Mkhari prop­erty com­pany will be go­ing in­ter­na­tional

The Sunday Independent - - FEATURES - Nt­siki Nt­si­bande

IPELENG Mkhari, who over­came fi­nan­cial hur­dles to be­come chief ex­ec­u­tive of Mot­seng In­vest­ment Hold­ings, has called for prac­ti­cal ca­reer guid­ances to shape the fu­ture of youths.

Speak­ing dur­ing an in­ter­view, Mkhari said: “I think some­times the ca­reer guid­ance that we get in schools is not quite prac­ti­cal. When I got to var­sity I just opted for op­tions that could be done.”

Her dream was to be­come a psy­chol­o­gist but she joined the cut­throat busi­ness world in her early 20s af­ter com­plet­ing a Bach­e­lor of So­cial Science de­gree from the Univer­sity of Na­tal. And she has never looked back. She also com­pleted the Ex­ec­u­tive Devel­op­ment Pro­gramme at Wits Busi­ness School.

“A good ed­u­ca­tion and sac­ri­fice are the key as­pect of join­ing the busi­ness world,” said Mkhari.

Mkhari co-founded Mot­seng 19 years ago and part­nered with pri­vate and stock ex­change listed com­pa­nies to grow its op­er­a­tions in Le­sotho and Mozam­bique.

Mot­seng, which em­ploys al­most 600 peo­ple, es­tab­lished the Delta Prop­erty Fund in 2010 and two years later was listed on the Jo­han­nes­burg Stock Ex­change.

“We have gone from be­ing a South African busi­ness based in Gaut­eng to be­ing a busi­ness that is in­ter­na­tional; we started look­ing at other ge­og­ra­phy.

“Our fu­ture goals are that we con­tinue to grow across the con­ti­nent. We have the ap­petite to look at other South­ern African Devel­op­ment Community (Sadc) coun­tries as our growth path,” she said.

Mkhari adds that part­ner­ing with prop­erty man­age­ment group Mar­riott brought in­ter­est­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“Con­sol­i­da­tion is very im­por­tant for us, we have re­ally shown our per­se­ver­ance and abil­ity to stay in the prop­erty sec­tor,” she said.

She re­vealed that her com­pany faced fi­nan­cial chal­lenges when it started.

“I think the key chal­lenges have been ac­cess to mar­ket and fund­ing,” she said.

Ear­lier in her ca­reer, she es­tab- lished the first black woman-owned and man­aged Closed Cir­cuit tele­vi­sion ( CCTV) busi­ness called Phosa Iliso. She how­ever said the prop­erty mar­ket in it­self was grow­ing and chang­ing.

“There is a lot of in­tro­duc­tion of in­ter­na­tional ser­vice providers and in­ter­na­tional com­peti­tors, so we need to stay close to that type of growth path as well as tech­nol­ogy,” she added.

“What is most im­por­tant for us is to be able to grow and that re­quires con­sol­i­da­tion, part­ner­ing with big­ger com­pa­nies and to be sus­tain­able as a busi­ness,” she said.

Mkhari added that be­ing an en­tre­pre­neur taught her good lessons in life.

“You have to be a risk-taker, some­one who fights a lot for what they be­lieve in.

“Some­times you will have to be able to walk away from things that you like in or­der to have a big­ger vi­sion for the busi­ness that you want to build,” she said.

Mkhari, mother of three and wife of Power FM Ra­dio Chair­per­son Given Mkhari, val­ues her fam­ily most.

“In the last 10 to 12 years it has been about the kids on how they are. Work is still a big part of my life but fam­ily needs you to lead,” Mkhari says.

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