The four pillars of Capitec's success

02 December 2018 - 00:06 By Gerrie Fourie

We are humbled in winning the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies award 2018, among a number of other recent accolades.
While we've never been about chasing awards, there are four pillars that have been part of our success and that should be of interest to anyone building a company.
Focus - say "no" more than you say "yes"
I have been asked to enter overseas markets and launch products that are outside of our focus or too soon for our business plan. But because we want to be the best at just a few things, I tend to say "no" more than I say "yes".
Looking at possibilities and new ideas is important. However, innovation must be channelled to meet client needs and solve problems.
We have a simple business and a passion for detail. It drives us to develop systems and measurement tools so that we are able to pull information quickly in order to evaluate progress or pick up problems.
Trust your team - be open and honest
We started Capitec with a group of individuals all very different from one another but with two things in common: integrity and openness. This has extended into the business.
When we hire, we look primarily for potential as we grow talent from within our ranks. Integrity is a cornerstone of what we expect. Trust is the common currency in the financial services sector, and we need to be able to lean on each other to deliver as a business.
Culture - start with mutual appreciation
In just about every decision we make, we try to equally balance performance, staff understanding and client needs. General awareness of others permeates our culture.
Mutual appreciation of each other and our various capabilities is the starting point. In motivating, leading and developing our staff, we know that as much as digital devices are central to a seamless client experience, we try to never underestimate the importance of person-to-person interactions.
Execute on strategy (otherwise it's just talk)
Our business has always focused on providing affordable products, personal service, simplicity and accessibility. These are things a lot of companies probably focus on, but delivering on themdefines success.
For example, in delivering on accessibility, Capitec has introduced bank branches with no barriers between service consultants and clients, convenient hours of operation and an app that delivers anywhere, anytime paperless banking. We don't innovate for the sake of it but ask, "How can we help our clients bank better?"
In a world of many distractions, remaining focused is one of the toughest challenges for a service-oriented company.
By all means develop a strategy, but as you build your team and flesh out ideas, ensure that you are able to measure progress and "pain points" to check how you're delivering against your strategy.
• Fourie is CEO of Capitec

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