Spotlight: Meet Daisy Govender From Wall to Wall Projects
Being a female in the world of maintenance construction has its challenges. Today we meet Daisy Govender, owner of Wall to Wall Projects. She shares her passion for the industry and how her company empowers individuals from being skilled workers to independent contractors.
Daisy, please tell us about how you started in the industry.
Many years ago, while working for a flooring company, my employer decided to re-locate, so instead of my colleagues and me becoming unemployed, I offered to take over the business as is with its debt. I managed the business for 10 years, paid off the company’s debt and was just breaking even. So I decided to close up without liquidating, not knowing what I was going to do. However, on the day I closed, being so well known in the industry, I received a fax from a flooring company offering me a job in the flooring industry.
I accepted a job in marketing as a sales executive on the road, something I hadn’t done before. However, I excelled in this company and was with them for 12 years. Then out of the blue, I received a call from one of the largest flooring suppliers for a meeting. I was bowled over because they told me being so well known in the industry and being a person of integrity they chose to empower me and set me up in business on my own. It was an offer I gladly accepted in 2004 and I started specialising in flooring. A few years later I was offered a complete turnkey project with the Department of Architecture without any knowledge. I accepted the challenge and brought in specialised contractors to do drywalls, painting etc, and I carried out that project to excellence and didn’t look back.
For the past 12 years, I have operated as a professional service provider in supplier to the corporate sector to top blue-chip companies such as Toyota SA, Virgin Active, Ethekwini the Municipality, Netcare Hospitals and the list goes on.
What is the highlight of your working life?
The best part of my job is handing over every project with a spirit of excellence and exceeding my client’s expectations. The most memorable moment in my career was being chosen by the supplier that empowered me to be in business on my own. They saw my potential to excel as a female in business within a male-dominated industry. I’m so proud to work in the construction industry because I am passionate about what I do. I accept every challenge with a positive mental attitude, and nothing is too difficult for me. I find solutions and move forward.
What does a typical day at work look like?
An average day for me is quoting on new projects. I then oversee and manage every project by myself. As such, I do all the purchasing of materials and make sure all the materials are on-site before the contractors start. Thereafter everything is clock work.
Are there certain advantages to being in construction?
Honestly, there are no advantages as women still face challenges in the construction industry. It is still male-dominated and many women encounter familiar gender-related challenges such as gender bias, lack of adequate resources and benefits.
How do you think the construction industry can attract more female candidates?
I feel there should be skills development for this as I didn’t have that. Everything I know I learned hands-on. I would love to be able to share my knowledge and be able to train females in this field.
What is the most important change happening in the construction industry over the past year?
The Covid -19 pandemic changed how the construction industry does business from scheduling and closing projects to meeting with clients. Furthermore, new technology continues to change and the industry as a whole has become more competitive.
What advice would you give anyone on a similar career path, or just starting out?
The best career advice I received was to be self-employed and to diversify into various business opportunities without limits.
Why should a person consider a career in construction?
Those who choose a career in construction are able to have a sense of accomplishment when they are able to look at a completed project. I can truly say that the feeling is overwhelming to see everything coming together.
What trends are you watching in the construction industry?
New technology continues to change and improves the ability to win projects. The changing trend means we see quality projects with quality profits. SMME’s also now get opportunities to prove themselves and move up to the next level.
I would also like to thank Pelican Systems here in Durban for their excellent service at all times.
For more visit Wall to Wall Projects.
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