Beverly Gumbi-Ngcongwane has built her company, Isivuno Containers, to craft exciting new offices, spaces, and homes from previously owned industrial shipping containers.

Beverly GumbiNgcongwane is a Durban-based businesswoman who is lauded as one of the pioneers in the container conversion space, where her company, Isivuno Containers, crafts new premises from existing shipping containers.

Since its humble beginnings in 2005, Isivuno Containers has since climbed to the top under Beverly’s stewardship as an industry leader- and Isivuno containers’ business model is to convert ordinary shipping containers into functional living and working spaces for both personal and business use. 

Today, Beverly runs the Pinetown-based company that converts 6m shipping containers into in-house designed small homes, offices, classrooms, crèches and ablutions for sale and rent, and has grown to supply municipalities, corporates, SMMEs and rural communities.

“The inspiration behind the business was the fact that we realised that there was a demand for containers, but a shortage of suppliers”, says Beverly. 

The key to establishing a successful business lies in the ability to identify opportunities and stepping into uncharted territory, this is exactly what Beverly did when she started Isivuno Containers in 2005. “I had to travel into China for a business trip”, says Beverly, “and to my surprise, when I got there, the Chinese were doing amazing structures in containers; so I was really inspired and was sure that container conversion was the kind of business that I wanted to take back to South Africa.”

Beverly and her team are specialists in transforming regular shipping containers into comfortable living and working spaces. The company has successfully delivered on a number of client-tailored projects and continues to explore endless possibilities.

At the core of exceptional service delivery at Isivuno Containers are well-trained staff members who have mastered their craft, skill and creativity combined to deliver premium container convenience.

Beverly offers an innovative quick-fix to the dire shortage of infrastructure in both urban and rural areas. Her product offering provides a ready to use and functional solution, which can be erected within short turnaround time, that is mobile and very versatile.

Speaking on her business journey, Beverly acknowledges that her career has been challenging. “No one believed me that I was going to be able to cope… but I realised that the reason why most females are not in the business is because it is very labour intensive, capital intensive, and its still dominated by men… so as a female, I have to prove myself twice as hard”.

However, Beverly acknowledges that her success is born of all her hard efforts – and today, her business is recognised as a pioneer in its field. “Starting this business was a challenge, but as we started proving our brand more and more people bought into the idea”, adds Beverly.

Isivuno Containers has gone on to win several awards, including the regional award in the 2007 SAB Kickstart Business Competition, as well as the national award in the 2008 competition, and the Regional Business Achievers Award of the Businesswomen’s Association of South Africa in 2012.