Monday, 10 August 2015

Casper's Red Oker pioneering success.

Casper and OST.
Braamfontein Alive spent the early hour of Sunday afternoon discussing with Casper Versluis at Velo Café in Braamfontein; discussing how the former aeronautic engineer pioneered into investment business and small-scale manufacturing using the kingdom culture of Christ- Jesus, as the solid foundation he builds on.

He spent time discussing the latest slide in growth of Apple Inc. share price for three months running. He confides in me that for a business to maintain growth it has to expand its products range and by so doing right investment into such products (business) will pour in.

Casper doesn't do music only that his products create everlasting vibes that people tend to take him for Casper Nyovest. His small-scale manufacturing business; RedOker has cut across so many geographical borders even Australia.

Below is how the interview goes:

Comment: Yeah Casper, thank you so much for honouring our invitation out of your tight schedule.

A: Thank you Success! Is okay now after being away for a while I am ready now let’s get started!

Q: Can you introduce yourself please?

A: I’m Casper Versluis. I’m involved in restaurants trade as well as a small-scale manufacturing.

Q: Can you tell us about your background?

A: I grew up in the Northern Cape Province. I came to Johannesburg after my high school and I was working as an aeronautical engineer in the aviation industry. In 2008, I went into business of my own.

Q: Where did you work as an aeronautical engineer?

A: I worked in Johannesburg, North/West Africa, the Middle East, and the North/East Asia.

Q: What was it like?

A: It was a great adventure and experience to work in such a diversified-cultural entities; it was a wonderful journey of discovery.

Q: What prompted you into business?

A: I’m always passionate about entrepreneurship and I have great love for this country and the people as my love for business serves as a vehicle to reach out to people to make positive impact in their lives both directly and indirectly. I mean directly for my employees and indirectly to my customers and suppliers.

Q: How did you discover your business channel?

A: Is a long story but I will put it this way. After I returned home, I desperately wanted to get involve with my people but I didn't know what to do! The opportunity came when I have to teach people living on the street on how to work with their hands. So the only thing available was my talents. Therefore, I have to be faithful with my talents and time and a Godly desire to be to touch lives made God to open doors of my business.

Q: Why did you choose restaurant and manufacturing businesses?

A: The restaurant one was a business investment that supplies me with income that would give me social-development opportunities.

The manufacturing started from the scratch. I was good at using my hands so this strong desire made me to develop it in a way it is today while presenting an opportunity for me to alleviate unemployment in South Africa.

Q: What do you produce?

A: We produce leather and canvass products, bags and leather accessories. The whole brain behind this initiative is to create a concept that can be duplicated by other people with similar desire to combine entrepreneurial and social ventures together.

Q: How did you integrate: entrepreneurship and Social ventures?

A: In a developing country like South Africa with social-economic problems, is very important or should I say? Diverse co-operations need to start taking place among the three main sectors of our society. The private sector, the public sector and the Non-profit sector have to have mutual, long lasting relationship and sustainable co-operation (Private-Public-N.G.O.)that would enable them to work hand-in-hand!

Currently in the country, there’s no cordial co-operation. There’s this traditional boundaries among them. The sectors don’t integrate for us to overcome. The main challenge is to work hand-in-hand and as soon as we get this challenge out of the way and we work together as we need one another to get things right.

Q: Do you think this is a lasting solution?

A: Well I believe it will improve the situation in the business world in our country.

Q: So, how’s your business?

A: Is doing all right! It has so many challenges but we are doing good considering the dynamic. Our bigger challenge as a small enterprise is to do what to be done. There are very few people out there teaching you what needs to be done so we taught ourselves what needs to be done.

Q: Are you a self-made business man?

A: Everybody is a self-made because you still need devotion to commit yourself. I do understand what you mean but I will not define myself as a business man but a person with the right entrepreneurial spirit!

Q: Tell me about your entrepreneurial spirit that keeps you going?

A: Business represents growth; life. Growth gives birth to opportunity and that’s kingdom culture principle. You see progress in God’s kingdom so I see business as a tool to bring about growth and as platform to address socio-economy. Is an important vehicle to reach people and ultimately to reach people with the gospel by exposing people to the truth in a practical way to challenge people. I believe business is to serve four dimensions, namely: spiritual dimension, relationships, social-dynamic and physical dimension (Material needs).

Q: What draws you to business?

A: Business has to take care of itself. Is not a charity! It doesn't draw money from an outside source as it needs to function on its own. I love the aspect of sustainability and my interest is to apply the sustainability as it needs to be present.

Q: I often notice you mentoring people and why do you do that?

A: I have the desire to serve people and to be of service to people who need my talent to get to the next level.

Q: Did you also receive mentorship in the past?

A: There are many people that helped me to learn the rope in business. It excites me to share my experience, knowledge and mistakes along the line to people.

Q: What is the name of your manufacturing business?

A: Is RedOker.

Q: Where can people get your products?

A: We sell online, various stores in some parts of South Africa. We recently made the products available in Australia.

Q: What’s your online source?

A: Prospective customers can check us at:

Q: Where do you see RedOker in the next 5 years?

A: RedOker is a pioneer of brand of products that are produced in South Africa that can compete both in quality and design with the best in the world. Is also an ambassador that would promote the opportunity of African manufacture in Africa through the rest of the world!

Q: Do you see your brand going around the world in 5 years’ time?

A: I do believe so!

My comment. (“So do I”)

Q: What advice do you have for people in business out there?

A: (On a light mood) I’m still learning myself. I would say though, do business on the basis of desire and belief that you were called to it and that ultimately will sustain you in difficult times. This has to be a firm faith that you are called and through this perspective it would help you to see your business as a way of life not a routine job.

Now you have heard it from m the horse's mouth that is pioneering African leather across the world in a way to further move our continent forward in terms of "made in South Africa!" 

Casper currently employed six full-time workers and few part-time workers and is impacting his technical-know-how in business to everybody that wants to change the world with him.

By Olagunju, Success Taiwo(OST).

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