Shaaz Moosa is the CEO of Supahot Geysers and MS Group Holdings. His business career has, he says, been motivated by his family who have all operated successful business enterprises.
Straight after finishing matric, and with their support, Shaaz started his own business journey in the insurance industry. He explained that this experience taught him a lot about communicating with people, about how money works as well as the finance industry. He quickly decided to become an independent insurance broker and applied for his license. By the age of 19 he had multiple contracts.
However, Shaaz commented that he realised that the insurance industry did not offer the long-term business growth, which would enable him to reach his own goals. Consequently, he started dabbling in a variety of businesses including the property market.
In 2006 Shaaz’s father unexpectedly passed away and his entire world changed. Shaaz was now required to be the leader in his family and take care of everyone.
He then started looking for other business opportunities and got involved with the Scooters’ pizza brand, opening up Halaal stores. He explained, “Over three years, we opened up multiple stores and I soon realised that this is very hard work. I found that it was better for me to open up these stores and sell them off. Whilst doing that I was dabbling in buying one-bedroom apartments, as at that time the avenue to credit was quite easy.” As the values of properties was going up, when Shaaz sold these properties off, he was able to build an asset base.
“I realised unintentionally, that I’d become a serial businessman and in being a serial businessman a very close, dear friend of mine, who's just passed, invited me to go on and do a mini-MBA with him, which we completed in just over a year.” The course, he said, was fun because due to his practical business experience he understood what everyone was talking about, and he was also able to enhance himself.
Shaaz mentioned that he has always had good teams and support structures. His mom as well as his family, and ‘phenomenal’ friends are always willing to assist. He explained, “It's not about finance. It's about hearing you, guiding you, motivating you, and being able to learn from people and what they've done over the years. I think that experience is the basis for the success of who I am today.”
In commenting on his motivation to succeed Shaaz said, “I strongly believe that if you do the right things, the Almighty opens up the doors for you. If you assist the community, your people, family, etc, then the Almighty will give you more. That is the advice that I give to every young person today. Don't wait until you have money to give, give from what you have, and the Almighty is going to give you more. And if you're doing right, with the right moral compass, the Almighty will certainly make sure that he gives you that responsibility.”
He added, “You have to give back into your communities. You have to give back to your family, whether it's in time or money. You have to include people and by doing that, success is automatic. We must understand that success is not just measured in finances, there's no point in having lots of money if you're not a person that one can sit and talk to.”
“And the rule that I would advise to anybody who wants to start to do anything, is just to give 5% more. Because that 5% more is what allows you to be better than the rest. I use an analogy of boiling water, and it's a 5% rule. I'm in the geyser business, so I can be more technical about it. Boiling water boils at 100°C. At 100° C what that can do is limitless. You can create power, and from that power you can create electricity, steam trains, etc. Motion can be created by 100°C of boiling water. At 95°C what can you do? Have a cup of tea and that's all. That 5% extra is what creates and unlocks the multitude of other things that you can do, and to achieve you’ve just got to persevere.”
In addition to the 5% rule, Shaaz said that if you look at the top 100 companies in the world and the CEOs and founders of all of them, they have this quality of starting early. “When I say starting early, I'm talking about, the 4:00 am rule. One should start work early and that allows you to work hard.”
Shaaz’s career has not been without challenges, which in his early days included a lack of credit facilities due to his young age. This challenge forced him to be more creative and to look at out-of-the-box solutions. One solution was to develop business partnerships, and Shaaz now has multiple partners in a range of businesses.
In commenting on his leadership style, he said that he prefers working with inclusion and communication rather than in an authoritative style. “I'm surrounded by a phenomenal team, and I prefer having the buy in and understanding from our key staff. We set up our plan and our mission for what we're wanting to achieve. Including our staff in this process has led to the success of our business. You do get certain people who just take themselves as an employee and don't see the greater vision, but they fall off the wayside.”
Shaaz started the Supahot geyser journey in 2018 and the company has now become the third geyser manufacturer in the country. He explained that their success is due to keeping their expenses low and to the relationships that they have built. Initially the company experienced challenges from their competitors who had the bigger nationals tied up. They started off selling geysers to independent hardware stores while growing their brand, and from there, the nationals started approaching them to sell their products which has been very successful.
To relax Shaaz enjoys time at home with his family. “I think with my busy schedule and busy timelines, I find joy in my family. I enjoy spending time with my family. I've got a wonderful spouse who's very supportive of me, and I've actually grown quite a bit because of her support.”
“I have also achieved much because of the support, the blessings, and prayers of my mum. I try as much as possible to just be there for her.”
In conclusion, The motto I live by is to do good, speak well and listen to people.