From operating under a tree, meet man who today owns Street Parking Solutions

From running his business from under a tree in an abandoned parking lot in Claremont, Cape Town — entrepreneur Zunade Loghdey today runs a parking management company that employs over 300 parking marshals.

Loghdey’s Street Parking Solutions (SPS) currently manages the City of Cape Town’s parking solutions in the city centre.

In 2008 when he started SPS he took to managing just 100 parking bays in Claremont. At the time Loghdey (pictured above, right) could not afford an office. “I found an abandoned bowling green in Bowwood Road, Claremont, it’s still there today. The tree that you see in the parking lot is the tree that we operated under in the rain,” he says.

It took Loghdey two years to eventually get his first office — in a garage basement.

Street Parking Solutions has grown from 100 parking bays in Claremont to managing parking for the entire city centre of Cape Town

The 46-year-old, started his first business, a wool and yarn company, when he was just 19. He has since also been part of a team that brought street-sweeping machines to Cape Town.

Loghdey, who holds an MBA from the University of Cape Town, has also worked as a professional management consultant at Deloitte Consulting in Los Angeles for a year before founding SPS.

His latest project is Parkfind, an app that allows users to search for, navigate to and pay for parking all in real-time.

Read more: Parkfind claims to be first in Africa with real-time search, navigation and payment 

Loghdey says over the years he has faced a lot of challenges building SPS — ranging from violent strikes to legal cases and to trying to secure funding. “There’s been dark times, there’s been f***ing bad times,” he recalls.

He says while he started SPS with less than a R1000, funding was of lesser importance than the right idea and patience.

“Everyone thinks they need funding, funding is only a part of it. It’s an important part but it’s not the most important part. Having the right idea, product or service that serves the market need at the time and having the patience to wait it out and position yourself until the time is right to pounce on an opportunity.

Even so, Loghdey still struggled to secure funding from banks even when he had won a contract, which could have helped to bankroll his business.

“They wouldn’t give me funding for a contract that was under-written by the City of Cape Town, for a sure thing, where people are coming to pay everyday backed by legislation, that was the challenge of entrepreneurship,” he says.

He believes that this was because he is black. “If I was a white man they would have thrown it at me, but back then in 2008, 2009 – this is the s*** that you had to put up with. (In some ways) it’s changing, but (in other ways) it’s not changed,” he adds.

In the end Loghdey believes that all entrepreneurs must have endurance to succeed in business. “Always stay in the game, you’re going to get ups and downs you’re going to get serious challenges.

“I’ve been through violent strikes, court cases, name it, I’ve been through it. You’ve got to believe in what you’re doing, you’ve got to believe that if you’re doing the right things, you’re doing the right things more often.”

Featured image: From left to right, Igshaan Cassiem, SPS senior manager and SPS founder and CEO Zunade Loghdey.

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