CAPE TOWN – Durban-born businesswoman, Indrani Govender at the age of 47 started her own construction business called Ricinz Construction to provide for her family.
Founded in 2010, the single mother of two with her business provides construction, electrical and telecommunications services to public and private sector entities.
With more than two decades of retail experience under her belt, she decided to venture into entrepreneurship after attending a women’s empowerment workshop.
"I worked in retail for 25 years where I started as a packer, saleslady admin, controller floor manager and then on to being a Manager," said Govender.
Govender completed the National Home Builders Registration Council women empowerment programme with the Gordon Institute for Business Science in 2015.
She completed a course offered in partnership with the University of Limpopo and Eskom Training Academy in 2016 for small, micro and medium-sized enterprises (SMMEs) to grow their businesses and in 2017 she completed a Small Enterprise Development Agency small enterprise programme that lasted a year.
“At first operating in an industry dominated by men was somewhat intimidating. However, I was motivated to prove those who frowned upon me wrong by joining the NHBRC programme with GIBS where I emerged second out of 100 participating businesswomen,” she said.
“I am determined to help young people, especially women. I have conducted empowerment workshops in rural areas where I impart my learnings to help create a pipeline of entrepreneurs and promote job creation.”
She believes that it is important for entrepreneurs to acquire business skills to ensure the profitability of their businesses which will, in turn, boost the country’s economy.
Govender recently returned from a trip to India where several companies expressed their support to help drive projects that will increase opportunities for job creation and infrastructure development in KwaZulu-Natal.
“When Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal (TIKZN) hosted the India delegation, I was invited and introduced to founder and global chairperson of Market Next International Forum, Shine Gopal. He appointed me as the South African president of the company.
“I applied for the PUM programme and TIKZN covered the flight and accommodation expenses of my mentor from the Netherlands, Gert van Battenburg, who helped grow my business by 300 percent through his mentorship.”
The PUM programme is a collaboration between TIKZN and the Netherlands. PUM Netherlands is a global mentorship programme that brings well experienced retired business leaders to South Africa to mentor exporters to grow their markets. TIKZN assists with the selection, recruitment of exporters as well as the facilitation of the application of this programme.
Govender has been successful and was also able to achieve many awards such as:
- Ligugu Lami award SME 2012
- Kwa Dukuza mayoral award for woman achiever for 2012
- Kwaukuza Mayoral Wealth and Creation Award 2014
- National Job Creations Award Winner for Shanduka Black Umbrellas 2014
- National Award Most Jobs Created 2015
- Certificate for the dedication of Youth and Women Empowerment presented by the Premier Senzo Mchunu
- Ricinz Construction was also awarded the Business Excellence Award in 2017.
- Govender was able to kick-start her business with a help of a friend.
"I did not source funding. I was given R 20 000 by a dear friend of mine to kick-start my business", said Govender.
For the future, Govender wants to expand her business intentionally.
"I see my company succeeding on an international level and continuing with wealth and job creation and growing my business for my staff," said Govender.
– BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE