Plastimed Liquid Packaging – Mohammed Rishaad Joosab
Plastimed Liquid Packaging – Manufacturers of plastic bottles, jars, buckets, closures and general purpose containers for the personal care, pharmaceutical and medical industries, the cosmetics, chemical as well as for the food, carbonated soft drink markets and automotive industries.
This is all to do with our product diversity. Our impeccable service delivery, the constant need for innovation and pushing boundaries.
We are always looking at improving ourselves, adding value to the market place and constantly trying to be better.
Our products are based on quality, design, uniqueness and quick service delivery – These values are what we base our pricing points on
Founder’s/Owner’s story and what motivated them to start the business
Mohammed Rishaad Joosab (27), started off his entrepreneurial journey at the tender age of 19 whilst in university, studying Bcom Business Management and Marketing. Learning the theories about business was boring and mundane, what interested him was testing out the theories and seeing if he put those theories into practice, if it would really help create and start a business and make it a successful one. However this came at a later stage though (Second year of university).
Let’s start from the beginning…
Fresh out of High school and into university M Rishaad Joosab needed spending money. We all do.
Unfortunately (Or rather fortunately for him) there was no one to just hand out spending money to him so he started finding ways to make money. M Rishaad started off buying and selling golf shirts and shoes to make money. Found a local manufacturer and distributor and started selling them to his friends and family who were into golf.
In the beginning of 2014, there was a national shortage of LP Gas. “One day we needed gas for home and we drove around for about an hour looking for people who sell gas. Most of the people were out of stock and finally after some time we found some gas. After finding out a bit more on the situation we realized there’s a huge shortage and all the people in our neighbourhood of Sherwood are literally in the same position. So I remember it was a Saturday morning, I picked up the phone and called 50 gas companies. Found the cheapest supplier, bought 1 x 9kg gas and started advertising it to all the friends and family and other households in the neighbourhood. Within a short span of 4 months we were delivering gas to the entire of Sherwood and had built up a stock of 20 Gas cannisters at all times. However there was not a lot of profit in this business or perhaps I didn’t know how to control cash flows and money at the time. At the end of the month my profit was like R200 and I was confused. Majority of the money was getting pumped back into the business and I wasn’t really making any money for myself, bare in mind the profit was between R20 to R40 per tank, plus we had to deliver them in my mums car. Wasn’t even taking fuel cost into consideration. Anyways it was time for the next business lesson or rather to make some “serious money”.
My dad helped me set up a sauce manufacturing business. We bought some recipes, ingredients, bottles and labels and started the process. It was a long tiring journey. Firstly hating the kitchen and not knowing how to cook I had to cut onions and chillies and pour vinegar and cook the sauce. It was a (good tasting) mess. We realized I couldn’t do it all by myself so we decided to hire someone to help with the cooking and prepping of the vegetables and then get someone to help with the sales and deliveries. This was the first time I had to depend on and work with other people and build a team. I hated the entire process and business concept itself but had to keep at it to make money, to help pay the employees wages. This business was run 3 days a week as I was still studying. 2nd and 3rd year university. The gas business was done every night and evenings was deliveries, the golf shirts and shoes business was done in my spare time and every time there was an order and the other 2 days I was focusing on my studies.
Now here’s where it gets interesting..
Whilst selling sauces someone came in and was looking to buy my stock of empty plastic bottles, so I sold it (at a profit ofcourse) and replaced the stock the next day. I didn’t think much of it at the time but then he came again and this cycle repeated for another 2 or 3 times before I realized that I was making more money with less effort. Just buying bottles, having it delivered to me and customer comes by to pay and pick up. Since the first sale I fell inlove with the process, this felt like my calling, I stumbled upon this opportunity, found a new market so I put my focus solely into this new venture and decided to grow it from there. This is how Plastimed was born. 6 years and growing stronger by the day. Alhamdulillah.
As I focused more on this new venture I downscaled the sauce, and gas business and passed it on to my brother…
Plastimed wasn’t all glory and glamour at first. Like all businesses we have had our challenges, overcoming them and seeing the business grow and the lives we impact is what makes life exciting!
We’ve had employees stealing from us, customers unsatisfied and leaving us, people not wanting to supply us (suppliers/competitors), customers not paying and closing down, it has been a long journey.
We have been affected with COVID and our business sales dropped by 70%
This was the turning point for Plastimed and Director M Rishaad Joosab.
We had no more walk in customers and daily sales have dried up.
We were faced with 2 choices, give up and close or put our head and heart into this business and make it work.
Guess what we did 😉
We have had to restructure our entire business model and adapt to the market changes quickly in order to survive. We changed the focus, strategy and dynamic of the business and Plastimed blew up since!
It was a close call but we made it happen, we have positioned our business in such a way that we started seeing tremendous growth after COVID.
There’s no giving up for this guy!
In the next coming months Plastimed has had to endure again 2 more major set backs.
July 2021 KZN Looting left many businesses defeated and most even closed their doors.
Our entire offices were looted and a lot of our stock was damaged and stolen. Machines were damaged in the process as well.
Then 11-13 April 2022 the KZN Flooding occurred, which put the already battling economy to a dead halt. Our offices was destroyed yet again. All this and more in a span of 18 months.
Not many businesses can suffer such big losses and still be standing strong, leave alone Grow in tough times and economies like this. We are Proud to say that as a Growing Business still establishing ourselves we were able to withstand the forces and even grow past these challenges of COVID 19, KZN Looting and the latest KZN flooding 2022.
M Rishaad is not going to back down from any challenge till this business reaches the heights and capabilities to make a dent in the world.
This shows the passion, dedication and perseverance of Plastimed Director Mohammed Rishaad Joosab.
Can’t wait to see what the future holds for this young man!
The challenges the business/market is facing
We are a start up business that is ever growing. We are competing with international businesses such as Alpla, Nampak, Astrapak and so on
That is our first challenge. Another challenge we face is load shedding and electricity cuts in our country South Africa
Now we are in a recession and buying power has decreased tremendously.
We have been affected with COVID 19 in 2019 then there was the famous KZN Looting in South Africa in 2021 and then the flooding in KZN in 2022
All this has happened in quick succession, messing up the market, businesses closing down and so on.
This has put a huge strain on a number of sectors, industries and business in South Africa, yet here we are still standing, stronger than ever and ever growing. Looking at niche markets and differentiating ourselves from the competition.
The opportunities the business/market is facing
We are a growing business and have a lot of potential customers and contracts put in place in order for us to grow.
We are looking at getting in new machinery to grow our product range and capacity of production, with this we are looking at funding, however we are not looking at the conventional way of going to the banks to take out loans. We don’t believe in dealing with interest as well.
Advice to others about business
Business is difficult. It’s not all sunshine and glory. In order to survive and grow, you have to do things the right way, build a good reputation within the market place, your suppliers need to trust and support you, your customers need to rely on you.
In business, you have to pay yourself last, some months you don’t get to take a salary or wage, especially when you starting up and growing or scaling a new business.
You have to have guts and thick skin. Not everything goes according to plan and you have to always be adapting and changing your plans in order to survive.
There are a lot of bullets to bite and money to lose before you start seeing any rewards of your hard work.
You must have a lot of patience, and be able to work well under pressure.
Lessons learnt from running this business
Communication is key. Its an integral part of any relationship or business you build. In order to grow, sell, scale or market yourself or your business you must communicate clearly and efficiently. You must be disciplined in all aspects of life in order to succeed.
This business thought me that persistence is key, one should never give up and keep pursuing their dreams come hell or high water and you will make it. Never give up.
Founder & CEO
Mohammed Rishaad Joosab – Hons. M.I.Pkg (S.A)
060 991 5108
48 Peter Road
Sea Cow Lake
031 577 7407
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