Musa Makhunga, founder and managing director of the HR Matters Group, is passionate about making a difference both in the workplace and in society in general. After training as a teacher, he said it was a natural progression to follow his vision and go into training and development. The HR Matters Group came
about in 2006 after Musa had spent 18 years in the corporate space.
HR Matters provides reliable and innovative human resources leadership solutions to small, medium and large enterprises through talent acquisition, HR administration, consulting and training. The desire to be in business for a better world is fundamental to the way in which HR Matters operates. Many of the HR solutions offered are driven by the need to fulfil Musa’s sense of service to humanity as much of what he does is to help people. Musa has never run after money, he is one of the “bluehearted entrepreneurs” says Mpume Kunene, MD, Clean Spot.
“Musa’s personal brand is one that runs through Matters,” says Tania Homan, HR Matters associate. Musa can be described as a “leader of leaders”, which also apparent in his current position as president of Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry. An important quality of his leadership style is that of empathy, especially when dealing with a group of stakeholders. approach of empathy, consultation and listening has played a big role in him being a leader of leaders. This is a very quality in an individual,” says Prasheen Maharaj, CEO South African Shipyards. “Musa is very unique,” says Rory Simpson; mentor founder of Forsight Management Consulting. “Musa is to put humbleness and leadership together. He remains humble and does what he has to do – he is not out there impress the world.”
HR Matters equals people matters – it’s the relationship behind everything that the Musa does. This approach people filters through to all employees and other associates of the company. The HR Matters brand is synonymous with respect, which is intrinsic to the professional manner in which the company interacts with people. HR Matters is part of an executive coaching network. Due to the kind of work that the company undertakes, it cannot do everything itself. “The network gives us a platform to the international community which is critical in what we do,” says Musa.
“We take on only what we can do. If we can’t do it then we find other people that can assist us otherwise we are happy to say no can do,” says Musa. “We believe that we must deliver on our promises all the time. That lies at the core of HR Matters.”
HR Matters is renowned for the care that its clients receive, which has meant that many clients have been retained by the company since its inception. “As a client one wants to be associated with the brand because there is a gentleman behind it, “says Tania. Musa believes emphatically that authenticity is central to
the way that he interacts with all clients and stakeholders. Southern African Shipyards was one of HR Matters very first clients. “What is at the core of appointing a brand as a service provider are the issues of trust and integrity. For the 13 years that we have been doing business with HR Matters we have had consistency,” says Prasheen. “You have built a track record and delivered a service, but delivered it beyond expectation.”
HR Matters pride itself on a hands-on consultative approach to clients and to delivering bespoke solutions. “Innovation is a hallmark of the services that HR Matters can deliver,” says Rory. “Creativity is required, for example, when dealing with issues of productivity as each client has different needs,” explains Musa. “People don’t relate to something you put on the table and say this is the strategy go and implement it. We get to understand each business and we engage with all members of the organisation’s team in order to come up with strategies. Any strategy is therefore not one which is imposed but which is developed collaboratively.”
In addition, HR Matters success cannot be separated from that of the company’s clients. “Through a HR Matters workshop, for the first time, we were able to break through cultural, racial and generational barriers and unite people into a coordinated team. Being a united team laid the foundation for the success of SA Shipyards,” says Prasheen.
While HR Matters has been through many hard times, the company has stayed the course. Musa explained that who you surround yourself with, as well as growing strategic partnerships is very critical to survival. He added, “Owning our own premises has been a saving grace. It is essential that when you consult, you operate from you own office– it doesn’t matter how small it is.” The interest in investing in property has resulted the founding of HR Matters Properties (Pty) Ltd, which has allowed HR Matters to diversify into warehousing and logistics.
In today’s business environment, with the advent of 4th Industrial Revolution and now the Society 5.0 initiative spearheaded by Japan and to be on the B20 Agenda the G20 Economic Forum, business owners are looking for unique solutions. While HR matters provides some standardised services, the company will continue provide professional, holistic and highly specialised offerings catering for different markets and needs.
“We always question what our customers are walking away with. That is what we are striving for in everything that we do,” concluded Musa.