Youth carve niche in real estate

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The brains behind MGP

By Mosa Matela

Managing Group of Properties (MGP) was founded by five young individuals in July of 2020. It is a real estate investment developer that is currently working on one of the largest residential real estate projects in the country: Green City.

Tanay Patel, Thabo Mphana, Tšepo Mphana, Mercedes Recalde and Manasseh Girmay are five youthful acquaintances that have come together to change the real estate game. They founded this company with the aim to provide quality residences for Basotho of all classes and backgrounds and to provide employment to those in need.

When asked about the events that led to the birth of MGP, the directors informed this publication that they all came together due to the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020.

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The managing director, who was in Spain for school prior to the lockdown, came back to Lesotho with the realisation that the economic state – not just in Lesotho but globally as well – seems to be deteriorating by the day.

“I was at a point where I despised asking for help, so when I saw an opportunity in real estate, I sat my friends down and asked them if they would like to seize this opportunity as well,” Patel said. When he pitched the idea, the directors all realised that they each have their own personal problems and that MGP would aid in providing a solution, whilst allowing them to take their futures into their own hands.

As enthusiastic and determined as they were, they came across a lot of challenges during the first two years of MGP. “Making our way through a new field of work in which we had no prior experience in, especially at such a young age, was one of our biggest challenges,” Tšepo said.

They all go on to mention other challenges, such as; gaining credibility in order to be deemed as trustworthy to clients, banks and suppliers; being diligent and competent due to the responsibility that was required and remaining consistent in terms of effort put in and quality of work put out.

One of the things that alleviated the pressure that came with these challenges was MGP’s collaboration with First National Bank (FNB Lesotho). This collaboration benefitted the company in more ways than they could describe.

“Our collab with FNB expanded our market place tremendously. Now more Basotho are able to do business with us with a highly trusted bank which makes the process of building their homes smoother and easier for both them and us as the developers,” Mphana said. It also gave them credibility and gained them faith within clients which in turn gave them faith within their themselves.

They earned this collab through a lot of hard-work, meetings with management at FNB and proof of consistency and good work with the few projects within Green City that they had already completed at the time.

Green City is an estate situated on the outskirts of Maseru at Kofi Annan Road, Ha Pena Pena. MGP has plans of providing a medical facility, a school, a shopping centre, a filling station and a recreational centre within the parameters of Green City. 

When asked if they build outside of Green City, the directors informed us that they do not want to spread their focus and resources too thin. Restraining their work within Green City has proven to be the best move for them, as they are receiving a great influx of clients and it allows them to ensure safety and better results in terms of their housing. It also allows them to ensure client satisfaction.

The directors of MGP have one main goal: ensuring happy clientele. On their journey to achieving this, they have instilled multiple principles that will ensure constant success and progression, which they also hope will inspire and aid other young entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.

These principles include: being diligent and competent; showing commitment and perseverance till completion of project/product; constantly possessing willingness to learn and giving clients the best experience.

They encourage the youth to have the outcome in mind and to constantly work hard without seeking validation and recognition. They want young entrepreneurs to realise that opportunities are not found but created, which in turn provides a lot of responsibility that often has to be tackled using emotional intelligence more than you would complex intelligence.

The directors want to challenge conventional wisdom, which discourages the idea of working with friends. “As long as we can all reach a common understanding of what we want for the company and for ourselves, we believe we can put all personal feelings aside and focus on the growth of MGP and on creating desirable futures for ourselves,” Mphana said.

“Lesotho is a country with great potential. It is a blank page and we want to be part of the editing authors that write the success story of this country,” Tšepo said. They believe that the state of the economy is determined by the state of mind of the entrepreneurs of the country and want to encourage them to realise that they have the power to change the game and lead the country to success.