“Minty’s on Essenwood” is a small business situated on the corner of Essenwood and Silverton roads in the Musgrave area, specialising in the retail of fabrics. It was established and is owned by Mr. Hoosen Moorad, a forty-something businessman whose sound financial skills and ability to predict what the public (and more importantly, women) want has ensured the continuous success of this twenty-year-old business. Mr. Moorad is currently encountering certain issues with the regards to “Minty’s”, which will be discussed, later on in this paper. History Mr.
Moorad was born in a small village called Darnall in rural Kwazulu-Natal and follows from a strong entrepreneurial family. In fact, according to Shapero and Sokol, Indians Gujaratis are recognised worldwide as successful entrepreneurs. He studied for two years at the University of Natal for a law degree before realising it was not what he wanted to do. Working as a trainee manager at NBS bank, Mr. Moorad cites his life turning point as being when he could not afford a cradle for his newborn daughter. Travelling through Durban’s Central Business District everyday after work, Mr.
Moorad recognised the lack of fabric shops in the area. After speaking to female friends and family, he identified a gap in Durban’s market. Mr. Moorad’s father-in-law Mr. Ebrahim Minty owned several fabric shops and forwarded him some goods, with instructions to pay him whenever he could, hence the name “Minty’s”. Even the most determined entrepreneur can’t do without a lucky break or, in this case, a helping hand! As a result of escalating crime rates in the CBD, “Minty’s” moved to its current location in 1996. Mr Moorad currently employs nine full-time and four part-time staff.
He recently converted the firm from a Close Corporation to a Private Company and his wife Shenaaz is a shareholder. She also co-manages the business, is its leading saleslady, and the driving force behind its marketing strategy. “Minty’s” move to Essenwood road can be described as a key factor of its success as a result of its accessibility to housewives, businesswoman, students and designers alike. A Family Business “Minty’s on Essenwood” can definitely be described as a family business – besides his wife, Mr. Moorad’s three children are also involved in the business part-time while studying.
He feels that building his company up even further alongside his wife and children would be his greatest source of pride and satisfaction. Advantages to this approach are that there is a strong commitment to the business by all members, and members place a big emphasis on relationships. Because the reputation of all is at stake, “Minty’s” has a lot of goodwill. According to Tiffany (2001), however, “competency isn’t included in the manufacturer’s warranty. ” Atleast one of his sons seems to be suffering a skills mismatch, which could cause problems later on.
It is also difficult for Mr. Moorad to discipline his children when they aren’t performing satisfactorily, which may cause resentment amongst other staff. Products and Services “Minty’s” specialises in the retail of fabrics, from plains like chiffons, satin-backed crepes and satins, which range at around R25 a meter to the finest fully beaded silks that can cost over R2000 a meter. Complementing the fabrics is its pattern and haberdashery department. The latter stocks everything from zips and cottons, to buttons, bows, shoulder pads, trimmings and sewing needles.
Recently Mr.Moorad has imported a small selection of traditional beaded Indian tops known as “kurtis” as well as Lakhme makeup that is probably the finest India has to offer. The implications of his diversifying product lines will be discussed in the “Course of Action” chapter. “Minty’s” staff provides the service of helping a customer find the fabric she desires, cutting it, and matching the appropriate accessories required with it. They are also trained to suggest dressmakers and designers most suitable to making the garment the customer requires while fitting into her budget.