Lobatse based businessman, Ompatile Ditshupo started his brick moulding business from humble beginnings many years ago, but when he came into contact with Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) in 2007 he started climbing up the ladder of success brick by brick.
Ditshupo started his company in 2001 after obtaining funding from the then Financial Assistant Policy (FAP).
“I approached LEA in 2007 and they assisted me by facilitating access to financing by First National Bank.
Since then I started expanding my business by the day and event today it’s still growing,” he says with pride.
LEA’s interventions have since aided Ditshupo’s company, DITS Enterprises (PTY)Ltd, in training of sales and marketing as well as entrepreneurship development to grow the company’s competitiveness in the business.
The company specialises in masonry brick and block manufacturing and supplies countrywide.
As part of the growth strategy, the company has since expanded and moved most of its operations from the township and it now operates two sites.
“We have one site in Motswedi Industrial where we manufacture blocks and another one in Plantation where we manufacture stock bricks.
We produce up to 15 000 stock bricks and 600 block bricks everyday,” Ditshupo boasted.
Ditshupo’s first brick-making yard was focused on producing block bricks but expanded to include stock bricks with an expansion plan which he devised with his LEA Business Advisors.
Dits Enterprises Business Advisor, Eric Otukile mentioned that it is astounding how acquiring certain business management skills can enhance the profitability of a business; he stated that they have worked with Ditshupo and have seen his business push forward due to basic interventions that have allowed him to enhance his supply-demand chain strategies, therefore, growing his profit margins.
Despite challenges such as limited raw materials, Dits Enterprises has a growing clientele which includes various construction companies and government projects in Lobatse and surrounding villages.
Just like any other profitable business, DITS Enterprises also faces some challenges.
Ditshupo said apart from unreliable supply of river sand he has a problem with labour.
“There is shortage of river sand because suppliers have a problem with getting mining licences from the department of mines.
We have a staff complement of 19 bricklayers but they are not enough to meet the labour demands of the company.
Most Batswana are not keen enough to work but the problem is that it’s difficult to engage foreigners because of the hostile immigration requirements.
We need government to loosen the requirements a bit so that we can employ foreigners who are more productive,” he said.