Solving big problems in the health sector


Businesswoman Thembi Nziane outside her house.



Solving big problems has always been businesswoman Thembi Nziane’s desire. As an entrepreneur in the health sector, which is mostly male-dominated, she has identified her niche. She speaks to our editor, Kamogelo Seekoei, about the growth of her three year old business, aims to access the African market, many barriers to entry and contributing positively towards the healthcare sector.

PICTURES: BALESENG MOSOTHO





Ignited Woman (IW): Tell us about yourself and background.

Thembi Nziane (TM): My name is Thembi Nziane, born and bred in the province of Mpumalanga, Bushbuckridge municipality in a small village called Violetbank. I left Mpumalanga to embark on my studies, I am an accounting science (Bcompt) graduate at the University of South Africa.



IW: Please tell us, what can you say sparked your entrepreneurial spirit?

TM: My passion and knack for business goes back to my early childhood years, only when you look back in hindsight you realize, this has been from the beginning of my existence something I was meant to grow into. It is a process that life takes you through and it has been a humbling experience, not easy but I would not change anything especially the mistakes I have made along the way.


IW: What led me to the healthcare industry?

TM: The entrepreneurial journey is tough, it will guide you into different paths in life. I have had the privilege of being exposed to the business environment as a child through my grandmother, who had 8 children and that’s how she fed them, through her business of selling in the marketplace. And at the University of South Africa, where I co-founded Enactus Unisa, we had the privilege of understanding entrepreneurship from a different perspective, shifting from the perspective of making profit only to solving problems to make profits. To date, I look for opportunities through problems in the healthcare sector particularly the ones unique to us as South Africans. Which leads me to my answer, I have always wanted to solve big problems, and through my experience and exposure I knew the healthcare sector is one of South Africa and Africa’s biggest problems and I chose this industry. One of the biggest tasks by far and it will continue for the rest of my days.


IW: What can you attribute the success of your company to?

TM: The business culture and the team play a huge role in the success of the business; another factor is the Pandemic. We have been at the right place, in the right moment to cease the opportunities during a Pandemic. For our kind of business, in the health sector during a Pandemic, We have the opportunity of being at the forefront assisting and protecting healthcare workers and businesses in South Africa. We partner with local manufacturers to distribute COVID-19 PPE and Covid-19 management services for corporate and the healthcare professionals. Our business works relentlessly to ensure that we distribute quality and safe products especially amidst the many substandard products that are out there. We understand that the difference between life and death is quality protective wear against COVID-19 and that is our business, this is what we do, we save lives, and we take what we do seriously. That has attributed to the success of our business, a combination of those factors.


IW: What kind of impact would you like to make through your company?

TM: The business was founded based on solving one of the biggest challenges our country and continent is currently faced with, poor quality healthcare and the lack of quality healthcare. We want to form part of the solution; we are part of the solution already. The impact we want to make is two-fold, we want to partner with both private and public sector to create solutions for quality healthcare for our people. The second is to create employment for young talented people in the healthcare sector.


IW: What would you like your company to be known for?

TM: I would like for Mothudi Services to be known for the innovative products and solutions that will impact the healthcare sector. To be known for caring about our healthcare system and its people and moreover, we want to be known for the impact we will make in creating a healthy continent and nation.


IW: What are some of the challenges you have faced since you started your business?

TM: The challenges we have faced so far as a business come with the territory. There are many barriers to entry in the healthcare sector, it is also a white dominate industry so naturally we experience a lot of resistance as a black owned 16 business. We must be creative in our thinking about everything. The industry has more international companies than it should, this poses many challenges for us as business and the local healthcare industry. The economic response by government is delightful as they prioritize local products where possible and this lightens our battle for space in the industry.


IW: What has been the highlight of your business since you started?

TM: The highlight has been our massive growth as a business, putting goal to paper and implementing it to reality. This makes us excited about our pipeline projects. We are excited about creating an impact in the lives of South Africans and the continent at large. The highlight has been serving South Africans in a remarkable manner and where we are taking Mothudi Services. The highlight is the new dawn for the healthcare industry.


IW: What is your future plan to entrench yourself in a male dominated industry?

TM: We will continue to do what we are doing now as a team, provide excellent customer service, be consistent and offer quality healthcare products and services to our clients. Our focus will always be our clients, we exist for our clients.


IW: Can you share your thoughts on what self-worth means to you and how you practice it?

TM: For me, self-worth is aligned to being alive, in understanding that I have a purpose to fulfill. I am alive and therefore by default, God has a purpose for me and lucky enough for me, I am living that purpose every day. And my thinking is always aligned to a servant perspective and life, it is a life worth living and it is a life that makes us feel and become worthy without doubt.


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Editor's note

If there is a lesson to be taken from theCovid-19 pandemic is that nothing is certain. And when you think you are ready for the unknown it takes you completely by shock.

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