Johnson Bongani Vetbooi | Bolwa Security Services
Programme sponsor: Deutsche Bank
“Understanding the cashflow and financials in a business becomes the lifeblood of growth”
After serving in the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) for eight years and in the South African Police Service (SAPS) for 15, former Lieutenant Colonel Johnson Bongani Vetbooi started his own company. “After 23 years in security, I wanted to use my skills to create a safe environment and protect communities,” he explains.
Bolwa Security Services provides a range of security services, with physical guarding being its primary focus. Accredited by PSiRA (Private Security Industry Regulation Act 56 of 2001), Bolwa Security offers its customers tailor-made solutions. “Our officers are highly trained. We try to exceed expectations and give customers peace of mind,” Johnson says proudly.
When he started his business, it was the beginning of a new journey for him. “I have never run a business before, let alone sold anything like this. I had to seek assistance to gain the skills I needed,” Johnson says.
By participating on a Deutsche Bank business-development programme designed to help people like Johnson with no prior background, he came to understand the fundamentals of business. “From marketing to strategy to sales, I got to do a lot of introspection on the programme. We set out indicators of where we wanted to go and what we wanted to achieve through rigorous planning and target setting,” he says. The knowledge he gained on the programme helped him keep his business afloat during the Covid-19 pandemic. “Emphasis was placed on pivoting and looking at other business segments to maintain resilience in challenging times.”
Bolwa Security Services entered the Deutsche Bank programme, powered by Raizcorp with a staff count of two security guards and now employs 12. His turnover has increased by 500%. “Understanding the cashflow and financials in a business becomes the lifeblood of growth. There is a massive difference from where we started to where we are now and where we are going,” he says.
In a thank-you message to his sponsor he says, “What Deutsche Bank and Raizcorp are doing is amazing. I appreciate your time, your resources and your will to build the country where it matters. It has been a great journey.”