Fast little loans
Describe your job
As a general manager I am responsible for opening doors to new business opportunities.
Then my team (and they are the clever ones) have to deliver on what I have promised to the client. They often complain about what I have promised clients, but I believe that while you shouldn’t over-promise, you have to try to be special in terms of the services you are prepared to provide.
There are things that are beyond your control – don’t commit to those, but be the best you can in the areas you do control.
Fleet management is not just about car or truck hire. It means asking how can we add value to our clients. You need to ensure a return on fleet investment for your clients.
What is your background?
I have a national diploma in accounting, so I come from a financial background. I also did a management diploma at the Unisa School of Business leadership.
I started working at a bank, then got into transformation and the BBBEE codes, trying to make sense of them as a business strategy, not just as an HR policy.
I then went to Eqstra Fleet Management, the holding company of Amasondo, as general manager of human capital, before moving to Amasondo, which is an enterprise development initiative of Eqstra.
Describe a typical day
The day always starts with meeting staff, which is not always formal.
It is always necessary to check on where we are with prospective contracts because we deal with government departments, which means there are no quick sales. The process of getting new business is often long and complicated.
The government are also notoriously slow players so we need a debtors team that is always on their case. I check with them daily as well.
What’s left of the day is generally spent on looking for new business.
What are you trying to achieve?
Our aim is creating ways of allowing government to shine.
We provide the means that allow them to deliver service and to keep their promises.
What are the challenges?
We face all the common ones: how to reach the people who have the power to make decisions; collecting money; getting around the frustratingly slow decision process; filling in tender applications.
What is a really good day?
It’s when you make an unhappy customer happy, you have educated them and they understand the principles, and they thank you for money saved and good advice.
Where do you go from here?
The natural next step is managing director of Amasondo, but i want to become CEO and move back to Eqstra.
Any advice for those wanting to enter the profession?
You must have a passion for customer service and the ability to hear, not just listen to, clients.
Study a general business degree – you need to know what the client’s business is about and ask the right questions.
Be empathetic and genuine.