He started a chain of Hardware stores in Townships during a pandemic, and continues to be source of inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs.
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit the South African soil in March 2020 a lot of people began panicking and worrying about their livelihoods. Those who were employed worried about the possibilities of losing their jobs due to the pandemic and lockdowns, which proved to have dire impact to businesses and the economy.
One of those people who worried is Lindo Mnisi (30), who worked in one of South Africa’s top advertising agencies at the time.
Instead of living in fear of what could happen to his livelihood as the pandemic continued to wrack havoc in businesses across the country, and pushing the unemployment rate higher every quarter, Mnisi decided to come up with what he calls an “advance defence strategy”; he started a business.
Mnisi looked around the community he resides in, Ebony Park, Midrand, and identified a problem he could solve, so he started ANDURA Hardware; a townships based and focused retailer of Hardware items, DIY tools and building essentials.
“I started ANDURA Hardware in order to take the burden off the shoulders of township residents who had to travel long distances every time they need to buy hardware items, DIY tools and building materials. Residents also had to spend exorbitant money to have their purchases delivered to them. Our mission is to bring hardware stores closer to the people where they need them,” says Lindo Mnisi, Founder and Executive Chairman of ANDURA Hardware.
Mnisi took the risk to start the first branch of ANDURA Hardware with almost empty shelves and a vision to build a competitive chain of hardware stores in townships. He hired 2 employees to run the daily operations of the hardware while he juggled between his full time job and running the business.
“We started with nothing; no funding and no government support, but a VISION. A vision to build a business ecosystem that will not only give opportunities to the people that the company will employ over the years but also (give opportunities) to manufacturers and suppliers of Hardware items and other related products. We really want to build a blue chip company in the Hardware and building materials industry, and we will,” adds Mnisi.
Working with different suppliers in the building material production and distribution industry, ANDURA Hardware proves to be staying true to its vision, and the growth is evident.
Since the launch of the first ANDURA Hardware branch in October 2020, the company opened another branch in May 2021, employing even more young people, while also giving direct and indirect opportunities to more people and businesses.
And as Mnisi had anticipated prior to launching ANDURA Hardware in fear of losing his job, he got retrenched from his full time employment and was forced to focus on his business endeavours permanently.
This family man who was expecting his second child in the midst of all the chaos says losing his job could have crushed him, but his outlook on life and his hunger to go an extra mile, helped him manoeuvre the difficult times.
“I am a firm believer that the universe has a special way of perfectly aligning every person’s fate in their favour. The answers and solutions are always right before our eyes. Through adversities, chaos and hardships, true leaders are born. Where there is darkness, and the only option seems to be drowning in sorrow, one needs to look at the bright side, because there is always a bright side,” he says.
“When I encounter problems, I try my best to focus on possible solutions. When I see something coming, I don’t sit and hope for the best. I ask myself solution seeking questions and start working on solutions to counter the imminent problems.”
Mnisi is the Founder and Executive Chairman of ANDURA Hardware, a townships based and focused retailer of Hardware items, DIY tools and building essentials, selling directly from their two physical stores in Kaalfontein, Midrand, and through their e-commerce website www.andura.co.za.
He is also a Real Estate investor, focusing on providing affordable rental accommodation for low income earners in townships. He does this under his company After12 Properties, which also grew exponentially during the pandemic, offering backrooms, cottages, and apartments in townships for rental purposes.
He has a growing YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/LindokuhleMnisi) where he shares insights about the Township Real Estate market and has proven to be a source of inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs in the space.