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INDALO Business Restructuring CEO Lebogang Mpakati is on a mission to ensure that businesses in South Africa are afforded a real chance to thrive

INDALO Business Restructuring is an independent female-led corporate restructuring and advisory organisation which specialises in turnarounds, business rescue, business restructuring, liquidations, insolvencies, and business advisory services.

Founded by Chief Executive Officer Lebogang Mpakati, INDALO Business Restructuring has extensive in-house corporate restructuring and turnaround experience across a variety of industries, thanks to its highly-trained and experienced team. After over a decade of gaining experience within the world of turnarounds and restructuring in corporate South Africa, Mpakati took the bold decision in July 2018 to start her own venture. While it is understandable that she hit a few bumps along the way, the reality is that her extensive experience within the field stood her in good stead to ensure success.

“When I started INDALO Business Restructuring in 2018, I was already a registered business rescue practitioner, and had vast experience garnered through previous senior positions I occupied in development financial institutions. What is required is hard work and client acquisition. Getting over the start-up challenges gave me courage to continue on the path I had chosen, ” Mpakati explains.

She continues, “We are now a team of five. We have three professionals who are assisting with turnarounds, as well as restructuring, business rescue, and insolvencies. We also offer business advisory services assisted by our administrator. My current role as CEO entails me providing training and managing my team. I also get involved in sizable business rescues, insolvencies, and liquidation matters, owing to my status as a senior business rescue practitioner, insolvency practitioner and a liquidator.”

The INDALO promise

Mpakati emphasised that in order to ensure that the relationship between INDALO Business Restructuring and clients is a fruitful one, a level of trust is required from both parties. As a starting point, Mpakati is insistent on the relationship being built on a mutually beneficial footing, with an ethos of ‘Working Hand in Hand’, which is the perfect foundation for that to happen.

INDALO Business Restructuring cannot complete its work successfully without honest and open input from clients. The truth is, their clients are unlikely to survive if they are not open to listening and adopting the strategies proposed by INDALO.

”Our clients know their businesses, they understand the industry that they are operating in, and we want them to be open enough to communicate the challenges they are facing, allowing us to provide and implement strategies to reverse the distressed situation and possible litigation in some cases,” explains Mpakati.

She continues, “Some uncomfortable decisions may need to be made in the process, it is our promise to clients that all decisions, even unpopular ones, are made for their benefits, clients, and any other affected person.”

“If they work with us, we promise to offer long-term sustainability and viability by preserving jobs, enhancing their revenues, reducing costs, and improving their operations,” says Mpakati.

Ensuring success

INDALO Business Restructuring put their promise to clients to test and came out on top in one inspiring example given by Mpakati.

A business in the steel manufacturing sector was on the brink of collapse when they approached Mpakati for help. They could not pay their employees, nor could they service any of their debt or monthly expenses.

Thrown into the mix was that the steel manufacturing client customers started procuring the majority of their products from China at cheaper rates, and the situation was a dire one.

In order to rescue the situation, INDALO Business Restructuring worked closely with the steel manufacturing client to scale down on expenses and implement various strategies, including payment plans with creditors, which would slowly start to reverse the dire cash flow situation.

Fast forward a few months and through the collaboration of all involved and the tactical and strategic work of INDALO Business Restructuring, the steel manufacturing client began to return to normal.

“In this particular case, marketing and business development tactics were put in place by working alongside the marketing team by reviewing the selling prices to be aligned to production costs to ensure positive margins. Thankfully, the management of the company was key in making sure that all strategies we put in place were implemented. By working together, the company managed to survive and they started servicing their debts while gaining new customers,” Mpakati says.

The most important lesson which Mpakati has picked up in her time as a leader and one which helped her immensely during her time with the steel manufacturing client is the importance of clear communication.

Mpakati explains: ”Articulating the vision clearly is important so that all stakeholders can be comfortable and be able to work with you and assist you through implementing the vision. Being decisive is also very important in this line of work, while having empathy and emotional intelligence will stand you in good stead.”

Education is key

As already stated by Mpakati, it is so important for businesses to know when they need help, rather than leaving it to the bitter end.

Mpakati has written a book “The step by step guide to rescue your business from financial distress”. She hopes it will educate the public, in particular, those who sit in board positions about alternate ways an organisation in financial distress can manage its distressed situation. She particularly hopes it highlights the need to act sooner rather than leave problems to fester.

This, she believes, is the first step in helping struggling entities to realise that difficult situations can be rectified with the help of INDALO Business Restructuring, as pleading ignorance and ‘crossing your fingers and toes’ is a dangerous route to take in the world of business.

However, as failure is often the last thing on the minds of those who run businesses, they fail to budget for the possibility of needing assistance.

This is a major challenge which Mpakati has encountered over the years and one which she is doing her utmost to educate businesses of all sizes on.

“The reality is that not all companies can afford the service because they believe it is costly. Turnarounds are costly, and many organisations fail to see the outright benefit of our service, and hence do not budget for it. Many organisations budget for marketing and other services, but not for services like ours, it is not a line item in their budget.”

“With small companies, it is very challenging. Some companies appoint us, but they might not actually be able to afford the service, which is also a tough challenge to face,” she says.

Leading INDALO into the future

Mpakati has one clear goal for the future of INDALO Business Restructuring: Growth.

That growth will be achieved by ensuring that the entity continues to be known for their commitment to integrity, excellence, and innovation.

Mpakati concludes: “Having integrity is key because everyone wants to work with a business that they can trust; one which can deliver their services successfully.

“Our dream is also to positively impact the lives of employees, customers, and suppliers of our clients by creating long term sustainability in businesses.”

We look forward to seeing just how much of an impact you are able to make in the future.

By Editor