“Nothing is impossible if you create a plan and work the plan,” says Trudy Mkansi, Ambesha Africa.
Ambesha Africa’s story started in September 2016 with the company’s director Trudy Mkansi designing and manufacturing furniture. Fast forward to today, when the company employs 12 people and is well known for manufacturing high-quality local custom outdoor patio furniture and covers.
The company’s success is hinged on its uniqueness. Mkansi explains, “We manufacture our own wicker material known as synthetic cane, which is highly customisable, low on maintenance, affordable and mold-resistant. We are a great alternative to other furniture companies because we customise, design, and offer aftercare services. You can still come back to us a few years down the line to have your furniture refurbished!”
The last year was not easy for most companies because of the various COVID-19 pandemic lockdown regulations. However, Ambesha Africa weathered the storm by shifting its focus from manufacturing new furniture to furniture to save money for its clients. Despite the COVID-related slump experienced by most companies and to Mkansi’s delight, Ambesha Africa clients kept purchasing new furniture from the company and repaired furniture, indicating that the repair services were well received.
Going forward, Mkansi hopes to grow the refurb maintenance side of Ambesha Africa even further. In the past, Ambesha Africa could not accommodate the amount of repair work coming in due to financial constraints. She approached the company’s investors for the collateral to expand and hire new staff and they found the idea of expansion attractive.
Ambesha Africa retains several advantages by providing a niche among local retailers of much-needed services. Also, because the company is local, it doesn’t have to deal with import costs. In addition, the company keeps excellent financial records, giving Ambesha Africa leverage when talking to investors.
Ambesha Africa’s recipe for success is a combination of a unique locally manufactured product that the market appreciates coupled with passion, love for people and planning. According to Mkansi, “The things that make us successful are our passion about our work, our clients and employees understanding and complementing the Ambesha Africa vision, that I always have a plan, and great communication. The team knows what they are working towards.”
Running a business is not easy. Ambesha Africa’s director Mkansi advises young people, “If you believe in yourself, you can overcome the challenges”.