3 tips to help turn your business into a million rand success story

Fikile Mbalula supporting a local brand called Bathu.
Fikile Mbalula supporting a local brand called Bathu.
Image: Supplied.

It’s no secret that Theo Baloyi, the mastermind behind hip shoe brand Bathu, is one of South Africa’s brightest success stories. His shoe brand, which he started in 2015, has become a go-to for the likes of DJ Sbu, Fikile Mbalula and even Somizi.

While he never sought to have a career in fashion, Baloyi had always had a thirst for making his own money having sold perfumes with a friend.

“We used to sell perfumes door-to-door in Alexandra, just to make ends meet and raise an allowance,” says Baloyi whom at the time was pursuing his BCom accounting degree, “that’s when the entrepreneurial bug bit me”.

With an ever rising demand for his sneakers, Baloyi prides himself in having started the business as a means of creating sustainable jobs for the unemployed in and around his community.

This was an added pressure that pushed Baloyi to ensure that his business would continue to be a success. Still on a trajectory aiming for the sky, Baloyi shares three tips that can help other entrepreneurs reach a million rand success.

Be authentic

“When you do something, do it for the right reasons. Be authentic to your core and clear intentions. If you want to start a shoe brand, that’s fine, start it but not because you want it to be successful but do it because it’s what you want to do for the right reasons.”


“We live in an era of instant gratification. Everyone wants to live that Instagram life so people want to start something now and get successful in two or three months they want to live the life.”

Business is bigger than the product

“Business goes beyond what you are selling. We are selling shoes but there are so many dynamics to getting a shoe out so understand what business is.”