Andile Nqandela | Brimis Engineering
I am a mechanical engineer by profession and, before starting Brimis Engineering in 2013, I worked at Eskom, Anglo Platinum and SABS in various engineering roles. My passion for fixing broken things is ultimately what led me to identify a gap in the market and start my own business. We offer quality mechanical engineering solutions to mainly power generation and petrochemical companies, mines and water boards. We specialise in pumps, compressors and industrial valves used in piping. I take great personal pleasure in restoring expensive equipment to its original condition so that clients do not have to incur additional capital expenditure on replacing faulty equipment.
I experienced a number of challenges when I started out and, over the course of my journey, have managed to overcome partnership disputes, former staff members turning into competitor, cash-flow issues, losses on projects, sabotage, company asset abuse, intimidation and corruption, among others.
I heard about the Raizcorp programme in 2016 when some of their entrepreneurs were featured on national television and decided to apply. While on the programme, I learned more about finances, developing a USP, working on the business instead of in the business, and the importance of developing systems. The most valuable part of the programme was the guiding sessions which helped me a great deal in overcoming the challenges the business kept facing.
I believe that the Raizcorp programme played an important role in the several awards that Brimis Engineering has won including the Eskom Business Investment Competition, ROCCI/FNB award and Top 40 Gazelles. The programme also encouraged us to acquire our ISO 9001:2015 certification.
Since joining the programme, my turnover has doubled and I have grown my staff from eight to 36! Our clients include Eskom, Exxaro, Anglo American, South32, Rand Water and Babcock and we have a very healthy pipeline of new business.
My advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is that they should have laser focus, remain open-minded, seek advice from those who have already walked the entrepreneurial path and collaborate more to create capacity. Personally, I am also a great reader of business books which can provide valuable insights and advice. I believe in empowering yourself through self-study.
I am very grateful to AMEC Foster Wheeler for sponsoring me on the Raizcorp programme and for the difference it has made to Brimis Engineering. Thank you!
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