By Hilary Mare
THE birth of numerous security companies over the years has not deterred the business prospects of Spark Security Services. The company has managed to stay firm and position itself as one of the most formidable security companies in Katima Mulilo. Confidente interviewed owner George Chunga to establish more about the company.
Give us an understanding of who you are?
My name is George Siseho Chunga, born 30 November 1974 in Katima Mulilo at Muketela Village. I started my schooling at Musu Primary School then I did my junior secondary schooling at Sangwali Secondary School. I then went on to do my Matric at Ngweze Secondary School in 1994/1995.
You are an entrepreneur; tell us more about your business and how it came about?
The name of the business is Spark Security Services cc and was started in 2010. Let me say after I finished my matric I joined the Discount Centre Hardware as a collector, in 1996. In 1997 I joined CIS Trading Company, a business owned by my brother who ultimately became my role model. I was a Security Supervisor and Manager responsible for collection of funds and management of the shop. In 1998 I joined Ellerines as a salesperson in Grootfontein (1998-2006). After I resigned from Ellerines I went to Old Mutual Group Schemes as a Financial Advisor (2006-2008). May 2011 I resigned from Old Mutual and started my businesses.
I started off with a car wash business (Sparkling Car Wash) and then as time went on I decided to grow my business and that’s how I started my security company. There were security tenders all over the newspapers and I took the opportunity.
What are the benefits of the SME Bank funding scheme?
The benefits of the SME Bank funding scheme is that it is helping entrepreneurs realise their goals. They allow us to meet the requirements of tenders. I think if the banks could link up with the Tender Board so that people can be given money concurrently with jobs then that would help a lot too. Due to SME Bank Funding my company is well equipped. I can do anything and any security tender. I qualify for any type of job though it is not easy.
What are your duties in your business?
My duties are that I do meetings with staff. But my main responsibility is to look for new sites to offer services. Apart from looking for new businesses I also do most of the administration work. I contact a lot of people on a daily basis to try and grow the business.
What advice would you give to entrepreneurs hoping to join this type of business?
The only advice I can give to entrepreneurs hoping to join this industry is that it’s not easy so you need to know your roles in managing that business because in Namibia there are a lot of security companies. You really need to work very hard, put your needs on the ground and if you feel you can grow then you must start it.
What challenges do you face in your business and in your quest to achieving short and long term goals?
The challenge that we face is firstly the tendering process and secondly the minimum wage. It’s not easy to get a tender and the rates are too high for company owners especially when you are operating without a tender. Further there is high employee turnover. Our people don’t stay long on the job. Security jobs are not taken as serious jobs here in Namibia. Competition is also too high.
How do you view your business growth since inception?
The business is growing gradually. When I started I didn’t have anything, but now the business has five cars, one car funded by SME Bank and the business bought its own four cars. So there is resounding progress and more room for improvement because I do not struggle. We get business too, but we will grow further.
Do you think the security industry is competitive in Namibia? If so why?
It is very competitive because I feel almost everyone is coming up with a security company because there are many security tenders coming out. In all the regions you will find security companies. Maybe when you have a government tender then you can avert the challenges of competition.
What are your future plans?
My future plan is to grow my business into different facets of security, i.e. guarding, escorting and cash-in-transit. For me I take the business as something that cannot decline and we want to look at ways of doing it differently from how other people are doing it.
What is your view on the Namibia climate with regards to business?
Namibia is a very stable country, though there are many areas in which we can still improve to make the country a better one. Despite the competition there is a lot of optimism owing to the good political and economic nature of the country.
What do you do in your leisure time and social time?
I like traveling, I always go out on holiday to places like Swakopmund and last year I went to Botswana. I also do a bit of farming.
What is your source of inspiration?
My source of inspiration is my family, the type of work I’m doing and what I’ve been achieving.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015