Bizstrat is a no-fly zone for any facilitator

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    Rudy Maritz

    Servigraph30 CC trading as Bizstrat Intelligent Business has been giving the Training industry a bad reputation the last couple of years and facilitators and clients alike are warned to stay clear of this company.
    My first experience with them was in 2014, and at the time everyting went well. But for a long time I never heard from them until out of the blue I get booked for courses and workshops, but for two years nothing panned out and I kept wasting my time and effort to draft course outlines for accreditation.
    In September last year, I was again approached by the only member of the CC, Dhanesh Ramaparsad, aka Dean Richards. This time he had a big dream! To host the Construction Risk Africa Conference on an annual basis. And he wanted me to be the Program Director for the conference. We agreed that it would be on an at risk basis and profits if any will be shared on a 50/50 basis.
    I set up a website for SA and international venues and invited about 6 highly qualified speakers to the conference. Bizstrat also had an extensive list of speakers. We launched a newsletter in November and the website went live.
    We were in daily contact, but then suddenly, I was informed we need to postpone it till early 2019 due to the annual shutdown in the Construction Industry.
    He then booked me for a total of 120 days of training between December and March. This would be good revenue for me. But I was also informed that “he” introduced me to the training scene and refused to accept that the rates he paid in 2014 is way below what I was earning in 2018.
    Nevertheless, I accepted one assignment at 2014 rates, and thereafter we would be working on new rates. The first assignment went well and I got paid a few days later. But then the trouble started. My next assignment was a “filler” for a facilitator that pulled out due “other commitments”. I filled in, and got paid a week later. The third one, was once again a filler, and I we agreed in 2014 rates plus R1000 per day extra. Two days before the course I enquired the flight details.
    And here it started. I was paid R1450 for a plane ticket to Jhb. I had to make the booking myself as his “cheque card” was stopped by ABSA. Knowing ABSA, I thought nothing of it. But I got really peed-off when I arrived at the airport and “Mister Richards” was not there to pick me up, even though the flight was delayed with 45 minutes. I took an Uber to the hotel I was supposed to stay in.
    On arrival I was asked to pay for the “one” night booked for me. I frowned as I was supposed to stay there for three days.
    Nevertheless, the next morning I checked out, and Ramparsad drove me to the venue, where I would also stay over for the next two nights. But, I later discovered I need to check out again the next morning as only one night was booked. So I did.
    I was supposed to stay in Jhb for the next week, but all this hassle made me furious and I told Ramparsad to shove his jobs and get me on a flight back. And there the truth came out!
    To cut a long story short, Bizstrat does not have money at all. They make up all kinds of excuses, blaming SARS for messing up the VAT, Neotel for taking R100 000 extra off a debit order, and Legal Wise, the Landbank and Sentech owing them for the course. All excuses why he still owes me R13 000 (which should have been R15 000 as agreed, but he likes to recind on his word).
    I am giving you this detail not because I am a disgruntled facilitator, but also because my various calls to other people revealed he owes facilitators all over SA, and the four who did confirm the amount, came up to R120 000.
    I also discovered that some of the speakers who were supposed to speak at the Construction Risk Africa conference, never heard of it.
    It seems that Bizstrat uses someone’s name and reputation for their own gain, and then shop and change facilitators at last minute.
    So, whether it is an invite to attend a course or to facilitate for Bizstrat, just take it as a huge fart. Smell it, and move on. Bizstrat is broke and steels from Peter to pay Paul.
    If you are desperate for work, demand 100% cash upfront, including your own costs for flights and accommodation. He is most likely going to tell you Bizstrat is not a Mickey Mouse company and they don’t negotiate with facilitators. And if you dare presenting the same course for someone else, he will make you feel like a criminal. Admittedly, Bizstrat is not Mickey Mouse. More like a Dead Rat.
    I am putting it out there for you as a warning. Stay away from this character.

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    Dhanesh Ramparsad

    The claims made by Rudy Maritz are absolutely rubbish to begin with. It is a matter of sour grapes. This facilitator, who claims to be a lawyer was engaged to facilitate a workshop on Legal Research & Report writing. He accepted the assignment, which he had assured me that he was qualified to facilitate, being fully aware that he was not qualified to facilitate an event of this nature. On the morning of the 1st day of the workshop, 80% of the Delegates walked out of the training due to Rudy not having the qualifications to facilitate a workshop of this nature. The delegates who walked out included Heads of Legal Departments of major Corporate companies, including Sentech, AECI.
    I had to refund the fees paid by the delegates due to them being very pissed off that the facilitator was not qualified to facilitate the workshop. he was paid for the flights and accommodation but due to the refunds made to the delegates, i communicated to Rudy that he was to be paid at a later stage. he agreed to this. The next thing he does is to post on Skills Universe.

    The rest of the claims made by him is totally untrue as no businessman would agree to a share of 50% of the profits made. There was no website that i was aware of and as to the claims of people not knowing of the conference, that statement is utter rubbish. We had delegates from Botswana and South Africa, but the number was very small and then Rudy suggested suggested that we reschedule the conference to 2019 and i agreed to this as he has more knowledge about the construction industry, he specialises in this.

    Lynel Farrell

    Good Heavens – so, Rudy posts this in 2019 and not one member of Skills Universe makes any comment – and Dhanesh responds two years later. Dhanesh, if you did not respond to this post today – I would have never seen Rudy’s post. I hope the two of you sort this out between yourselves. Good luck

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