Cape)
- Second runner-up – Sew Happy Primary Corporation (George, Western Cape)
Trade and Services
- Winner – Southside Plumbing and Construction (Eldorado Park, Gauteng)
- First runner-up – Machine and Mfusi (Klerksdorp, North West)
- Second runner-up – ATA Consulting (Ethekwini, KwaZulu-Natal)
Engineering and Construction
- Winner – Blessing.Connect (Boksburg, Gauteng)
- Runner-up – Phakama Services Group (Johannesburg, Gauteng)
Category winners scooped R125 000 each, first runners-up, R75 000 each while second runners-up each received R50 000.