SPONSORED – – Baroka Funerals
By Written by Pontsho Motaung
In his illustrious career spanning various industries such as photography, fuel, property, auctioneering, retailing, and funerals, Ratau Mphahlele has always been his own boss. With a philosophy of hiring individuals superior to himself, Ratau has rapidly grown Baroka Funerals from the ground up in less than a decade, achieving an impressive annual turnover of R75 million.
Having accumulated extensive entrepreneurial experience, Ratau transformed his small shop in Mabopane into a thriving funeral parlor, which now encompasses 10 branches, a fleet of 52 vehicles, and a funeral insurance scheme boasting 15,000 members. While some of his ventures may not have been as successful, they have provided him with entertaining stories to share.
Recognizing the importance of establishing a formal presence in Tshwane’s center, Ratau identified a building on Stanza Bopape Street to serve as Baroka’s head office and call center. Overcoming bureaucratic hurdles from banks, Ratau found a genuinely interested partner in Business Partners Limited, who recognized the value he had created.
Despite obstacles, Baroka Funerals continues to thrive, with ten branches strategically located throughout Gauteng, five of which are owned by the business. Ratau attributes part of his success to a corporate approach, evident in meticulously maintained branches adorned in Baroka’s distinctive corporate colors, along with a pristine fleet of 52 vehicles. The business’s structure reflects this corporate ethos, with Ratau’s wife chairing the board and serving as a demanding taskmaster.
Looking ahead, Ratau is focused on further expanding Baroka’s presence in Gauteng, with long-term plans for nationwide growth. Ever the opportunist, he is already planning Baroka Events to complement the existing infrastructure and vast experience of the business, catering to weddings and parties.