Finance Monthly - May 2023

Finance Monthly. Financial Innovation & FinTech 61 The second area is working with an amazing team of people. Many of us have been in this company for more than 10 years, and more than half of us have been here for more than five years. In fact, three of my colleagues have been at the company from the day I started it. Seeing staff grow, learn and become fulfilled is very rewarding. What drives you to achieve the best possible results for your clients? The Group CEO of Pepkor, Pieter Erasmus, has always taught us that before we tackle any initiative, we should ask ourselves: What problem of my customer are you solving? This approach keeps us on an even keel while we direct the organisation with the following values: respect, accountability, and passion. Maintaining our client relationships through all their life stages is something that we are very proud of. Can you tell us more about what you like to read? I am an avid reader and constantly have two to three books on the go at any point in time. I read philosophy, psychology, business, management, fiction and fantasy. I believe that forming your own opinion on any subject requires consultation across a broad spectrum, and to remain creative in life and work, you need to exercise the creative part of your brain – hence the fantasy. The business author that I most relate to is Tony Manning. He is forthright, insightful, brief, to the point, and very smart. In brief, can you describe Tenacity’s project initiation methodology? Tenacity has been established for some time now, but we approach development with a typical fintech start-up mentality. We identify a group of dedicated resources and we dress a room for them to all sit in together, filled with foosball machines and bean bags, coffee makers and ‘open fridges’ and allow the team to gel, chill and develop together. The big differentiator is that once we have the product developed, we can integrate it into a well-oiled and wellrun operation with sufficient clients to offer it to. This is where many start-ups fail; they have good ideas and even good development, but they fail to operationalise or have no clients to offer their great idea or product to. Do you have a creed or philosophy that motivates your work? Keep it simple, take responsibility, retain the customer as front-andcentre and execute with passion. This philosophy is inherent in our values, our general approach to business and problem-solving, and the way we deal with each other. In a working environment, we often spend more hours with work colleagues than with family, so the work environment and reward structure need to be nurturing without losing focus on the goals and, ultimately, the customer. Is there a particular career accomplishment that you are most proud of having achieved? I believe that every day is an achievement, but the two milestones that really stand out for me are starting a credit card division of a bank at 28 and fulfilling my ambition of starting a retail payment and lending company (Tenacity) while returning to the retail industry. I have always loved the retail world, but found myself on the financial side in my career path. So being able to combine my love of fashion with my banking experience and business drive has culminated in the formation of Tenacity. What does this award mean to you? We all like to receive recognition when we do things well. I have worked for many years and feel fulfilled in my life and career choices. I do not work for awards; I am driven to serve our customers, staff and shareholders. But in doing that, one can be recognised for their dedication, and it really means a lot.

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