Mahikeng now has a new sparkle

OJ Korasi shares some of his journey from SAPS deputy director to franchisee.

Growing up in Taung and residing in Mahikeng, OJ attended North-West University, UNISA and the University of Johannesburg, where he completed a postgraduate diploma in Labour Law, an Advanced Management Programme and a BTech Policing degree.

Before deciding to brave the world of self-employment, OJ served as a Deputy Director with SAPS for 25 years. With his wife Gloria as his business partner, Sparkling Mahikeng is a family venture and they are very excited about the prospect of making it a resounding success.

Is being your own boss something you always aspired to and who/what motivated you to want to own your own business?
Being my own boss is something I’ve wanted to do for a while; to have the opportunity to contribute to job creation and help build the economy of South Africa.

How many other businesses did you consider before deciding on Sparkling Auto Care Centres and what tipped the scales in their favour?
I investigated various brands, but cars is something that I am passionate about so Sparkling Auto Care Centres seemed like a good fit.

Tell us how you experienced the funding application process and about your dealings with SA Franchise Warehouse
The application process was user-friendly and the service quick.

How much capital did you invest in your new business and how did you accumulate it?
I invested R750,000 from my retirement fund.

How has the training and support you received from the franchisor and SA Franchise Warehouse prepared you to manage the business?
The training was excellent and the franchisor continues to support us on a daily basis with ongoing training and guidance.

Do you think you could have established a similar business on your own, in other words without the help of a franchisor?
Absolutely not.

Is the reality of being a franchisee different to what you expected?
No. The franchisor did a great job of explaining exactly what to expect before we started, so there where no surprises. 

What is your current staff complement and how many people do you think depend on your employees to support them?
We currently employ a team of 54 who support around 108 dependents.

What do you hope to achieve in the future? 
I would love to expand the business and buy more franchises in different areas.

What would your advice be to other aspiring business owners?
It is good to have dreams, but if you don’t translate them into actions, they are meaningless. Work hard and the sky is the limit.

Project funded by The Jobs Fund and administered by Business Partners