Engineer And Entrepreneur: A Thursdate with Khutso Mphasha

Sometimes, moving up means letting go of the now and starting with the new. When starting something new, it’s always best to spring into action sooner rather than later, but sometimes that’s easier said than done. That’s why you need self-confidence, competitiveness and the courage to start, these are qualities that our Thursdate for the week possesses.

Khutso Mphasha, a Chemical Engineer by profession, gave up his engineering career to start his own business. Today, he is the Founder and Managing Director of Mpha Essentials, a start-up that makes and distributes its own brand of bottled water and water dispensers. Here’s what Khutso had to say about his journey to entrepreneurship and his business:

Mpha Essentials – water in its purest form

Mpha Essentials is a proudly South African brand that sells water dispensers (both hot and cold) and bottled water in all sizes. We supply our products to different customers, like funeral parlours, event organisers, individuals, corporate businesses and supermarkets. We also have annual contracts for water dispensers but our best selling products are the 500ml water bottles.

Bottled water is not something that everybody does, it takes specialised skills, experience and the right equipment. What makes Mpha Essentials different is the fact that we have state of the art equipment and the right technical background to produce our bottled water to specifications that are of the highest quality. The other thing is the taste; our water is very smooth. You’ll know that it is different from the moment you taste it – it is water in its purest form.

Tried, tested and tasted

Most of the bottled water brands on the market prioritise quantity over the finer details. Mpha Essentials prioritises taste and quality; we are about the finer details. We’ve even had our water scientifically tested to assess and compare the quality against leading bottled water brands. Bottled water is filtrated water which means that the producer needs to remove as many unwanted minerals as possible from the water. Dissolved solids are a standard industry indicator of water quality. The higher the number of dissolved minerals, the lower the quality of the water and vice versa. The current brands in the market have a total of 50 dissolved minerals while Mpha Essentials has less than 10. Our quality speaks for itself and the current brands on the market don’t come close to our level of quality.

The decision to become an entrepreneur

At some point or another you will need to start your own thing and run things on your own so you can realise financial independence. Sometimes, you have to own something of your own in order to be the one who makes the final decisions. Being an entrepreneur means embracing the things that make you happy and making your own decisions. We all have something that makes us happy and for me, it’s owning my own business.

From Engineer to Entrepreneur

I am a Chemical Engineer by profession and before I started my business I worked as a Process Engineer in the manufacturing industry. I’ve worked on different plants and a bunch of different things like process optimisation, water treatment, catalysts, paper and explosives. I decided to use my experience, knowledge and skills to realise my dream of starting my own business. Eventually you want something of your own, use what you know to make it happen.

Learning to be an all-rounder

Being a new entrepreneur is scary but the freedom that comes with it is great and you constantly learn new things. I’ve learnt how to communicate because I am always meeting new people and marketing my business. Entrepreneurship pushes you to learn new skills that are outside what you currently know. For instance, I am learning to be a marketing and sales person because the biggest challenge for any new business is marketing, and mine is no different.

Advice for aspiring entrepreneurs

If it’s early enough, start now. You will eventually reach a stage and age where it’s no longer possible to start your own thing. The earlier you start the better.

If you would like to know more about Khutso Mphasha and Mpha Essentials, visit his website on or contact him on 061 226 1982.

Inspired to start up? At Co.Space, we’re all about making your business easy to start. Send us your details and we’ll help you find the right office, workshop, showroom, studio, storage and parking space for your type of business.