BRAINTEC: a-stop-shop for all things hygiene
Resilience and Upscaling, with Brian Ketshabile, Managing Director of BrainTec Cleaning Services.
BrainTec is a local cleaning services company that also specialises in gardening and landscaping, laundry services and retailing of cleaning chemicals to the food processing industry, restaurants, commercial kitchens and laundry chemicals for hospitality and healthcare sector, as well as personal hygiene chemicals such as 70 percent alcohol sanitisers, alcohol-based and QAC wipes and hand soaps.
Q: What prompted the creation of BrainTec Cleaning Services?
A: BrainTec Cleaning Services came about after acknowledging that every household and office needs cleaning. But, essential as it is, not everyone has the time to do it. Some of the cleaning is technical while other kinds of cleaning are simply time-consuming and people have their priorities do deal with. By providing cleaning services, we accord customers plenty of time to focus on other priorities.
Q: How long has BrainTec Services been in operation?
A: The company was registered in 2011 and started as a small operation focusing on individual clients. It operated from home until 2015 when we started servicing corporate clients and invested heavily in advanced cleaning equipment in order to provide an improved and efficient service.
Q: There are other cleaning services around. What sets you apart from them?
A: We do not only provide cleaning services but are a one-stop shop for all things hygiene. We provide products that other cleaning services companies do not such as offering hygiene training and advisory services. BrainTec Services has over the years diversified from being only a cleaning services company to include production of cleaning chemical products which are currently in demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Q: That’s quite impressive growth? Please tell us more about it.
A: As a company that started focusing only on households cleaning carpets, sofas and mattresses. Over the years we have evolved and are now servicing corporate, providing healthcare laundry services and supplying hospitals, restaurants and hotels with cleaning chemicals and providing chemical management solutions, as well as hygiene training.
Q: What are the milestones that the company has reached that attest to this growth?
A: The most notable milestones that the company has achieved is growing from household-focused to now servicing organisations, as well as penetrating the healthcare laundry service and getting into the chemical distribution sector.
Q: Please share the lesson learnt throughout the journey?
A: The biggest lesson we have learnt is that business needs consistency in effort. Most importantly, you must give customers a reason to choose you. We have mastered this by providing a service that exceeds customer expectations by selling high quality products that satisfy the needs of our customers. We believe that whatever we do, we must reflect high quality standards.
Q: Upscaling a business is sometimes underestimated, especially in start-up companies. From your experience, at what stage does a business need to upscale?
A: In our case, upscaling began when we noticed that our clientele was growing in leaps and bounds. For example, a customer would want us to handle their spring cleaning, as well as landscaping and gardening. The leads we got had skyrocketed and we had a large portfolio of loyal and repeat customers, which sustained the business and made it profitable over time.
Q: What avenues should be explored to upscale an enterprise?
A: It depends entirely on shareholders’ interests and passion. Every sector has its opportunities and risks, but the bottom line is that whatever opportunity you will identify, prepare to put in the work. Seek clarity from industry experts where you don’t understand.
Q: After a successful upscale, what would be the next best step for an enterprise?
A: Ensure that you keep innovating and being creative to keep customers interested in whatever products and services you provide. Avoid becoming absolute and losing touch with market trends
Q: The COVID-19 pandemic continues to present an ominous threat to almost all businesses. What is BrainTec Cleaning Services doing to survive beat the scourge and the surge?
A: Some of the products that we provide are highly needed during this difficult period like the sanitiser, disinfectant and hand soap. These products have kept us afloat while demand for other chemicals has slightly declined. With services, we continue to offer disinfection, which happens to be one of our revenue streams. Although it is unpredictable and fluid, we have come to terms with the current environment and are cautious in our approach while remaining optimistic.
Q: What are the silver linings in the dark cloud of the pandemic that are the bright spots of your BrainTec, so to speak?
A: Sales of personal hygiene products have been doing well while other products slowed down after lockdowns and curfews. Most companies have adopted a cautious approach to their spending and ultimately this has slowed down our business in other products and services. Personal hygiene products make for our bright spots, I would say.
Q: What measures can entrepreneurs employ to ensure their business endure and even become successful, especially during this pandemic?
A: Be cautious of spending and diversify the business so that when a certain service or product is not performing, another will compensate for the loss.