Tshidiso Lennin Marule, director of Marule Property Developement Holdings, describes himself as “relentless”. With a hand in the property, construction and mining industries, people might say that he’s biting off more than he can chew. But Lennin doesn’t agree, and winning the 2011 Entrepreneur of the Year® Small Business Category Award is testimony to his success.
The old adage ‘behind every successful man is a woman’ is not entirely correct. In the case of Lennin Marule, his wife was anything but pleased when he announced that he was quitting his well-paid job to start up a business. “She was nervous and rightfully so but she is happy now and supports me fully,” he says.
When Lennin started out in the entrepreneurial world, he proceeded to buy up accommodation in Witbank, monopolising the area and even securing a deal with Eskom. “The money I received, I used to venture into other businesses. For example, people had mining rights but did not have the finances to operate in the mining sector, so I invested in this industry.” Lennin has experience in both the property and construction industries but his vast knowledge was not spread across mining; and he currently has experienced people working for him on this aspect of the business. All his businesses operate under the Marule Family Trust.
The property game
According to Lennin, the driving force behind Marule Property Development Holdings’ ongoing success is the exceptionally stable core team of dedicated professionals, most of whom have more than 20 years’ experience in their respective disciplines. Each employee is well-trained and has a passion for quality. Catering for a wide range of property owners, both local and provincial, the company specialises in the design and building of multi-story residential properties. Situated in Witbank, the company is renowned for its commitment to deliver signature developments of high quality that deliver above-average investment returns.
In addition to construction, the company is involved in the sale and purchase of development property. Where appropriate, specialised development teams have been set up to assist with the ongoing marketing and sales of development opportunities. Marule is also venturing into the building of hotels, guest houses, flat, commercial buildings and offices. “We are looking at expanding our accommodation base to Pretoria. With regard to the mining sector, it is a new investment and I will have to analyse the turnover. But I have a good team that will help me to expand. For now, there is a dire need for accommodation in Pretoria, Johannesburg and Polokwane, and I will be focusing my energies there.” Lennin has people employed to monitor the accommodation sites every day, especially buildings that house students. He has regular meetings with the approximate 42 staff members in order to remain hands-on. During those meetings, says Lennin, decisions are made and the staff then goes back and implements these decisions.
Apart from concentrating solely on the bottom line, Lennin and his team are constantly involved in social responsibility initiatives and strive to make a valuable impact in the community by donating funds to the local churches and welfare groups; availing the Villa Shalom Hall to residents for church services; making the guest house available at no cost for church-related seminars and meetings; and donating toward school fees and funeral services for Marule company employees.
Accolades and accreditations
Marule has been a client of Business Partners for the past six years. Apart from winning the small category in this year’s Entrepreneur of the Year® awards, Lennin was also nominated by Business Partners as Entrepreneur of the Year® back in 2007. As winner of the KZN/Mpumalanga region, he participated as one of the three finalists and was named runner-up. In the same year, Lennin was also the recipient of the Old Mutual/Rapport Small Business of the Year Award.
The company is registered with the Estate Agent Affairs Board, the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) and the Construction Industry Development Board (cidb).