Sipho Mbatha: Inc Projects leaves its imprint on construction and renovation industries
Inspired by his family and staff members, Sipho Mbatha’s IN Coatings (Pty) Ltd T/A Inc Projects is now in its fourth year and enjoying success in the manufacturing and application of custom wall coatings for interior and exterior applications.
“We formulate our wall coatings using natural products which render them environmentally-friendly, making them a cost-effective and durable alternative to normal paints,” Sipho says. “Creative, trendy finishes and versatile textures and colours that reflect the best in contemporary design trends for large construction projects and individual homes and offices.”
With a team that has grown from one man and an idea to four permanent staff members, four part time members and 10 people employed on a contract basis, the infrastructure of Inc Projects is in place to take advantage of growing opportunities.
“We’re based in Alberton, Gauteng, but now have the capacity to undertake any job anywhere,” he says.
“The key to our growth and success so far has been simple: Respect. We respect our clients, our work and each other and this shows in what we ultimately achieve for every client.”
Wall Coatings are widely used by architects due to their adherence to any substrate. Says Sipho: “Our applicators are specialist individuals with expertise in the application of textured wall coatings and various paint techniques. We offer various paint techniques, from base painting to decorative effects. We do offer traditional painting where required by the client, but our speciality is in custom wall coatings.”
Starting a business without any formal training or assistance has meant Sipho and his team have had to take things one step at a time. “You get the basic structures in place and then just start,” he says. While the idea stemmed from his father-in-law who runs a similar business in Iceland, Sipho had to fund his business himself.
As with every new business, there were hurdles to overcome: “Getting the business known without a budget for marketing; surviving without regular salaries; the impact on my family life; long working hours; and lack of infrastructure all presented challenges,” he says. “But the lessons learned are many. To never give up; be passionate about your business; educate yourself in order to make informed decisions; trust people selectively.”
With the goal of creating and maintaining a sustainable business that his children and their children can keep growing, Sipho says Inc Projects understands the value of marketing, networking and – particularly – “doing everything by the book and getting order details in writing”.
Meeting up with Property Point at the Smart Procurement Enterprise Development Conference in 2013 is another milestone in the life of Inc Projects. “I applied to be on the programme as I felt this could help me to take my business to the next level. The program is also tailor-made to fit each individual business. Even though it has just started, the level of support received and confidence in the business has helped me most so far.”