How Jeandre van Derhan Used His Last R820 To Launch A Steel Company Worth Millions

According to a research from Credit Suisse, more than 1% of adults(5 million+) worldwide were millionaires for the first time in 2020 despite economic damage from the Covid-19 pandemic.

South Africa’s Jeandre van Derhan, who was 22 at that time, formed part of that list. During the pandemic, he used his last R820 to start a steel company that quickly generated millions.

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After completing high school, Jeandre decided to pursued a career in aviation but he later abandoned that dream after realising that he was more interested in becoming an entrepreneur as opposed to sitting in a cubicle the whole day.

After dropping out of aviation school, Jeandre hopped from job to job in the steel industry.

“Right after school I started working for a steel engineering company. I was appointed to buy steel for the company. That’s where I got most of my knowledge,”

Jeandre had no idea that that the knowledge he gained in the workplace would one day work to his advantage. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, it affected parts of the steel industry.

“At that time, steel was very scarce because ArceloMittal SA are the country’s biggest steel producer. While they were closed for three months, there was a big scarcity of steel.”

He quickly used his last R820 to register his company, Steelkor Steel and Pipe, after securing a client who urgently needed steel urgently because they manufactured for Ford, BMW, and Toyota.

“I knew I couldn’t help anyone without the stock. That motivated me to open my own company and sell to my clients through my own business.”

The client made it possible for Steelkor Steel and Pipe to generate R80 000 in its first sale.

“My first order was R80 000. Within 3 months, I’d grown into monthly turn over of between R300 000 and R500 000.”

In the first financial year, Steelkor Steel and Pipe generated an annual turnover of about R920 000 in just the first five months, and has since went higher as more orders came in.

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Steelkor Steel and Pipe is now valued at R7.5+ million, and also employs five people. On top of that, Jeandre revealed he’s in the process of building another 600 square metre store where after completion, 10 more people will be employed.

Although Jeandre had no formal training in his journey to the top, he revealed to Business Insider that he owes a lot of his expertise to the advice of a lot of people, including former US President Donald Trump and his book, Think Big and Kick Ass: In Business and in Life.

“Since I started my business, I have completely looked up to Donlad Trump. His momentum in business is just… him and Elon Musk.”

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Advice to aspiring entrepreneurs??

Jeandre advises anyone looking to open their own business to go in with a vast amount of knowledge and do what they’re good at.

“Start something that you are good at and build yourself up, that will help you make yourself better.”


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