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Esayvanie Reddy – Building high-growth businesses

Updated: Jan 24, 2022

As the late Mr. Rajen Reddy would say, “The measure of achievement and success must rightfully be balanced by the knowledge that we must pass failure along the way. Education is when you read the fine print, experience is what you get if you don’t. Experience is, therefore, the greatest teacher and the greatest leveller.”

History has often recorded such events that spin on an uncontrolled axis, levered by forces beyond human control. For instance, nobody, not even physics could have foreseen that the sale of four barrels of diesel fuel would effectively launch KZN Oils back in 1998, but it did, and the rest as they say is history. The history itself is peppered with blood, sweat, and tears; a history inscribed with the ink of disappointment and successive failures.

KZN Oils now forms part of a larger entity, The RR Group of companies. These entities are largely black women-owned and led businesses with the majority of female personnel holding executive positions. While maintaining a BBBEE level-1 company audit status, the Group aggressively supports black-owned businesses across the board.

Mrs Celeste Esayvanie Sivalingum Reddy as the newly appointed executive director and the Group CEO, is an accomplished business woman with over 30 years of experience in the petroleum, quick service restaurant, healthcare manufacturing, telecommunications, and distribution industry. Mrs Reddy’s main focus is on building high growth businesses with solid balance sheets and exponentially growing profit and loss functions to ensure business going-concern, job securities for her people and sustainable returns for the shareholders. As an astute business leader with a wealth of experience, Mrs Reddy oversees sound strategic manifestation and delegation across all business functions, ensures profitability and is the chief custodian of the Group’s brand image.

She is an innovative visionary and has a traceable success record. Equipped with hands-on experience in business strategy and development, she applies herself in alignment with the RR Group’s values, goals, and objectives.

The RR Group always strives to retain a people-first focus, for with the empowerment of people, comes the empowerment of communities and empowered communities can add to the positive socio-economic growth of South Africa and the world.

The Group prides itself on establishing self-sustainable business models, which in return, allows them to give back to their communities in the form of jobs, business opportunities, low-cost high-quality products, and corporate social investment initiatives.

The RR Group of companies comprise various industries such as the energy sector, telecommunications, health care manufacturing, quick service restaurant industry, and property development and construction.

Growing KZN Oils within the African commercial sector may sound farfetched. However, engaging with neighbouring countries offer a better footing in negotiating with either import or export of liquid bio-fuel (LBF), while partnering with other non-refining wholesalers will increase their footprint and enable them to negotiate lucrative deals that will benefit both parties to ensure a complete solution for all customers.

Looking further than the African continent, partnering with international countries will ensure the impact of greener and cleaner fuels. And moving into a full-on retail offering will ensure control of the entire supply chain which ultimately results in more affordable products to end-users.

KZN Oils will be looking at not only supplying commodities such as fuels, but also Jet A1, other relevant lubricants, and becoming the preferred transporter for major petroleum companies throughout the world.

Champion Health Care (CHC) will soon follow suit in gaining momentum in the African market if it hasn’t been doing so already. The Africa Health Trade Expo in conjunction with the Department of Trade and Industry is one of CHC’s signature exhibitor events. CHC has been in attendance since 2019 and has again made its presence on the virtual Africa Health Trade Expo 2021. Through these networking events, Champion Health Care has been initiating trades with neighbouring African countries, identifying machinery that will improve productivity and reduce costs, investigating product customisation to address customer needs, and ensuring products meet private and public sector specifications. The possibilities of franchising a health care manufacturing company are endless.

Supplying from a toothpick to a full flame-grilled or fried chicken, Ko-lay is on its way to becoming one of the sought-after distribution centres. Currently supplying about roughly fifty Grill to Go outlets within the Caltex KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng network, Ko-lay seeks to supply to all provinces in South Africa. By developing a cradle-to-grave mentality, they can control an entire supply chain, expand their logistics fleet, introduce new and exciting products, continuously create employment, and showcase various franchise models.

Franchising in the quick service restaurant industry has taken on a storm in the past few years. Ko-lay currently has a fully-fledged flagship diner store in the heart of Durban, and the near future will make way for low to high-end Ko-lay franchise offerings. With the increase in chicken products becoming a staple diet for most of South Africa and the African continent, Ko-lay Home of Chicken is an offering you want to look out for.

JD Telecoms is firmly cementing themselves as leaders in the telecommunication industry with a focus on satellite connectivity and educational services. The initiative for JD Telecoms is to bridge the digital divide towards affordable connectivity.

They aim to make connectivity accessible and affordable to every household and business on the African continent, regardless of the income bracket. Established in 2019, JD Telecoms has already become an approved Telkom Dealer for B2B and B2C products and services and also has a business processing outsourcing (BPO) contact centre.

In conclusion, the progression of the RR Group of companies will depend on their adaptability towards the digital age. And there is an immense amount of ongoing effort in the background to digitalise these companies.

The future holds exciting insights into online ordering platforms, payment gateways, online client portals, online loyalty programs, and online monitoring and analytics for a better user experience just to name a few.

“In closing, there is a need for building high-growth businesses with a pan-African focus in aiding the newly emerging African elite to create a sense of diversity in unity in mobilising Africans towards the struggle of independence and social cohesion. As business leaders, we must come together and need to utilise our resources to encourage and strengthen bonds of solidarity between all indigenous and diaspora ethnic group of African descent.

We must also emphasise the need to make specific meaningful and purposeful contributions to the historic task of transitional justice from apartheid to democracy under overarching social justice. This can be made possible through the development of ethical leaders.”


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