SA Affordable Housing November - December 2018 // Issue: 73 - Page 31

PERSONALITY PROFILE A success story for an energetic entrepreneur Just over a year ago, Sherwyn Esbend’s office in Durban’s North Coast Road was an empty space. Today, it is subdivided into separate offices including a smart reception area and he has just taken delivery of two brand new bakkies. Sherwyn Esbend, owner of Sbenz Construction. O ver the past two years, Sherwyn Esbend has built a vibrant construction business that repairs properties on behalf of insurance companies. But it has been a challenging journey and one where his business philosophy of delivering quality results and ensuring top notch service have stood him in good stead. “I tell people who want to go into business that the more they grow, the bigger the challenges they will face and the larger the potential problems will be. In the school of life, before you go to the next grade, you have to pass the test. So, don’t keep going around the same mountain like the Israelites. Keep your eye on that next level.” Esbend was born and grew up in Pietermaritzburg into a family of entrepreneurs. Both his grandfather and his father, who passed away when he was just 12, were in the construction industry and he admits that following them seemed the natural thing to do. After completing his matric, however, he headed to the US for a year and a half where he helped his sister who ran a laundromat and a construction business. Back in South Africa, he joined Waltons Stationery and then moved to the Road Traffic Inspectorate. Five years later, when his second son was born, he decided that the dangers and shift work weren’t worth it and moved to eThekwini Municipality where he worked in the signage and advertising department. On the side, he was doing a few small construction jobs. “I wasn’t satisfied. I knew I wanted to go into business and, specifically, into construction. I’d been trying to do some small jobs, but things didn’t always work out. I bumped my head and lost a lot of money, but I persevered,” he recalls. About four years ago, Esbend remembers being so broke that he couldn’t scrape together enough money to buy a loaf of bread. His wife Karen, who he says has been by his side NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2018 29