Indima HR Consulting was started in 2007 in a bedroom, under a duvet with just a laptop and cellphone. Cikizwa Nekile laughs as she talks about her business and its humble beginnings. Today, the business has three full-time employees, 118 placements under management and lists many of Cape Town’s blue-chip company as its clients.
Growing up in Gugulethu and living with her aunt and six cousins in a one-bedroom house provided Nekile with some tough life lessons, ones that ultimately resulted in her desire to be financially independent and master of her own destiny. After matriculating at Vista High School, a school she selected, she studied financial accounting at Cape Peninsula University of Technology. After accepting a job at Quest Personnel, a well-established recruitment and staffing company, she realised she wanted to change direction and started a Diploma in HR Management while working fulltime.
Her career saw her spending 5 years with Quest and 6 years with BOE before joining Woolworths in 2004. “I worked on the franchise arm of the business helping franchisees to set up stores. I basically took care of their HR function from start to finish.” During her time with Woolworths Nekile realised that her dream was to start her own HR business. With lots of support from her then manager, she took the plunge.
“My first client was Sanlam Investment Managers, which over time grew to include other parts of their business.” Her client base grew through word of mouth referrals, which helped her to develop solid relationships with her clients, most of whom she still works for today. Given her growing client portfolio, Nekile grew her own support base roping in her husband Lungela as well as employing Thokozani Dube and Melanie Elepen who keep the business running smoothly.
Most of Indima’s work is in the private sector although she is starting to do some government work. “Contract management is now the focus of the business. We’ve grown from 12 placements under management to 118. In some cases, we recruit the contractor, or the company will, but once appointed, we manage the person completely from an HR and payroll perspective.”
Nekile acknowledges that she is playing in a saturated market so needs to stand out in a very big crowd. “Reputation and excellent customer service is very important especially for referral work. The business has been around for almost 12 years and I have more than 25 years’ experience in the industry so that counts for a lot. I am passionate about what I do and really love my job – it’s not just about making money!”
Being a small operation Nekile believes that their agility and client centricity has helped them to adjust and respond to market trends and offer what the market is looking for.
Cikizwa Nekile is a finalist in the 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year® competition sponsored by BUSINESS/PARTNERS. For more information on her business, please visit Cikizwa’s LinkedIn page: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cikizwa-nqolobe-9ba9497/