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– Chronicle

RUNNING a successful business needs aggression, passion and adherence to quality standards that leave a client with the desired satisfaction.

In a world of fierce corporate competition, these attributes, coupled with innovative leadership, make a difference between prosperous and failed businesses.

Bulawayo-headquartered Nokel Security (Private) Limited is one of the few successful firms that continue to defy the odds at a time when most businesses operations are constrained by several factors.

Although the business has not been spared by the adverse impact of Covid-19, which crippled many companies in 2020, Nokel’s performance has remained solid, with the company continuing to add more numbers on its staff complement, says managing director, Retired Colonel Kenneth Mhlophe.

“Some people regard Bulawayo as a destination of disadvantage in terms of business when compared to Harare, but our strategy is to expand from here (Bulawayo) going out. Right now Nokel has 1 300 guard staff from about 600 to 700 in the past three years,”

he told Business Chronicle in an interview.

“Of course we were affected by Covid-19 as some client companies downsized and cut staff. But of late demand for our service is rising as businesses need security in view of robberies and so on.”

Despite cut-throat competition among players in the security sector, Rtd Col Mhlophe says Nokel Security has been able to secure good tenders, an achievement he attributes to consistent quality standards after his company attained International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) 9001:2015 (ISO 9001:2015) certification in 2018 as affirmation of status as one of the fastest growing and reputable players in the industry.

“Once you are ISO certified it is easier to gauge quality service. In fact, we are being audited twice per year to ensure standards are maintained. The advantage is that ISO certification allows you to operate anywhere and this is critical for business,”

said Rtd Col Mhlophe.

“Had it not been for Covid-19, our target was to secure business outside the country, within our region, starting with Botswana.”

Apart from its base in Bulawayo, where it was established 20 years ago, Nokel security now has operations in parts of Masvingo, Matabeleland North and South, Manicaland, the Midlands, Mashonaland East and West provinces with Harare being the biggest branch.

Given the growth of mining and energy investments as well as capital projects by the Government in Matabeleland North province, in particular, Rtd Col Mhlophe said he was seeing more opportunity for expansion of business in the security service.

Nokel is not only focused on security service but is angling at diversification, having already established a cleaning business unit and is now running Joyful Nursery, with the aim of developing this into a fully-fledged school.

“Our drive is to create employment for our citizens at the same time making business. In that regard, every day we’re hiring someone and that way we’re impacting positively on people’s livelihoods,”

said Rtd Col Mhlophe.

“The cleaning business is also doing very well and we have 150 workers now. We are also shifting focus to the liquor business, though still small for now we want to expand into something big. The only challenge now regards the regulation of this sector in view of Covid-19 protocols.”

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