Khuliso Muthige is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of the MKS group.
1. Why did you decide to start your business?
Well, my story is a bit different, rather unique so to say. Entrepreneurship actually chose me. I had a perfect career, perfect job, well-paying salary, well over R100 000 pm at 25 years of age. I had the sports cars I wanted, lived in the apartment I desired, I had the 50inch screen, and the works. I actually had it going for me, but through that I kept hearing whispers of being much bigger than what I was doing. I kept on feeling that there is a whole bigger and better world out there for me. I read a lot of books and a lot of motivational quotes and kept feeding that voice until it grew so big and strong that I resigned December 2013 and launched my own company called MKS Group. I ventured into Logistics, IT, Luxury Service, Cleaning Services, General Maintenance and Philanthropy.
I made a turnover of a million Rand from the various ventures in the first year of being in business. I learned a lot, burnt my fingers a lot and here I am today, still standing and getting into bigger ventures!
I am now involved in Green Technology of Road Building and Houses projects.
2. What impact has running a business had on you and the community in which you operate?
I have had a tremendous impact. Since my inception into the business sphere, I have created over 50 jobS, both full time and part time. we are now looking at employing 100 people (youth and women) in the Green Roads and Houses project.
We have a religious give back function on Mandela Day #67ForMandela.
We donate computers to schools in the townships and offer repairs at no cost.
3. Would you say that your business is a success?
Success is relative, my personal success is cracking a R100 million nett with 100 million jobs created in Africa. My empire has tasted both success and failure, but currently we are doing well. so in a nutshell, yes, my business is a success.
4. What do you think are the top 5 most important qualities every entrepreneur should have?
1.Entrepreneurship is NOT a solution to laziness in the office and boom “I’m a boss” then drive a Lambo. Rather get a better job, when it rains it pours, no one will save you, you will hit the ground, very hard, be ready. Never be lazy, you need to have thick skin and no emotions!
2.Entrepreneurship is driven by vision, the leader who is the dream creator must have a plotted and planned game plan of how to realistically get to those dreams. You can’t get there alone, have the right team that u have shared the vision with and are in the clear of what it is you’re trying to achieve. Have a solid team!
3.Entrepreneurship needs an amoeba character individual, be able to fit in with anyone and be able to extract information that you want or need. Be humble yet deadly yet smart yet soft yet smooth.
4.Entrepreneurship is a pot seating on 3 legs- Marketing, Marketing and Marketing. With the digital age we are in, maximise the opportunity while aiming a bullseye of your target market.
5.Entrepreneurship is a village bicycle, it’s been tossed around a lot more than u think. Don’t waste time trying to re-invent the wheel, rather partner with a bigger company that is doing similar things to your idea you will not have to go through the hurdles. Be Smart!
5. Who is your role model?
I believe that Entrepreneurship is like a fingerprint. I have read a ton of books, but I haven’t come across a story that is similar to mine. Everyone has his/her unique story, especially in Africa where were still very much catching up to everyone else globally. So with that said, my role model is myself. I critique my moves and recheck my failures and maximise on my good. I do read a lot of books, from Guy Kawasaki, Robert Kiyosaki, Sir Richard Branson and and and. I’m well informed 🙂
6. Do you think it is important for entrepreneurs to have a mentor?
Yes! its extremely important! Although it’s difficult to find someone who has the exact same experiences as you, it’s always good to relate with someone who swam before. They will at least inform you what to expect and share with you on what NOT to do.
7. What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs out there?
Entrepreneurship in 2015 is not the same as the one in 2010. We are in the information age now. If you’re not clued up, you stand a high chance of not making it. Don’t quit your job because of being impulsive, smarten up rather, be nocturnal, assemble a team that works for you while you’re securing cash flow by going to work, it’s not as green as it seems from afar!
Be visible in networking seminars; link up with the best; network till u turn blue! Pitch pitch pitch! Your product/service must be aimed to the right audience and market it from Cape to Timbuktu! Be a trendsetter, wear confidence and make that paper!
Connect with Khuliso on LinkedIn