Kevin Munsamy won the sustainability award in the national competition, acknowledging the work of his small Cornubia-based environmental monitoring consultancy, KCM Environmental Services, that helps companies comply with South African environmental regulations.
The 36-year-old obtained a BSc in chemical engineering from the University of Cape Town and went on to work for the firm SGS Environmental before being head-hunted by Apex Environmental where he worked for two years as an environmental manger before facing retrenchment. Unable to find a job, Munsamy decided to open his own business in 2015.
He saw a niche in the market for an independent auditing consultancy that would help companies contribute to establishing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030 and deal with regulations regarding the imminent carbon tax.
“It was really a struggle at first because we didn’t have capital and with no business experience and no capital we were almost destined to fail if it wasn’t for perseverance,” Munsamy said.
He was eventually offered a lucrative position with a firm in Saudi Arabia but declined it to grow his business instead. His brother Havern, a mechanic and “excellent people’s person”, joined the business to work on sales but he tragically died in a car crash after just a year of them working together.
Munsamy’s business specialises in emissions testing, water quality - Legionella monitoring, environmental noise testing and soil pollution. His field teams conduct site investigations, sampling and analysis, monitoring and interpretation for business clients.
“We are here to help corporations comply because no matter how big or small they are, they have an impact on the environment,” Munsamy said.
Today, KCM Environmental Services has offices in Pretoria and Durban, employing five people.
Munsamy plans to grow the business and employ up to 35 people by 2020 through establishing 10 field teams and an SA National Accreditation System laboratory before expanding into countries with extensive mineral deposits such as the Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of the Congo.