1. Can you please tell us more about your business?
A. Indika Communications is a communications consultancy founded by two driven women, Cindy-Lee Minnaar and Ashmika Naidoo. With well over a decade of experience between us, we are well-experienced to deliver meaningful, impactful, effective communications for small business owners and entrepreneurs – in budget and on-time! Building the brands of our clients and ensuring they are showcased in a professional manner, which naturally attracts more clients, is our number one priority.
2. When, how and why did you start your business?
A. My business partner and I wanted to go into business together three years ago already to supplement our income, while meeting a societal need. It wasn’t until Covid-19 hit that we decided to take it seriously. We then went gung-ho and got a website going, reserved social media pages, registered our business, etc.
3. What is your role in the business?
A. I am the co-founder of Indika Communications and as we’re a start-up, both Ashmika and I are involved with everything. From the day-to-day operations, to meeting with clients, to servicing the clients’ needs. However, I am primarily responsible for new business development.
4. Where did you study and what did you study?
A. So, interesting story… I am not the most qualified person you ever did meet in terms of number of degrees and levels either. My dad passed away as I was about to enter matric and my share of the inheritance went to a certificate in Journalism, which I decided to do through Damelin college. My 4 siblings and I grew up average in a township south west of Johannesburg, so there was never a surplus of funds at any given moment. Still, we were more fortunate in many ways compared to our peers in the township.
5. How did you finance your business?
A. As our business is service-based, it means that we were not reliant on capital to get started. We have our own personal laptops and split the website company registration and social media promo expenses down the middle out of our own pockets.
6. Describe your average workday, if such a thing exists.
A. An average workday for me starts at around 5am with me waking up and thanking God for another day to live in my purpose, checking my emails then social media before getting ready to drop my daughter at school, then firing up my laptop to attend to work required and checking in with my business partner on our progress on the various projects. I also spend a lot of time setting up new business meetings and then going to those dispersed before and after collecting my daughter from school in the afternoon. They vary between virtual and face-to-face.
What I enjoy most about being an entrepreneur is the freedom to decide how and when work gets done. I particularly enjoy the fact that there is no such thing as working hours for me, per say. I work when I need to and want to and I thoroughly enjoy what I do so it wouldn’t be unusual to find me working at 4am in the morning or even on a Sunday afternoon.
7. How do you balance your home life and your work life?
A. I balance my home/work life by making sure that I do what I love as regularly as possible and that is spending time in nature by hiking, playing soccer with some of my friends, hanging out with my daughter listening to her endless stories or visiting family. Whenever any one of these are part of my day, I feel like I’ve truly lived that day, energising me to whatever else I need to do.
8. What drives you and inspires you?
A. What drives and inspires me is making a difference. Living in my purpose. Having a positive impact on people’s lives. Whether it be through the work that I do or my social engagements.
9. Where and when do you have your best ideas?
A. My best ideas usually come to me when I’m writing pen to paper and when I’m driving in my car blasting the music at top volume.
10. Where and how do you market/advertise your business for sales leads?
A. Since we’re in the communications field, we know very well how the media works and just how to tap into that to get exposure for our business.
But mostly, we compile a social media content calendar, which we stick to religiously. We know how to dodge the algorithms and put out relevant information on the work we do. Word-of-mouth has also been a strong form of advertising for us as well as reaching out to the networks we’ve built up over the years.
11. What is next for your business?
A. At the moment, I am the only one full-time in the business so our short-term goal is to get my business partner, Ashmika Naidoo, full-time in the business alongside me. We are working fervently to make that happen.
12. What advice would you give to female entrepreneurs hoping to start their own business?
A. My advice to female entrepreneurs who are hoping to start a business is that there is no perfect time, just to do it! You’re as ready as you’ll ever be and if you keep waiting, something or the other will always get in the way. Life is going to shove you into your destiny and then you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!
There are many things I love about being an entrepreneur, but if I’m honest, I probably would not have been as dedicated as I am to making a huge success of it if circumstances didn’t help me along rather unceremoniously. Grateful for the whole journey. All the highs and all the lows.
Thank you so much to Women on Top for acknowledging us. It is a huge honour.
13. BONUS QUESTION: What surprised you most about your entrepreneurial journey so far?
A. What surprised me most about my entrepreneurial journey so far is how most of my help has come from males as opposed to females. For some reason I assumed that I would see more support from my sisters in business, but they seem to be fearful and I’m not entirely sure why that is. I’d like to see more of a sisterhood in business so I’ve determined to be that sister first by creating opportunities wherever I can.
Cindy-Lee Minnaar is a communications professional with over 15 years’ experience spanning across various industries and disciplines, including public relations, marketing and publishing. She is a mom who loves hiking, playing soccer and making a difference.
Mobile: 082 370 0053
Social media links:
Facebook & LinkedIn: @Indika Communications