Jonathan Ralph Kadurira, founder of The Mesh, Springtide Consultancy and Springtide Cleaning Services has encouraged youths especially job seekers to start their own enterprises right now and bootstrap their way into the business world.
He advised them not to wait for a conducive business environment, or for loans and venture investment before putting their business ideas into practice.
An entrepreneur, author and speaker, Ralph, is the brains behind one of Zimbabwe’s fastest growing talk show platforms, The Mesh.
The Mesh, is an engaging talk show where people, notably the youth, gather to discuss different important issues especially with invited guests who are knowledgeable in the subject matter in a fun filled environment under the banner Constructive Dialogue.
Since inception, the show has so far been graced by Dr Lance Mambondiani, CEO of BancABC, Trevor Ncube, the Chairman of Alpha Media Holdings and Simon Hammond, Managing Director of CABS Zimbabwe.
While speaking about his Springtide Cleaning business to zwnews24.com, Kadurira, author of the book, Fighting Ignorance, said that he started the cleaning business out of bootstrapping.
“I bootstrapped. That was the only efficient way to go about it especially in this economy we have. Don’t wait for a conducive environment. Don’t wait for loans or investment from venture capitalists or anyone. Don’t wait. Start now. Bootstrap yourself up. It’s possible” Said Jonathan
According to Investopedia, bootstrapping is: starting a business without external help or working capital. Entrepreneurs in the company survive through internal cash flow and are very cautious with their expenses.
He also added that he started offering cleaning services without much background in it but simply because he is an entrepreneur, he identified a need and devised solutions to address that need.
Below is the full interview between Jonathan Ralph Kadurira (JRK) and zwnews24’s Brian Kazungu.
zwnews24: Would you briefly describe the background, nature and mandate of your Springtide Cleaning business?
JRK: Springtide Cleaning is a fully integrated cleaning services company that provides comprehensive, high quality, reliable cleaning solutions to commercial, corporate, industrial and residential clients. We are now in our 2nd year of operation since March 2019.
zwnews24: What is the main motivation and major push for you to engage in the business that you are involved in?
JRK: I am a techno-preneur, I use tech to offer solutions that communities face and build up a business from there. As such, because of the need of innovative solutions in that area of business especially in my home country, I saw it fit to engage myself in this business.
zwnews24: What are the different products and services that you are offering? Would you describe what each of these products and services is all about and the intended benefit of each of these to your targeted and actual clients?
JRK: We provide an extensive range of quality safe hygienic services. We help maintain high standards of hygiene by providing high quality air freshening, clinical, medical and sharps disposal, sanitary bag dispensers, sanitary disposal units, soap and hand sanitizing, Toilet seat & Urinal sanitizing, Washrooms Dispensers and many other services.
More so, we are a competent and fully integrated company that is also increasing the standards of cleaning through advanced cleaning practices including green-cleaning cleaning in Zimbabwe and beyond.
We also offer post construction cleaning, recurring cleaning, and one-time deep cleaning as well as move in/move out cleaning services.
Chemicals: Our top of the range of chemical products provide a comprehensive, cost effective and environmentally friendly solution for all disinfection, cleaning, protection and maintenance requirements in commercial, corporate, industrial and residential establishments.
Detergents: Our detergents are best in quality and cover a wide range of applications; from stain and dirt removal to cleaning and sanitization. Our detergents are categorized as Commercial/Industrial Care, as well as Home and Personal Care
Cleaning accessories: Our home and office cleaning accessories provide a comprehensive cost effective and environmentally friendly solution that enables one to carry out a vast range of cleaning tasks in a cost saving and efficient manner.
zwnews24: How has the market responded to your products and services so far since inception and what can you attribute to such kind of a response?
JRK: The market has responded well. It is fair and I can attribute that to the business relations we have built and to the team I work with.
zwnews24: What is it that is unique about yourself, your team and your services which sets you apart and which also helps you to stand out among various service providers who are in the same category with you?
JRK: As Springtide Cleaning, we take pride in being efficient, reliable and thorough with our work.
zwnews24: What do you believe and understand are the main advantages to your clients when they make use of your company products and services in addressing their cleaning and hygiene issues?
JRK: The main advantage is Satisfaction! That’s what one gets when they hire us. We always provide excellent customer service. We are thorough and efficient, and we clean to high standards.
zwnews24: Do you have any background in this industry? If yes, could that have helped you in identifying the business opportunities behind your entrepreneurial drive?
JRK: The only background which I have in this regard is entrepreneurship, which is the ability to see a problem and then giving out a business solution.
zwnews24: What can you look back at and say that, so far, this has been your major achievements as an enterprise and what do you believe has greatly contributed towards such achievements?
JRK: As of today, our major achievement has been our ability to push ourselves and stand our ground in a congested market. It is because of the faith that we have in our products and services.
zwnews24: In a world where most people, especially the youth are failing to start and run their own enterprises because of lack of capital, how have you managed to launch and operate this initiative?
JRK: I bootstrapped. That was the only efficient way to go about it especially in this economy we have.
zwnews24: It is a fact that the current economic situation globally is challenging. As such, what is it that has helped you as a business to continue operating under some difficult conditions that you have encountered?
JRK: I can safely say that our work ethic and thoroughness in what we do has helped us to maintain our customers, get repeated jobs and also get referrals. This has kept us operational.
zwnews24: What are and what has been some of the operational challenges that you have encountered so far in the pursuit of your entrepreneurship vision and how have you dribbled past them?
JRK: The exponential rise in the number of cleaning companies operating within the industry has, of course, led to some great competition in the industry. However we are to remain favourites because of our agility in our work process.
zwnews24: Based on your experience, what advice can you give to unemployed youths and many other job seekers concerning entrepreneurship as a way of creating employment for themselves and others?
JRK: Don’t wait for a conducive environment. Don’t wait for loans or investment from venture capitalists or anyone. Don’t wait. Start now. Bootstrap yourself up. It’s possible
zwnews24: What are the current challenges happening in your industry or country which is affecting the viability of your business? In that regard, what are the strategies that you are putting in place for you to achieve your goals?
JRK: One challenge has been of labour, which is finding and keeping the right employees. To curb this, we did set up a formal recognition system that acknowledges employees who go above and beyond in providing quality service. We have also created a system for collecting employee feedback and making changes based on this feedback for a better work environment. Lastly, investing in new training programs that allow employees to learn new skills and expand their knowledge of the industry.
zwnews24: Where do you foresee your business in the future and what legacy do you want it to leave on earth?
JRK: We seek to be the leading and go-to cleaning company within the cleaning industry in Africa and beyond by consistently providing high quality services through maintaining and upgrading cleaning standards and upholding excellence in our provision of services to exceed the expectations of our clients. We can do all this because we have the drive, we have the tenacity and we have the faith.
The questions in this interview are adapted from the book, The SME HANDBOOK written by Brian Kazungu: https://amzn.to/32hZSlb