Sibongile Manganyi has had a very different upbringing compared to the rest of the kids in the townships. She had entrepreneurship thrashed down her throat at an early age, which provided her with the right framework to become a success at a later stage in her business career.
From an early age, her late father unwittingly set her on the entrepreneurial kinda life. He owned a small business in Soweto that supplied used bottles to bigger corporations including Makro, Game and many other bottle recycling agents around his area.
She worked with her father on many occasions and it was that early exposure that opened her eyes to the valuable principles of running and managing a company.
According to Sibongile, she considers herself very fortunate to have grown up in a family that was financially and materially poor, as this gave her the passion and hunger to succeed. The extremely valuable principles such as financial discipline, hard work, sacrifice and persistence were instilled at an early age.
She learnt the importance of customer service when she was only 12 years of age, she was running one of her father’s fruits & Veg stalls at a train station in Dube Village. Whenever sales were increasing or declining, she had to find out why.
When the day was done, she had to go back home and report the daily revenue to her father, which was on most occasions, in the region of R150 per day.
She realized earlier on that business was competition and customer retention. Sometimes she made recommendations to her father on how they could improve their services and offer a better products compared to the older ladies next to their stalls.
At that time though, she didn’t realize the value of the lessons she was getting, she just took running the business as part of the boring chores most kids go through.
But later on at 26, it was those same lessons that gave her the courage to quit her job and start her own company.
She launched Indigo Kulani Group in 2006, a real estate development company. Today the company has grown to a valuation of R100 million and has also expanded to include IKG Start-Up Capital, which was made to help Africa’s upcoming entrepreneurs.