Mlungiseleli Tyatyaza from Kini Quantity Surveyors always knew he was born to be an entrepreneur. Describing Kini as the accountants of the construction industry Mlungiseleli has great plans ahead for his first venture.
Mlungiseleli started his career as videographer for family events such as graduations, weddings and funerals whilst he was studying to become a quantity surveyor at the Walter Sisulu University. “I would typically have events from Thursday to Sunday, however the business never prospered as most clients were family friends which meant payments would always come late, if they came at all,” Mlungiseleli remembers. He gave up on his filmmaker dreams, finished his degree and opened his quantity surveying practice. After working a few part-time jobs during his studies, he knew that he would never be able to work for any company and that’s hy he immediately jumped into his own ventures. “When I started working I hated the feeling of having to think up excuses for being late in the mornings. From my first formal employment I told myself that I can’t live like that for the rest of my life.”
Mlungiseleli got into quantity surveying after realising early in his school years that he had a knack for numbers and metrics, “I had to choose a career that dealt with numbers, and I met a guy who drove my dream car who also happened to be a quantity surveyor. That’s how I ended up in this field and I have no regrets,” Mlungiseleli laughs. Although Mlungiseleli’s life goal was to work for himself without a boss above him, it is actually because of his ‘boss’ that he ended up with MEDO. “My wife and business partner called me and advised that I must go to MEDO and apply for their programmes. She is the boss, and I had to be submissive to her authority and so I applied without asking any questions. I could sense from her excitement, however that this was going to take the business in the right direction.” His wife definitely did nudge Mlungiseleli in the right direction as Kini was chosen to be part of the BT/ISUZU/Rennies Supplier Development Programme. “I have learnt the art of striving to be unique in any business venture. I also learnt that when approaching clients for opportunities to concentrate on providing solutions to their pains rather than merely providing a service to them.”
Ten years into the future Mlungiseleli sees himself managing a group of highly profitable companies with Kini Quantity Surveyors having branched out nationally as well as the rest of Africa. “We provide professional cost consulting advice and cost management services to the construction industry, in Africa, infrastructure and development is still a challenge, however.” Mlungisileli firmly asserts in this regard that he sees Kini actively working to create a better South Africa, “I see Kini Quantity Surveyors contributing towards employment, stimulating the country’s economy and contributing towards the GDP.”
“Being an entrepreneur means being a risk taker, being your own boss, and creating opportunities for others. It’s all about saying ‘watch me do it’.” There’s no doubt about it, Mlungiseleli is an entrepreneur at heart, and we are sure we aren’t the only ones to ‘watch him’ do great things in the future.