Livhu Takalani | O2 Transport Services
O2 Transport Services is a road-freight transport company specialising in office and home furniture removal services and business-to-business deliveries. Founder Livhu Takalani left the comfort of corporate employment to found the business in 2016, and used money she had saved from bonuses to fund her first vehicle. She wanted to manage her own time, achieve financial freedom, create employment opportunities and make a difference in the service industry, something that has always been close to her heart. Trucking holds a particular appeal for Livhu. As she remarks, “Something about those long-haul trucks on the road makes me turn and look with a sense of appreciation at the impact everyone in that value chain is having on the economy.”
It was a challenge for Livhu to break into such a male-dominated industry, and it took some time to get to grips with the technical aspects of the business. In 2018, Livhu started on Wood’s Supply Chain Support programme, and began to expand her role in the business from being a technician and manager to being an opportunity-seeking, organisation-building entrepreneur.
Over the course of her time on the programme, Raizcorp has helped Livhu to separate her personal finances from those of the business, to comply with supplier requirements, to understand her target market and to build her networks and support structures.
O2 Transport Service’s ability to comply with supplier requirements soon opened the door to contracts with corporate clients, and the business has taken on larger and larger contracts as its turnover and fleet have grown. Livhu also managed to build up financial reserves which helped to cushion the blow dealt by the Covid-19 lockdown at the beginning of 2021. This bought her the time she needed to respond to the crisis by diversifying her client base and seeking out clients who provide essential services. In fact, one of O2’s largest clients was acquired during the lockdown.
Her personal development as an entrepreneur has also served her well. Says Livhu, “The multiple challenges we experienced due to Covid-19 and the associated lockdown demanded resilience from us. We had to draw on our inner strength and tap into our networks.”
Livhu’s advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to have the courage to start, even if the timing doesn’t feel quite right and you have to start small. To entrepreneurs who are already running their own businesses, she emphasises the need for resilience and determination. “Have the wisdom to persevere. Focus on your strengths, celebrate small achievements and never be discouraged by setbacks . . . they are stepping stones to success,” she says.
To Wood, Livhu says, “Thank you for the valuable learning opportunity. Please keep investing in and supporting upcoming entrepreneurs.”