SAB Boosts Youth Entrepreneurs Finalist 13| Zito Aliminium & Glass | Thozama Hopa | #eBizEntrepreneurs

Cell: 078 608 1657
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.mawubusiness.co.za/Zitoalluminiums (coming soon)

Thozama Hopa established Zito Aluminium and Glass in 2013, a business that specialises in the manufacture of aluminium and in addition, it is an accredited National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) builder.

The business manufactures aluminium for windows (casement, sliding and folding) and doors (sliding, folding, pivoting/swinging, hinged, stable and laser cut design). In addition, it supplies glass that includes monolithic, laminated safety, toughened safety, double glazing, and next renewable generation (NRG)/energy efficient. Zito Aluminium and Glass also supplies green efficiency products – such as solar geyser, solar panels and LED lights as well as a fitting, repair and maintenance service of the above listed services. Last but not least, the business sells cleaning products that are approved by Wispeco Aluminium.

Zito Aluminium and Glass is based in Mdantsane in East London, with plans to open another branch in Soweto on Sea in Port Elizabeth.
Thozama Hopa currently employs five people and plans to employ a minimum of 10 by 2020.

BizEntrepreneur-on-BizRadio-600x250 Thozama Hopa in conversation with eBizRadio’s Nic von Stein

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To help develop the business, Thozama has set a series of goals. Short term, he would like to achieve a number of things:

  • Obtain accreditation from the Association of Architectural Aluminium Manufacturers of South Africa (AAAMSA);
  • Recruit skilled employees as the business grows to meet demand;
  • Expand the workshop, to be on par with industry standards;
  • Build strategic partnerships with other businesses to ensure sustainable growth;
  • Secure another Rebosis Property Fund for maintenance;
  • Commence on memorandum of understanding (MOU) agreement whereby he will train prison inmates and parolees on aluminium fabrication and glass cutting as part of a rehabilitation programme.

Long term, Thozama would like to:

  • Start an incubator for start-ups in the aluminium industry within Mdantsane and surrounding areas;
  • To be included in the procurement of Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) housing and commercial buildings as an aluminium and aluminium cleaning product supplier, as well as maintenance.
  • Build relationships with estate agents – ultimately fit homes with aluminium products;
  • Lead the supply of green efficiency products in the Mdantsane area;
  • Expand its export of aluminium and glass products into neighbouring African countries;
  • To have a direct link with Wispeco Aluminium and purchase products straight from them and not a subsidiary;
  • Develop a recycling plant – aluminium and glass;
  • Open the second branch in PE.

As a SAB KickStart Boost finalist, Thozama is taking what he has learnt in the programme to expand the business – to a higher level than when he first started. He would like access to market and funds to purchase machinery. In addition, he would like to break into building sector and government tenders.

The SAB KickStart Boost programme has been highly beneficial with Productively Training being the highlight for me so far – it has shown me how to run a business properly, day-to-day. In my opinion, the Lean Business platform is a great business tool for start-ups.”

Other

  • Inspiration: I received my inspiration from Heine Johnson, the director of Almex Aluminium in East London. Through good business practice, he has penetrated the supplier chain of big corporates and has opened branches in other cities.
  • What drives you and motivates you as an entrepreneur? The fact that there are families counting on me to put food on the table (including my own) is what drives me to ensure my business is successful. I am also motivated by the social impact sustainable businesses can have in communities and I strive to be one of them.
  • Advice to fellow entrepreneurs: Being an entrepreneur is not easy at all. Here are my pieces of advice that may be helpful.
  1. Be prepared to be at your lowest, at times, with only your belief in your product or service to get you through.
  2. Make sure you research your field thoroughly – for example, look into compliant issues and accreditation – because you cannot take these details for granted.
  3. Be patient.
  4. Learn as much as you can – on your own or from a mentor.
  5. Complain less about what you do not have – rather get creative and make it happen for yourself! Successful people are not those with money but those who are resourceful.
  6. Lastly, to my fellow entrepreneurs – a luta continua!
  • Something from your entrepreneur journey: My entrepreneurship journey has been a bumpy ride – with many ups and downs – but it has been worth every second. I like to focus on the ups (more than the downs) and had the pleasure of representing the Eastern Cape twice in entrepreneurial programmes and competitions. First, in 2014, when I was a finalist in the Raizcorp ‘Pitch & Polish’ competition and now, a finalist in the SAB KickStart programme. Not only is it a confidence booster for me, but also for my employees, because they are the backbone behind the business’ success.
  • Something from your entrepreneur journey: My entrepreneurship journey has been a bumpy ride – with many ups and downs – but it has been worth every second. I like to focus on the ups (more than the downs) and had the pleasure of representing the Eastern Cape twice in entrepreneurial programmes and competitions. First, in 2014, when I was a finalist in the Raizcorp ‘Pitch & Polish’ competition and now, a finalist in the SAB KickStart programme. Not only is it a confidence booster for me, but also for my employees, because they are the backbone behind the business’ success.

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