Ntuli (40) owns XKG, a timber and logistics company that recently secured a contract to supply timber to a furniture manufacturing company in China.
It was a dream come true for Ntuli who, after working in the timber industry for many years, aspired to be his own boss. In 2015, he took a leap of faith by starting his own business. Within months, he secured a contract to export pine timber to Dongguan, a manufacturing hub in China’s Guangdong province.
Ntuli said winning the contract would not have been possible without the support of Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal through its Emerging Exporter Programme.
The incubation programme focuses on export and market opportunities. Ntuli received step-by-step mentorship. “They even went with me to the forest to help me choose the right product for my client,” he said.
The first shipment of 10 tons of pine timber was done in June and his clients wanted another eight tons in September.
“The first shipment was a headache because I didn’t have the R500 000 to cover the shipping costs. I had many sleepless nights trying to figure out what to do and eventually used all my savings for my kids to get the job done,” he said.