Snethemba Phakathi :Khula Nathi Group (Pty) LTD t/a KNG Transport & Logistics


Describe who you are as a person, inside and outside of the workplace. 
Outside of the workplace, I am an easy going, family-oriented person who is passionate about nurturing and seeing those around me reach their full potential. One could say that this feeds into who I am in the workplace. I am passionate about people, growing with people and seeing them become the very best versions of themselves. I love learning, challenging myself as well as the status quo.
Describe your background and what did you do before you joined the company? 
I was raised by a father who lives and breathes marketing and subsequently kickstarted my career in the family owned and run business, called Eyes & Ears Marketing Services, which specializes in below-the-line activations as well as qualitative research. It was there that I learned the ins and out of running a business and the blood, sweat and tears that goes into entrepreneurship. During my time in the business, I was fortunate enough to work on a vast number of FMCG brands, such as Nestle Nespray, MAGGI, Benny, Tastic and GynaGuard.
Tell us about the inception of the company. How did it all start?
Khula Nathi Group was initially supposed to be the sister company to Eyes and Ears Marketing Services. However, when COVID-19 hit, I realized that if the company were to not survive the pandemic, the entire family would find themselves in an unfavourable position. I had always loved trucking and the idea of some day running my own logistics company. In a time when people were panicking and struggling to figure out ‘whats next’, I decided to turn my dream into a reality. It has not been easy trying to find my feet in a male-dominated world but my love for the industry, coupled with that of women empowerment has been a key driving force. Our very first client was a black female-owned and led organization and since then, I have been very strategic and intentional about the type of clients that we work and align ourselves with.
What has made you successful? What do you value? 
The entrepreneurship journey is not straight and narrow so I would not say that I am successful, just yet. There have been many times where I have wanted to close shop. Continuous improvement, adaptation, coupled with my drive and passion to keep learning and be the best at what I do will lead me to success. I truly believe in and value a great work ethic, resilience and persistence.
Which are the major services of the company and how do the companies get ahead in the competition? What value-added services does the company provide?

We offer a range of services including local and intercity transportation, logistics, and warehousing solutions tailored for clients in the construction, FMCG, and agricultural industries. Our expertise extends to handling both normal and abnormal loads. Additionally, we’ve expanded into the provision of building materials within the inland region. Our overarching goal is to expand nationally, providing transport, building material supplies, and construction services unified under the Khula Nathi umbrella. At our core, we prioritize solutions, delivering personalized services tailored to our clients’ requirements. Our focus is on delivering cost-effective solutions without compromising on quality.
What are the most important aspects of a company’s culture? What principles do you believe in and how do you build this culture?
At Khula Nathi Group, the most important aspects of our company culture are inclusion, ethics, collaboration and development. To build such a culture, I truly believe that it is of the utmost importance that the team embodies each of these aspects/principles and actively promotes them throughout the company. I believe in transparency as a foundational principle. Building a culture of openness and honesty fosters trust and encourages collaboration. Empowerment is another key principle. Empowering individuals at all levels of the organization is crucial. When employees feel empowered to make decisions and take ownership of their work, they become more engaged and motivated.
What is the significance of innovative ideas in the company?  
Innovative ideas are not only important but they are always welcomed at Khula Nathi Group as they often give us a competitive edge. Innovation allows us to stand out from our competitors and attract new clients. We are always looking at ways to increase efficiency and reduce our operational costs.
Give us your opinion on; do organizations rely heavily on individual heroics or team processes?
While both individual heroics and team processes are important, I have often found that the ideal approach often involves a balance between the two. At Khula Nathi Group, we try to cultivate a culture that values both individual contributions and effective teamwork. This involves providing opportunities for skills development and empowerment at the individual level while also investing in team-building activities, communication strategies, and collaborative tools to enhance collective performance. Ultimately, a cohesive blend of individual initiative and collaborative effort is key to driving innovation, efficiency, and success in the business.
What are your responsibilities as the Broker / Principal of the company? What is the happiest part of your daily routine?
My responsibilities include a wide range of tasks and duties aimed at overseeing and managing various aspects of the business to ensure its success. At the forefront is business development: identifying and pursuing new business opportunities, partnerships, and client relationships to expand the company’s client base and revenue streams. I am also responsible for developing and implementing strategic plans to achieve our short-term and long-term goals. This involves analysing market trends, identifying growth opportunities, and setting objectives for Khula Nathi Group’s operations and expansion. Risk management is an integral part of the business that I still find myself involved in. This includes identifying and mitigating potential risks to the business, including safety hazards, regulatory changes, and economic uncertainties. Last but not least, client relationship management. This involves building and maintaining strong relationships with clients to better understand their needs, address concerns, and provide excellent service. Effective communication, responsiveness, and problem-solving are a key aspect to client relations. The happiest part of my daily routine is getting clients on board and successfully closing deals.
What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time? 
Listen and learn: take the time to understand team dynamics, individual strengths and challenges. Be open to listening to your teams’ perspectives and feedback.
Continuously learn and grow: leadership is a journey of growth and development. Invest in your own learning and seek opportunities to enhance your leadership skills through training, mentorship, and self-reflection.
Lead by example: your actions speak louder than words. Model the behaviour and work ethic you expect from your team members. Demonstrate integrity, accountability, and professionalism in all your interactions.
Embrace collaboration: foster a collaborative environment where ideas are welcomed and teamwork is encouraged. Always encourage open communication.
Provide support and feedback: offer guidance, resources and support to help your team succeed. It is okay to give constructive feedback, recognize achievements and address areas of improvement.

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Personality Images for the contributing story (2-3 images)
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Vector file of the company logo

We thank you for sparing your valuable time and patiently answering the above questionnaire. We shall be in touch soon!