Nonkululeko Mabena is the founder and visionary of Prudent Energy Solutions and has extensive expertise in the petroleum and mining industries, notably in South Africa. Since the founding of Prudent Energy Solutions in 2014, she has held several leadership responsibilities ranging from marketing to business development. She has a B.Tech. degree in chemical engineering from Witwatersrand Business School, as well as other important business and management certifications.

Transform SA spoke to Nonkululeko Mabena.

1.What does your company do?

Our core business is in the petroleum sphere. We hold a wholesale petroleum license that is fully authorised to trade in:

Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG)

Liquified Natural Gas (LNG)

Aviation Gasoline (AVGAZ)

Illuminating Paraffin (IP)

Diesel (50/500PPM)

Petrol (93/95-ULP/LRP)

Heavy Furnace Oil (HFO), Bitumen, Asphalt and other Black Products.

Lubricants (Mining, Automotive, Aviation)

This license allows us to provide our services based on safer, cleaner, and more affordable products to:

Bulk Fuel Customers

Bulk Gas Customers

Heavy Industries

Private and Government Parastatals

Other Petroleum wholesalers

And white pumps (private and owned service stations)

2.Why did you make the decision to establish your own company?

For me, it was to inspire other women to go for their dreams. As a young woman who found herself in the petroleum industry as an engineer, it became clear that we have a shortage of women in leadership, let alone women who are entrepreneurs in these male-dominated industries.

I took it upon myself to establish a company that would offer great services and excel. To prove that women can indeed lead in a male-dominated industry.

3.How has your company changed since you first started it?

We have grown a lot and even managed to create a lot of jobs in the long run. One of the highlights, of course, was the establishment of OrganoZorb under Prudent Energy Solutions.

Organozorb has emerged as one of South Africa’s fastest-growing hydrocarbon and spill management firms. We have offices in Mpumalanga, Gauteng, and Bloemfontein and are in the process of establishing SADC structures.

Our expert team is dedicated to giving the best possible service and ensuring that spills are controlled and cleaned up as fast and effectively as possible. We want to be the leading provider of hydrocarbon absorbent products and services, and we look forward to collaborating with you to keep your environment clean and safe.

Our newly opened hydrocarbon and chemical absorbent manufacturing and bagging facility is located in the central city of Bloemfontein, South Africa, making it an ideal location for distribution across the country.

Situated directly next to the N1 and with easy access to the N3, we pride ourselves on our reliable and efficient distribution network and are able to quickly and safely deliver our products to customers nationwide.

4.How do you distinguish your company from others in your industry?

The company is built on never compromising on services or products. Our clients may speak to the work ethic that we have demonstrated in our collaborations with them.

5.What factors do you consider when outsourcing or hiring?

The most crucial factor is expertise. We already have a great team of people, ranging from project managers to engineers to admin and sales. The individual(s) who join our team must have the same feeling of hunger and commitment that is already a slogan inside the Prudent Energy Solutions group.

6. How do you define success and how long did it take you to find it?

Success for me is impact.

I love seeing other women getting up and challenging the status quo because they have seen my journey. When the company grows and hires more people to match the demand and our projects, that for me is success.

7.What will you never compromise on with your business?

Cutting corners is not my thing.

I would never compromise on quality or service. Prudent Energy Solutions operates in one of the most fragile industries that requires attention to detail. For example, you could have oil spills so easily that instead of hiding the fact by covering it up, you need to properly clean up the hazard and find possible solutions to prevent it from happening again.

8.What do you envision for your company in five years? Ten?

I see huge growth with possible branches across the content. We are also aiming to have as many manufacturing hubs for our OrganoZorb products that we will be able to sell beyond SADC as we do at the moment.

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