The Rise of Umbondo Trading

Umbondo Trading is an innovative automotive and industrial packing supplier whose services and products are mainly focused on injection molding, tool and die making and general engineering. Their capabilities include a wide range of automotive products. Umbondo also has a diverse profile of customers in the automotive sector, from small businesses to OEMs.

Zakhele Myeza, CEO, bought the company in 2020 and has since focused heavily on acquiring new customers and improving their competitiveness. Zakhele has extensive experience in manufacturing optimisation which he has applied in the business in order to improve its operations, despite the challenge of optimising with low volumes.

Umbondo Trading has secured a commercial opportunity with HESTO Harnesses, which bears testament to the growth potential of Umbondo Trading. In December 2021, Umbondo Trading caught the attention of a panel of T1 automotive manufacturing firms after pitching their value proposition at the Automotive Business Accelerator’s Dragons’ Den. Umbondo Trading was awarded “Most Promising/Innovative Business” and R25,000 prize money.

Through their participation in the Small Business Accelerator Programme, they have received business case development support, skills development support and a GrowthFinder Diagnostic. The purpose of this diagnostic is to identify gaps and opportunities for growth.

HESTO Harnesses identified Umbondo Trading’s as high potential at the Dragons’ Den event and have subsequently pursued commercial opportunities with them. Umbondo Trading’s first opportunity is to become a Tier 2 automotive manufacturer. HESTO Harnesses will be developing them at their facilities in Stanger for the next two years whilst they perform sleeves cutting for HESTO Harnesses. This is a significant opportunity for growth for Umbondo Trading as they will learn from a leader in the industry.

The second opportunity afforded to Umbondo Trading has been to manufacture first-in-first-out (FIFO) racks for HESTO Harnesses for the facility that they are currently establishing in Stanger. This allows the SME an opportunity to showcase their capabilities to HESTO Harnesses and potentially other customers in the industry.

The programme’s stakeholders are eager to observe how events at HESTO Harnesses and Umbondo Trading develop and proceed.