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Mrs Tabitha King found a discarded manuscript in her refuse bag one fine summer afternoon. Why she was rummaging in a refuse bag is anybody’s guess. Fascinated, she read the disheveled manuscript and decided to send it on to a publisher. The published edition went on to critical acclaim and was made into a movie starring Farah Fawcett. The book was titled Carrie, the first published novel by Tabitha's husband Stephen King. King is now one of the world’s bestselling authors.

History has often recorded such events that spin on an uncontrolled axis, levered by forces beyond human control. For instance, nobody, not even psychics could have foreseen that the sale of four barrels of diesel fuel would effectively launch KZN Oils back in 1998. But it did, and the rest as they say is history. But the history itself is peppered with blood, sweat and tears; a history inscribed with the ink of disappointment and successive failures. At one point the landscape was so bleak and cheerless, KZN Oils CEO Rajen Reddy was forced to reconsider his options. While trying to market KZN Oils to government and the industrial and commercial sectors, he found he was barely eking a living. He sold stationery instead.

It’s easy to be discouraged when there are a range of forces against you. Broken promises, closed doors and an industry not known for magnanimity towards small businesses all fuelled (no pun intended) the determination of Reddy to beat the odds. And beat the odds he did.

Armed with a natural flair for business and a steely resolve, Reddy persuaded government to contract small amounts of fuel and lubricants from KZN Oils. They tentatively agreed and purchased four drums of diesel fuel. Soon other companies in the automotive, industrial and marine sectors realized the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of KZN Oils managing their fuel needs. The snowball had started gaining momentum and would soon grow into an avalanche.

In 1998 the company realised a turnover of just over a million rand. Through sheer hard work, fortitude and strength, Reddy built a small BEE company into the large corporation as it exists today. Last year alone KZN Oils realized a turnover of R700-million and supplied an incredible 120 million litres of fuel to end-users.

Today, KZN Oils stands resplendent in its office-cum-warehouse building on Durban's North Coast Road, the nerve-centre of its national and provincial operations. It is a touching testimony of what can be accomplished through dogged perseverance and tenacity.

KZN Oils currently straddles the diversified sectors of commerce and industry, a towering corporation pumping energy-saving oil and fuel into the arteries of industry. KZN Oils has metamorphosed into a liquid jewel.

KZN OILS – A company with heart.

 
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