Verigreen Success for TWC Entrepreneur.
“GROWTH OF RETAIL BUSINESS LARGELY ATTRIBUTED TO ITHALA,” SAYS LOCAL ENTREPRENEUR
Mike and Thina Maziya’s relationship as husband and wife blossomed into a successful business partnership after the couple identified a gap in the market that gave rise to an innovative, black-owned plastic manufacturing company.
Verigreen (Pty) Ltd, formerly Izaka Plastics, is a thriving plastic manufacturing company situated in Pinetown, and has been in operation for 14 years.
Like thousands of entrepreneurs across South Africa, Mike and Thina too were rejected by commercial banks before enquiries led them to Ithala, KwaZulu-Natal’s provincial development agency, where the wheels of success were set in motion.
“The growth of our retail business may be largely attributed to Ithala. The drawstring technology which was funded by Ithala has enabled us to launch our unique consumer brand called Supa Mama,” said Thina.
She explained that “drawstring technology” refers to a machine which enables the manufacturing of quality household refuse bags by means of a convenient and hygienic drawstring closure device.
“The bags are also sealed on the side which ensures the bag does not break at the bottom. Both features are made possible by the acquisition of this technology.”
She said she was attracted to Ithala’s approachability and the fact that the finance agency was geared towards assisting rising black entrepreneurs.
Thina is driven by her contribution to the economic growth of the country and the employment opportunities she creates to a needful community.
“The Supa Mama programme gives me an opportunity to impact people’s lives in a positive way. We uplift previously unemployed women through skills training in plastic waste collection and sorting. We then buy this waste from them, recycle it and then use it to manufacture our Supa Mama refuse bags.”
Born in Estcourt, 35-year-old Thina matriculated at The Wykeham Collegiate in Pietermaritzburg and thereafter obtained a Diploma in Marketing Management, NQF (National Qualifications Framework) level six, from The Institute of Marketing Management (IMM) through Varsity College.
Describing a typical day in her life, she said her day usually starts at 5am and is consumed by a multitude of activities including dropping her children off at school before settling in at the office where she is occupied by factory visits and meetings.
The dedicated mother said she makes time in between her busy work schedule to attend her children’s extra mural activities, do grocery shopping, assist with homework and prepare a wholesome dinner for her family before retiring to bed at 9:30pm.
Thina prides herself in being meticulous and her ability to identify the right opportunities whilst also focusing on the end goal.
The life lesson she learnt as an entrepreneur is that “companies are only as good as the people that work for them”.
“Sharing the same vision is very important. Delivering on your brand promise at all times will take you to the top.”
She said it was important to aspire to an accomplished mentor because business was unpredictable. She also emphasised the need for entrepreneurs to havea sound business plan in place when in pursuit of financial support.
A major challenge she has had to grapple with has been the frequent escalation of raw material prices.
Inspired by her father, an astute businessman who rose to the height of success before his untimely death at the age of 37, she is determined to expand her business operations with the support of her role-model husband.
Her recipe for success in life is to “know who you are and what you aspire to be”.
“Your desire to succeed must be greater than your fear of failure,” she affirmed.
With hopes to retire when her children are old enough to take over the reins of her flourishing business, she feels blessed to be in a position to be able to make a meaningful difference in lives of many families, which she describes as a most “humbling and fulfilling experience”.
When asked if she would recommend Ithala to other ambitious entrepreneurs, her immediate response was a resounding “of course”.
For more information on Ithala visit www.ithala.co.za or call 031 907 8911.
Issued by: Ithala Development Finance Corporation Limited
17 Isilo Drive, Umlazi, 4066