BY TURNING his passion for music into a business and always staying on top of his game, Port Elizabeth businessman Rendo Pienaar has achieved success in the field of audio systems and home automated solutions.
As owner of Rendo’s Audio in Newton Park, Pienaar has transformed his fledgling business which he started in 1998 to one with a national footprint and a turnover of more than R20-million a year.
He now employs a specialised team of 10 staff members and operates from a 700m² office specially designed for the audio business.
“If the passion is there and you love what you do then you can make anything succeed. I have always enjoyed the sound business and always wanted to work with music. Nothing can stir emotions in a person like music can. All kinds of music are like bookmarks in a person’s life. We remember important times and occasions in our lives through a song. This is why I love it so,” he said.
Born and raised in Port Elizabeth, Pienaar attended Framesby High School but matriculated at Brandwag High School in Uitenhage.
“My father was a businessman and had a few audio visual businesses in PE and in Uitenhage called Top 20. They were a lot like Rafi’s because they sold everything from hi-fi’s to fridges and cellphones. After school I went to study quantity surveying because I was always good with numbers, but I did not finish because it was not what I wanted to do,” he said.
In 1982 Pienaar joined his father, Leon, and his brother, Noel, at their chain of Top 20 stores and gradually grew the businesses. He stayed with the family business until 1998 when he decided it was time to branch out on his own.
“My family supported me in my idea, but I had no money. Back in those days you had a bank manager who made all the decisions so I presented a business plan and arranged an overdraft. Fortunately I was involved in my dad’s business for so long that I had the experience and I had developed a good relationship with suppliers.”
Pienaar rented a house in Pickering Street, and chose to specialise in audio equipment exclusively, opting for high quality equipment for customers looking for budget products up to the extremely higher-end products.
“We offer Boston Acoustics, Yamaha, Bowers and Wilkens and Marantz. This is award-winning equipment because when you listen to music it is so much better when the products are good. Our personnel are trained and qualified to install all our equipment.”
Pienaar said he also tried to retain customers by offering them trade-ins on their dated equipment. “It is not just about making that once-off sale. We try to build a relationship with every customer. From when they buy their first system to when they wanted to upgrade to something more. We try to suit their individual needs.”
Pienaar said the business also offered home automation technology to clients where they could control their entire home – from their lighting and audio to temperature, security and under-floor heating – by means of a control panel, cellphone or Ipad. Pienaar said his team had also installed the sound systems in many of the city’s churches, factories, boardrooms and restaurants – and had even sent technicians to install systems elsewhere in the country.
“I think this is where we will see the business grow even further. I am happy operating from here, branches are for the birds. If you spread yourself thin you can not offer that great service. We would rather expand in other ways and grow in product ranges. I spend a lot of time visiting seminars abroad and reading the latest magazines so I know what the trends are.”
Pienaar said in his spare time he often travels abroad with his family – his wife, Salome, who works as the accountant for the business, his daughter, Chene, 24, a medical doctor, and his son, Aiden, 22, a qualified chef currently working in the US. He also surfs, scuba dives and enjoys driving 4x4s.