In a country where unemployment is a reality for many, entrepreneur Rodney Maduwa made it his personal mission to create opportunities not only for himself, but for many others too.
Born in the small village of Ha-Maduwa in Limpopo, Maduwa founded his own paint manufacturing company, Maduwa Paint World, in 2013. Maduwa Paint World is a specialist paint manufacturing company that makes paint for commercial and industrial uses. The business, which started in a small plant in the township of Soshanguve, has now moved to a large warehouse in Rosslyn, Pretoria and has over 35 employees in Gauteng and Limpopo.
“I intend to train at least 50 people this year and it’s possible because, by the grace of God, the business is running very well,” Maduwa says.
He adds that he believes that providing skills development is one of the ways to eradicate unemployment.
“Vocational skills are especially important, and we must all work together to make a difference. This is what will help the country combat issues of unemployment,” he says.
He speaks to TRUELOVE about his journey.
Where did Maduwa Paint World begin?
My journey started when I was still working for Nissan SA. I had ideas that I wanted to bring to life. So I established Maduwa Paint World. We had a small manufacturing site in Soshanguve and I would go there after work. At some point, I decided to leave my job and focus on my paint manufacturing company. Since then, we have been growing from strength to strength.
Funding is a major issue for many entrepreneurs, how did you go about in acquiring funding for your business?
Yes, that is definitely true for many entrepreneurs especially for many start-up businesses. I was one of those young people who are not fortunate to get funding from any organisation and I had to fund myself with the little that I had to start Maduwa Paint World.
What were some of the challenges you faced when starting your business?
One of the challenges that I faced at the beginning was that I still had a day job. I would knock off work in the evening and go to the manufacturing premise in Soshanguve. That process was very tiring but after I was settled enough, I quit my job and solely focused on my company.
What are some challenges you continue to face within your business in present day?
The paint manufacturing industry still has only a few black people in it. The challenges that are constantly there is being taken seriously as a young black paint manufacturer at higher levels and that could play a crucial role in impeding one's growth within the industry.
Has manufacturing your own paint always been something you wanted to do?
Yes! I have always wanted my own paint manufacturing company from when I was much younger. That's why when I had the opportunity to do my studies, I aligned it to polymer chemistry so that I could gain as much knowledge as I could. Even up to today I'm still passionate about the paint industry and to be part of it is a complete blessing.
What advice do you have for a person who would want to get into the same industry you are in?
One true advice is that it is not easy at all. Therefore, if you want to be in the paint manufacturing industry you need to develop a thick skin. Some education as well will take you further. Invest in that. Also, one needs to be creative in order survive in the industry as it is a very challenging industry to be in.
Where do you hope to see Maduwa Paint World in the next 5 years?
When Covid-19 hit there was a glitch that we realised in South Africa as far as manufacturing paint in South Africa is concerned. We all source our raw materials from abroad. When the movement of goods was stopped due to the lockdown, the paint manufacturing industry in South Africa took a knock. We want to change such from happening. We want to set ourselves apart by locally producing raw materials. That's what we are working towards achieving.