Gatsheni Sizwe Weathers The COVID Storm

Construction health and safety consulting operation Gatsheni Sizwe was perfectly poised to take advantage of lockdown when all its clients, as well as many other businesses, needed PPE and hand sanitizer.

“Of course I have an established network of local suppliers and since I’m a regular customer, I was near the front of the line for stock at the beginning of the pandemic,” commented entrepreneur Clive Ndlovu.

When asked how he markets his business, the reply is immediate, “I regularly update my WhatsApp status. When I have a special offer or a new product line, I simply post it as a status and my phone starts ringing.”

This kind of creativity and resourcefulness has earned him clients in both the public and private sectors.

“A business lesson I learnt very early on is not to become rigid, since the business environment is constantly changing. When I realised the need for flexibility, I immediately saw more opportunities coming my way,” said Ndlovu.

Ndlovu is enthusiastic about Project Reignite and says that the learning material has been informative and educational. He particularly found the section on branding very helpful. “Of course, the subsidy on my rent has also allowed me to keep my business doors open. While I was trading successfully, my volumes were down.”

The name of the company, Gatsheni Sizwe, is derived from Ndlovu’s clan name, descended from the Zulu Nation. “Sizwe means ‘the nation’ and the name represents my roots. I’m a naturally optimistic person and I believe in my product; I look forward to building my business even more,” he said.