RESHMA MAHARAJ is the founder of a group of companies. GR Extra Space offers low-cost affordable mobile solutions including log cabins, classrooms, offices as well as manufactures jungle gyms.
Heartbeat Training Academy is fully accredited and offers health and safety training, including First Aid – Level 1,2 and 3, basic firefighting, risk assessment safety officer, and health and safety SHE Rep training.
The third company that Reshma manages and operates, Enspired Women Magazine, is her passion. This platform inspires ordinary women and youth to become financially stable. Reshma explains, “On this platform, we educate, promote, inspire. We take women through different levels of mentorship and coaching where they use their skills to generate an income. Most of the time, this includes women that have been abused or women who have struggled through their journeys. We hope that by using their new skills, they can have some financial stability.”
Currently, Reshma says that her greatest achievement has been having her business operations still open during the erratic business times of the Covid pandemic. Other achievements have been the many national, regional, and international awards that the group of companies has taken, which is a great achievement in their portfolio.
Rehma commented, “It took years to build the brand, especially our core business and for us, this recognition shows business growth. We do create a lot of direct and indirect jobs through the different companies that we manage and operate.”
“Another achievement was being the speaker at the World Women Conference, where I took a standing ovation for building the ordinary women and youth around you,” added Reshma.
Reshma’s biggest inspiration she would say is her late dad. “I was always inspired by his business tenacity. He was always business minded. We sat and talked about shop. He was always encouraging us not to give up. He taught us how to swim through the recession periods over the years and one thing that stood out was that he reminded us that your workplace is not your comfort zone. You’ve got to give it that effort, you’ve got to work hard and make sure that you achieve your goals and be successful.”
There are two brilliant women that Reshma is grateful to – her mentor, Vani Moodley and Fatima Sarigat from SmartXchange. “These women would drive you to see your capabilities, because sometimes you are so confined behind that desk, you don’t see beyond that space,” she commented.
Reshma explained that Vani has taken her from a confined space and thrown her into the deep end. Without her mentorship and coaching, she does not think that she would have taken the manufacturing business to the lengths that she has taken it to. “I’m an entrepreneur, but sometimes you need that little push and guidance along the way,” said Reshma. The company started manufacturing storage unit and is now building and manufacturing mobile classrooms, site offices, container conversions, and clinics.
Some of Reshma’s biggest challenges faced were during Covid and she said that her late dad’s words stuck with her. “He taught me how to swim through these challenges and for me it is not putting my signature on everything I need. I have to understand, is it a need or is it a want. Covid has taught us lots of lessons and I’m grateful for his advice. Now that I sit here, I’m ready to take the business to new levels.”
One of Reshma’s future goals is to see her brand expand, especially on the Heartbeat and Enspired sides. She would love to see them reach a global level. With technology, she said, now everything is possible, and you can sit in your own space and be training and facilitating at an international level.
In advising younger women, Reshma says that they need to love what they do. “They need to have confidence in themselves, they need to be passionate about what they are doing, and they need to understand that life is a journey, it’s not a competition. If you are going to think of life as a competition, you are going to focus on competition instead of the journey. Every day is a new step for you to start something new. Women need to be brave, bold and be confident and be passionate in what they are doing.”
Reshma is a wife and has been married for 25 years. She is a mom of two, and has a 22-year-old daughter, who is completing her last module in civil engineering this year, and a fourteen-year-old son. To relax, Reshma loves cooking for her family, and just being with them, because as she says life has become so busy. “I enjoy weekends, cooking and dabbling with flavours. I enjoy those long calls to my sister or to my sisters-in-law, I’m very family orientated, so for me, I look forward to the weekends to relax with my family.”
“Life in the last two years, I think has been really challenging for every woman, for every business and family. Given the opportunity to see a new day is the biggest blessing that anybody can ask for in life. If you are given another chance in life, get up and try again. Here’s your chance to make it work again.”