'Cash flow is queen in a business' - Indrani Govender
The entrepreneur of the week wants her company to be a leader in entrepreneur development in the country
Name of company: Ricinz Constructions
Years in existence: 5
Can you tell us a little bit about your company and what you do.
We are based in KwaZulu-Natal. Ricinz Construction is a 100% female and black-owned and operated construction company. Our mission is to provide innovative and catalytic human settlements solutions that integrate communities and foster social cohesion through housing design and delivery.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background –personal, educational and professional.
I was born and raised in Kwa Dukuza, KZN. I've been divorced for 23 years. I am a single mother of two sons and a daughter-in-law.
I'm currently studying at the Gordon Institute of Business Science in their NHBRC programme for women in construction and ESKOM’S Training Academy Programme for Electrical Contractors. I come from a retail background and have spent 25 years working my way up from a packer to management in retail.
What were some of the obstacles you faced starting out, and how did you overcome them?
Financial challenges for startup business include: lack of assistance from the banking industry, and access to finance.
Other challenges faced include difficulty getting payments from municipalities. As an SME it is heartbreaking to see how many of my peers in the industry had to close their doors because of this major challenge. I overcame these challenges with the financial assistance of friends and well wishers.
How many people does your company employ?
What is your overall vision for your business?
To employ as many people as I possibly can. We currently train and develop students from the local colleges into industry. I want us to be one of the leading companies for entrepreneur development in the country.
"Look to those who have walked the walk"
What do you think it takes to establish and run a successful business in South Africa?
Perseverance, determination, teamwork, partnerships in all sectors and networking.
How did you finance your business, how difficult or easy was the process?
I received financial assistance from friends and well wishers
When did you know that you were an entrepreneur?
During my retail career I took a retail store from a turnover of R2.2million to a R10 million turnover in one year. It was then that I knew that I had an entrepreneurial spirit in me. If I could do this for the retail store, I could do it for me and my "family" (team).
How would you describe your leadership style?
The mother of my "family"(team).
What three pieces of advice would you offer young entrepreneurs starting out today?
Never give up. Look to those who have "walked the walk", and seek out a mentor.
What do you wish you had known starting out?
Cash flow is Queen in a business. My error was making cash purchases instead of purchasing on account, and this subsequently left my cash flow strained.
And finally, do you believe in luck, hard work or both?
A bit of both but most importantly FAITH in myself and my "family" (team)!