Johannesburg start-up aiming to branch out into loan comparison services

South Africa doesn’t have the best record when it comes to the field of price comparison websites. That isn’t to say there aren’t any, for example Hippo and PriceCheck. These sites don’t do anything wrong and all in all do a fairly decent job, but still lag far behind the rest of the world’s go-to price comparison services.

A 28 year old computer systems graduate is planning to create a shake-up in the industry. Entrepreneur Mandla Mxumalo believes that it is lack of competition that holds back the quality in the market. If you’re at the top of the pile with a shabby product, why spend time, money, and effort making it sleeker for no good reason? Mandla is hoping to launch a loan comparison site for everyday consumers like me and you to see whether we should take out, for example Wonga cash loans or another alternative.

He took a big risk 4 years ago when he quit his job to start the SOLIDred Media company, he said “I noticed that I was making more money as a freelancer than at my normal job. This helped me build my database of clients and from there, I decided to take the plunge and start SOLIDred Media”.

At this point in time, Mandla is focusing on a mobile app and desktop service called Direct Mulah, which launched only a couple of months ago. It will allow customers to compare financial service providers, contact them if they so desire, as well as posting feedback on their experiences.

For the most part, SOLIDred Media builds websites for an affordable cost, and helps young businesses with development, hosting and marketing. They also provide SEO, an increasingly important part of getting traction towards a small business.

Moving back to his app, Direct Mulah, Mandla said “It will be sort of combination of Hello Peter, Wonga.com and Hippo”. He was asked if he worries at all about the largest names in the industry like Hippo.com. He wasn’t put off in the slightest, and said he was eager to go head to head with industry leaders.

On the topic of SOLIDred Media, Mandla said “My secret to SOLIDred Media’s success is providing quality service, being humble and truthful to clients. The proof is in the pudding”. He then spoke about some of the challenges he faces, “The hardest part of my job is getting clients and getting the work done on time since I work on my own. I try and schedule my work accordingly, but sometimes that’s not enough and I end up racing against time”. Mandla isn’t the only start-up owner working extremely hard. Check out this article from Tech.co for an insight into the life of entrepreneurs.

In future years, Mandla wants to be able to hire more employees to lessen the workload slightly on himself, and before long to transform SOLIDred Media into an successful advertising agency that could rival the big South African names. There are some parts of working alone that Mandla could miss slightly, as as a sole proprietor he doesn’t incur many costs and takes home 65% net profit on some projects.

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