By Kae Matundu-Tjiparuro WINDHOEK IF you are an auto stylist, car lover and car accessories fad and are looking for more than what your normal dealer can offer you to make your car a classic 2005 or 2030 spectre for that matter, Waldo's Auto Styling is not far from you. Simply make a turn at the Kock and Schmidt Building in Garten Street in the City of Windhoek and your car cravings are sure to find satisfying. If your pocket may not allow it, still soothing the eye may just be enough. An array of styling gadgetries, accessories and titbits worth between N$200-300,000 dÃƒÆ’Ã†'Ãƒâ€ 'ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Â 'ÃƒÆ’Ã†''Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â©cor, for the time being with this auto styling outfit, until you go and claim them and they take their rightful place on your second better half. Motorists at the coast need not despair. Neither those in the North. Walvis Bay and Oshakati host two Waldo's branches. Both young and old, male and female, Waldo's accessories are for you. As Waldo Brockerhoff, who prefers to be known as just another shop hand, entices motorists, especially ladies, Waldo's accessories are unisex as much as the vehicles they drive. After trying to eke out a living through banking and insurance brokering, and tired of being at the beck and call of others, Brockerhoff decided to try his hand at stylish car accessories having identified a niche in the market. As a beginner in need, the Khomasdal-based Friedel's Garage, which offered him a room, provided him with the much-needed base to spring from starting with only N$5 000. The owner of this garage also served as wealthy resource of guidance for the beginner entrepreneur. That was in 1998 as a part-timer. In 2001, Waldo went full time. Seven years down the line it may not be an overnight success but surely it is well on course and on equal among equals in the industry. Not that it has not been without its hitches, most formidable among them access to finances. With the much-needed injection of N$150,000 through the Small and Medium Enterprises lifeline a not-too-distant memory having been serviced fully, Waldo's need for capital injection has by no means lessened. Not with the constant 30-day repayment dagger from his South African suppliers hanging over him. Namibia's commercial banks have been of little use in this regard demanding security before they part with their cash. Renting the premises it is operating from cannot offer much in terms of security. Despite, Brockerhoff would not take it lying down. He is currently working on acquiring properties, which within five years' time could provide him with the necessary security and perhaps open up the financial floodgates. Nevertheless, he thinks it's time that commercial banks bring pay their due in extending up-and-coming small businesspeople like him the critical credit line. The Government, through the Small Businesses Credit Guarantee Scheme, provides SMEs guarantees and it is only fair that commercial banks bring their side.
New Era Reporter
2005-12-05 00:00:00 13 years ago