Thursday, December 30, 2010

Reflecting on 2010

The year had its ups and downs.  There are the events outside human control and then there events caused and influenced by humans.

We acquired new customers in Tanzania and South Africa. The new customers are in the education and retail sectors. We serve customers in several countries in Africa.  Apart from our largest customer, based in Nigeria, customers generally paid on time.  The customer has a history of being a bad payer in spite of changing ownership several times in the past five years.  Good corporate governance and business practise is always relevant. We lost a competitive bid and as a result a supplier due to unfair practises.

In this year we submitted several large tenders for amongst others Call Centre, IVR and Service Desk solutions.

Our technical team developed skills in Lotus Foundations, Lotus Connections and Tivoli Service Manger, to mention a few.  Internally we migrated to Lotus Notes as messaging platform.

The VPN and VoIP telephony between our office in Tanzania and South Africa is improving productivity beyond expectation.

Appointing BE Agency as media consultants is paying dividends.  Social media like Twitter and blogs are being used more and more.  IBM’s co-funded marketing strategy is used to compliment our own initiatives with success.

In this year new people joined on the sales and marketing side. Leon in South Africa has already contributed significantly in acquiring new business.  Sumitra recently joined ICMA in Dar es Salaam.

On a personal level I lost my son in law, Pieter, which reminded us all of the brevity of life.  It is now 10 years ago that my son Andre drowned in the sea.  At that time I was in Egypt on an IVR project. On the brighter side, my first grandson was born in May. It is a real delight. These events underline that we all have diverse dimensions comprising the whole.

The outlook for 2011 is positive. We have a good base to work from.  It will not be easy as we live in an imperfect world, but let’s take the challenge and run to the best of our ability.  May you all have a successful 2011 and remember that on Friday 11 November 2011 at 11h11 it will be a day of ones.
Johan Grobler
C.a.T.S. Pty Ltd   (Computer Assisted Telephony Systems (Pty) Ltd),
ICMA  Ltd  (Information Communication Mid Africa Limited),

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Mentoring an Entrepreneur

I saw Jan Matseke close to our office with his chainsaw advertising his services by being there. Having started some businesses myself. I realize that marketing is extremely important. I then decided to adopt Jan and assist him in advertising his services. Business cards was the first step. The next step is to print a vinyl banner.

My suggestion is that all entrepreneurs that have gone the way adopt a up coming entrepreneur and mentor him / her. I will report more soon.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Images from Dar es Salaam Tanzania

May 2010

Early Morning in Dar es Salaam Tanzania

Construction in Dar es Salaam well and alive! There are several new buildings being build. Zain recently moved into their new Head Quaters.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Fifa Soccer World Cup readiness

(This picture was take on 8 June 2010 at about 03h52 South African time)
Early this morning as I drove to the airport, I noticed that large sections of the R21 Highway between OR Tambo International Airport and Pretoria is being opened with 4 lanes. As little as 4 weeks ago it seemed as if the construction will continue well past the event but they have made huge progress.

To me this is once again a lesson not to judge too early or without the relevant facts.

Mat 7:1-2 "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.