Science inspires Ofhani Ramukhuvhathi to become an entrepreneur

Ofhani’s love for science and a desire to improve the lives of the impoverished led him to start his own company.

Ofhani Ramukhuvhathi may be employed as an accountant now, but his interest in business doesn’t stop there. Through his work as an accountant, Ofhani has gained great exposure to the manufacturing industry, which ignited a spark in him to start his own manufacturing company, ATM Gas Industries, focused on producing gas cylinders of all sizes from alternative material.

His love for science, coupled with this exposure to the manufacturing sector, was the inspiration he needed to pursue his entrepreneurial ambitions. He’s had a passion for science since he was in high school, so much so that he is currently pursuing a science degree. And he hopes his new venture will help to improving the day-to-day lives of people living in disadvantaged communities.

“We want to produce carbon fibre gas cylinders, starting with the smaller gas cylinders generally used for cooking at home. The idea is to make them much more affordable and lighter, especially for people living in the township, while at the same time making gas a safer alternative to a conventional paraffin stove,” he says.
“Looking at the larger gas cylinders, these are quite heavy as they are produced using steel. Making them lighter will reduce transportation costs,” he adds.

The business is currently in the development stages, since Ofhani and his partner want to ensure that the final product is of the highest quality before they start selling it, keeping in mind that gas is a dangerous material to work with.

Ofhani is currently an assistant manager at the office of the Auditor General of South Africa (AGSA), where he runs the daily audit, oversees the work of trainee auditors and ensures that the audit team meets its deadline without exceeding its budget.

He’s a newly qualified CA, having just qualified in 2020, and says he believes CAs are entrepreneurial by nature – not because they have in-depth knowledge of how to run a business from a numbers perspective, but rather as a result of them being wired differently from others.

“CAs are more adventurous when you compare them to other professionals who are more comfortable with sitting behind a desk. CAs are willing to go into an industry they know nothing about and figure out a way to thrive in it,” he says.

The CFO title is considered to be the ultimate prize for most CAs on their way up the corporate ladder and Ofhani says CFOs these days cannot limit themselves to just being numbers people – they need to contribute operationally too.

When Ofhani is not chasing his entrepreneurial dreams, he enjoys running, a newly acquired hobby and enjoys reading books on strategy and change management.