Penetrating the coal market brick by brick

Tshepo Kehimile
BUSINESS MINDED: Marumo and O’Reilly

Two enterprising siblings, Marumo Marumo, 37, and Keith O’Reilly, 27, have found a niche to turn raw coal into environmentally friendly bricks that produce high-quality heat with less smoke.

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Marumo told Voice Money this week that it took a great deal of research to eventually set up MatsBMK (Pty) Ltd which is a 100 percent citizen-owned company that was registered on the 27th of October 2020.

He explained that their enterprise ideals are underpinned by a committed and customer-care-oriented approach.

“MatsBMK is a company which was started by my brother O’Reilly and myself after a great deal of research in order to learn how this industry works and its main focus is to distribute and to supply value-added coal products such as briquettes and coal bricks for domestic and regional use,” he explained.

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Penetrating the coal market brick by brick
NEW PRODUCT: Coal bricks

The enterprise was established after the two siblings noticed a niche in the market which needed to be exploited and they capitalized on it.

Highlighting their future plans, Marumo said they plan to expand across the country as they continue in this unfamiliar business territory.

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With no relevant educational background in the industry, the two followed their convictions to establish MatsBMK which looks set to be a successful undertaking.

“I studied communications while my brother has a Degree in Tourism and Hospitality from William Angliss Institute in Australia but that never discouraged us to venture into this type of business,” he said, adding that they have received a fair reception from the public.

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The company sources its raw material from Morupule Coal Mine and blends it into their products such as coal bricks which Marumo says have vast advantages as they last longer in addition to providing excessive heat and producing less smoke.

“We produce our products in Ramotswa where all the magic happens, and our products can be found in filling stations countrywide,” he said.

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Though the business started fairly well, it has not been a bed of roses for the newly founded company.

“We are a self-funded enterprise, hence it has not been an easy journey. We have tried to secure funding but so far luck has not been on our side,” he revealed, adding that they, however, have not given up on securing additional funding to grow the business with the ultimate goal of exporting the products to the rest of the continent.

While the business marks its first anniversary this month, they have created employment opportunities for at least seven locals and have set up another plant in Palapye to get closer to the source of their raw material.

“In addition, our relationship with Morupule has been tremendous on our growth as they have been so supportive thus we have the confidence of reaching the stars in the near future,” he said in conclusion.

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