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Engen Franchisee, Mzwayi Ndwandwe's Service Station Success

Owning a petrol station is a dream for many South African entrepreneurs. Local Engen franchisee Mzwayi Ndwandwe discusses how he's building a business that matters in his community.

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Mzwayi Ndwandwe, owner of an Engen garage in Inanda, KwaZulu-Natal, left the taxi business three years ago to become an Engen franchisee, and he hasn’t looked back.

Courtesy of Nedbank

His Engen service station site is in such a prime spot that he has big plans to create a community hub. Currently in the works is a Chicken Licken store, a double bay car wash and a medical centre. Spar has also indicated an interest in the site, and negotiations are under way.

It’s no accident that Engen Inanda, KwaZulu-Natal is such a success however. Mzwayi says it’s the result of a great brand, an exceptional team, a focus on excellence and the ideal banking partner.

A great brand

“The colours of Engen attract the customer from a distance,” says Mzwayi. Attracting customers is one thing, but once you have them, it’s important to ensure they leave your premises smiling. This is achieved through service, which Engen has been integral in instilling.

“The way Engen teaches our staff, from the smile you get from a forecourt attendant to the helpful service from a cashier, these are all the result of the great teachings from Engen,” he adds.

Convenience is extremely important for today’s busy customers, which is why petrol stations aim to provide much more than just fuel. “Customers come here for Petrol, but they get their windscreen washed, oil checked and our One Plus convenience store.

“We sell chicken, pies and traditional food – anything you need to get you back on the road and not needing to stop again.”

An exceptional team

Staff play a huge role in Mzwayi’s business. He has 45 people employed at the service station, and according to Mzwayi, they are the engine of the business. Without people, a petrol station cannot run or service its customers. “The staff keep everything running smoothly, and the supervisors ensure the site is spotlessly clean and a pleasure to visit.”

A focus on excellence

As an entrepreneur and franchisee, Mzwayi understands that the ultimate success of his venture rests with him. “You need to be on site every day,” he says. “I’m here 7 days a week on the site. I arrive at 5.30 am and I change the shift at 6 am.

“No one will grow your business except you. You need to be hands on and enthusiastic. You need to envision your success and make it happen.”

Mzwayi also believes that all businesses have a role to play in their local communities. When the Engen site was bought, 12 families were displaced. The business paid to build new, structurally sound homes for them, and regularly donates to the local police stations.

An ideal banking partner

“Nedbank like a home to me,” says Mzwayi of his banking partner, Nedbank. “I am who I am because of Nedbank. When there are any obstacles, including our devices, Nedbank immediately solves them. My bank understands my needs, and that we are a 24/7 businesses. I would recommend any franchisee to invest with Nedbank and bank with Nedbank.”


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