Ntuthuko Shezi

If you need to catch a flight from OR Tambo airport and your car has a dent, or a cracked windscreen, Scratch Mobile will fix it for you while you are away. Scratch Mobile is the brainchild of 32-year-old Ntuthuko Shezi, whose passion for business stemmed from a desire to change his family’s financial situation. He grew up in rural Ndwedwe in KwaZulu-Natal, with a single mother, a teacher who sold sweets, fish and vetkoek for extra money at the school she worked at, and Shezi would often help her. His grandparents kept cows for milk and grew their own fruit and vegetables. The family had no electricity. These difficulties have led to Shezi’s dream of being a future Ndwedwe ward councillor. When he left his job in management consulting he fortuitously recognised a gap in the panel-beating industry. Even through he did not have a clue about panel beating, his degree in engineering from the University of Cape Town made it easier for him to demystify in his head a subject many see as rocket science. His history in management alerted him to the fact that the industry was known for offering little compassion and care to customers and he wanted to change this and give customers who needed their cars fixed an option that was convenient for them and put their needs first. Scratch Mobile, which does panel beating, spray painting and auto glass repairs and replacements, is the first known business of its kind in the world and Shezi is looking to expand, as its success has been exceptional. The business fixes between 170 and 200 cars every month and has a turnover of a few million a year. His aim is to be a game-changer, not just to do things the way they have been done for a long time. — Ilham Rawoot