ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Building a sustainable future

Princess Ndiweni, Shando's Construction Managing Director
Princess Ndiweni - Shando's construction.jpg

There is no doubt that the construction industry is a man’s world but a fearless Princess Ndiweni together with her business partner, Dickson Dladla, are tackling it head-on.

“I want people to know that Shando’s Construction is a small company with a big vision,” says Managing Director Princess Ndiweni.

This former administrator at Sasol became an entrepreneur because, “I’ve always dreamt of owning my own business and when the opportunity presented itself to start a company, I jumped at it. The zeal of owning a business in a male dominated industry was just a plus for me, I wanted to be one of those women who face the challenge head-on and simply do better and excel in it,” she explains.

Ndiweni adds, “My passion is to be part of a transformed and competitive construction industry that delivers quality infrastructure, promotes economic growth and also become a company that cares for its employees.” Besides building construction, the company offers a number of services including plumbing, paving, landscaping, electrical, carpentry and painting among other specialities.

The business continues to grow since she and Dladla started it in 2011. The first project they won was pure luck, she approached a company in Potchefstroom for a project but she didn’t give up. She continued to pursue the opportunity until they gave her a chance, however, it turns out that the contract was meant for another woman also named Princess. She grabbed this chance with both hands and never looked back. In four years they have worked on both major and small projects. However, for these two, the size of the project does not matter – they make sure they leave behind top quality work.

It’s this quality work that has opened doors for them. Over the years, the company has achieved great results working closely with construction giants such Group five, WBHO, Dalmar Construction, Trecon construction, Cross Border, Gorogang and Toro ya Africa.  Some of the projects that Shando’s Construction have completed referrals – an impressive feat considering that the partners did not have any experience in this industry when they started - but they learned and persevered. “We gained knowledge as we learned and we are still learning even now. We welcome any grooming from the companies which we work with because we also want to grow.” says Ndiweni.

Shando’s Construction’s 100 employees are scattered across the Gauteng province working on various projects which include the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital – it’s working with Group Five on this project. It’s also building a fire station in Germiston, renovating schools and homes and one of the small projects it’s working on is building office blocks in Sandton. Previously, the company built the retirement homes in Waterfall Estate, miners’ accommodation in Potchefstroom and was contracted by Anglo American to build a block of flats in Rustenburg.

Another great referral came from a friend who introduced them to The Hope Factory. The duo joined the Enterprise and Supplier Development mentorship programme and according to their mentor, they are thriving in their business. “It’s been a great experience to have someone who’s neutral listen to your ideas and give an objective advice. This has made our decision making much easier,” she says.

The owners want to grow the company so it becomes a significant player among the best and leave a legacy. Part of this growth also includes introducing more women to the industry. Currently, Shando’s Construction employs 2 female safety reps and wants to expand this in the future. The company is also giving back, and has provided an unemployed youth the opportunity of an internship for gaining valuable work experience.

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