Mosodu Construction & Projects
Mosodu Construction & Projects is a black-owned construction and construction maintenance company, based in Emalahleni, Mpumalanga. Having completed the Seriti Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) Programme in 2021, the company is now on a firm footing and positioned for future growth.
Established in 2010, Mosodu Construction & Projects initially focused on providing painting and renovation services but wanted to expand and diversify its service offerings to grow. Having identified a new direction, Mosodu Construction & Projects’ suite of services was expanded to include maintenance and repair work, building of new structures, plumbing, road maintenance, transportation services and the installation of security cameras. The company employs 13 people and, while small, has a well-equipped team that has the knowledge, skills and experience to deliver quality services. Its determination to succeed is based on its adherence to its founding values, which are integrity, teamwork, commitment, excellence, delivering quality, attention to detail and meeting deadlines. Mosodu Construction & Projects endeavours to work with organisations and individuals who share these values.
Despite being in business for over a decade, Mosodu Construction & Projects’ biggest challenge was a lack of sustained growth. The management team identified the unrealised access to markets as a major limiting factor that prevented the company from attaining any of the goals and milestones that it had set for itself. A major concern was the company’s inability to effectively market itself to the right client base, with most of its marketing done via word of mouth. It also struggled to manage its finances and had challenges securing enough work to grow its bottom line. Furthermore, Mosodu was going through a transition phase, with the day-to-day running of the company and its majority shareholding set to be transferred to the founder’s daughter, Ulrica Solomons.
Solomons was the company’s Human Resources (HR) Manager and she initially felt that she did not have sufficient entrepreneurial and leadership skills and experience to lead the company. She felt that she also lacked the construction industry experience that her father relied upon to start the business. Another huge setback for Mosodu Construction & Projects was the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, which saw the company suspend all operations for several months. As a result, its turnover declined by 32% from the previous year, with the construction industry being one of the hardest hit during lockdown. Solomons realised that Mosodu Construction & Projects needed an urgent intervention if it was to continue operating. She felt that the company needed guidance and training to understand what it was doing wrong so that it could close the gaps and improve in the areas where it was underperforming.
In 2020, Mosodu Construction & Projects applied and was selected to join the Seriti ESD Programme, which was designed to identify Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) in the specified local communities in which Seriti Coal operates. Seriti contracted Zevoli Growth Partners to develop and implement the ESD programme on its behalf, in line with Seriti’s commitment to support local SMMEs in acquiring essential business skills needed to expand their operating capacity. A recruitment and awareness campaign attracted more than 500 applications from SMMEs. The ESD programme was a capacity and capability building and mentorship initiative, held between February and July 2021. The structured mentorship and training programme was aimed at helping SMMEs improve their operational efficiency, expand market share, grow strategically, and align to a level of sustainability.
The programme identified several problem areas that had to be addressed within the business, namely its business concept, customer relations and operations. Mosodu received training and guidance via the Mentorship and Coaching, Business Growth Learning Programme and Digital Marketing modules of the ESD programme. Additionally, the company, received several tools and resources, including a financial management system that could track its finances, create quotes, invoices and payslips at the touch of a button. It also received a project management system to manage its time, teams, and projects in a systematic way. The programme also included a complete corporate identity revamp, including an update of its logo and setting up of a website.
Having completed the Seriti ESD Programme, Mosodu Construction & Projects reports that it is doing considerably well, despite operating in a tough market that is still recovering from the impact of COVID-19. The company benefited significantly from the programme, which provided it with the skills and knowledge to adapt to changing market conditions, such as to the disruption caused by the pandemic. Mosodu is optimising the marketing and financial systems it received and is now able to market itself well to the appropriate client base. Additionally, the business is now able to manage its finances more effectively, including its cashflow when it secures a contract. Crucially, Mosodu experience a 57% revenue growth between the start and the end of the programme. This has resulted in a significant change in how the business operates. Thus far, it has secured a number of small contracts, positively impacting its bottom line, and is also better positioned to tender for bigger projects. Solomons, who has since taken over as majority shareholder and CEO, believes the programme also benefited her personally, giving the skills and confidence to be a leader and entrepreneur.