from FUTHI MBHELE in Durban
DURBAN – WHILE he was good in Mathematics and Science as a scholar, Mfundo Mhlongo had no idea which career path to take.
Seeing he is a qualified engineer today, it appears he was always destined for this industry.
Mhlongo is the Managing Director of Umulig Engineering.
Umulig is Norwegian for “impossible.”
Thus by naming the company thus, the organisation strives to offer engineering solutions viewed as impossible.
This is a commitment to exceed their clients’ expectations. Among the clients are outside South Africa.
Mhlongo, who hails from Umzinyathi, north of Durban, has 15 years in the engineering industry. His company was established in 2014.
“During my high school years, I was good in Maths and Science but I was unsure what I was going to do,” he recalled in an interview with CAJ News Africa.
“Although I was not sure, I had an interest in science. During that time, it was the career that was good in terms of job prospects. I then went to University of KwaZulu-Natal to study Engineering,” Mhlongo added.
“I started working for the company. For the past four to five years, I’ve been running my own business specialising in plastic pipe, valve, and pumps,” he continued.
Mhlongo was a speaker at KwaZulu-Natal Industrial Technology Exhibition KITE, which ran in Durban this week.
The company however did not exhibit this year, and Mhlongo explained.
“Last year we didn’t get much leads, maybe it was because we came from the COVID-19 pandemic and looting.”
Durban was an epicentre of the pandemic and suffered civil unrest in 2021.
“Setting up the stand bringing machines is a lot of work so it is a waste if you will not get anyone interested,” said Mhlongo.
He encouraged students to come to the KITE as well to gain knowledge and exposure.
“In 2015 I also came here as an individual. I networked with a lot of people and exchanged numbers,” he recalled.
“In 2019, I contacted someone I met here from Germany. I introduced myself and luckily he still remembered after the four years. I went to Germany for a brief training with them. Then, due to COVID-19 we then trained online.”
Most of the company’s clients are in neighbouring Namibia as well as Kenya and Tanzania in East Africa.
Umulig pledges to provide the best mechanical engineering expertise in the industry. It has different divisions specifically designed to serve the respective markets.
“Our business is our people and reflects our core values of individual accountability by providing comprehensive solutions to our clients in order to promote effective and efficient development within communities,” Mhlongo said.
Its vision is to be the market leader in PPR piping solutions for various domestic, commercial and industrial applications.
“The mission is to provide solutions that comply with industry standards and best practices, in order to add value to our customers in a manner previously thought impossible,” Mhlongo concluded.
– CAJ News