Gauteng entrepreneur’s blue light installation and branding business takes off despite pandemic
While some companies were hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and were even forced to shut down, former Telkom employee turned businessman Nyiko Maboba not only managed to retain staff, but also grow his business.
Maboba, 43, started his branding business Rammogo Signalling six years ago when he saw there was a gap in the market.
Shortly after opening the business, he received a major boost when he was subcontracted to rebrand and install blue lights for the City of Johannesburg’s fleet of vehicles.
“Afrirent trusted us with their cars, so did the client, the city of Johannesburg. We branded over 300 cars,” said Maboba.
The life-changing opportunity enabled Maboba’s business to employ 39 people, 20 of whom he recruited at the height of the pandemic when some businesses, especially small ones, were barely surviving.
“I saw a gap in the market and realised there were very few black companies in the industry of branding, sirens and blue lighting.
“As a black-owned company, we started with branding. With my electronics background, we then decided to venture into the installation of blue lights. We approached an American supplier for blue lights,” said Maboba.
His business has branded and installed blue lights for the police and presidents in Tanzania, Swaziland and Ivory Coast.
They also brand ambulances and metro police vehicles, and install blue lights for ministerial vehicles locally.
“Our employees range from cleaners to applicators, designers and marketers. We did not have to retrench people even when Covid-19 hit. Our business has grown by 200% and my staff have been able to provide for their families. We have even helped some to get their driver’s licences and they have bought themselves cars.
“This is a dream come true because I started the company with three employees. I was doing everything else on my own,” he said.
He hopes to manufacture his own products instead of sourcing them from suppliers.
“We want to create more jobs.”
Maboba has recently been contracted by the Gauteng community safety department to brand and install blue lights and state-of-the-art technology in its new fleet of vehicles.
“The technology assists the police to track stolen cars and identify those that have expired licence discs,” he said.