Siddika Osman says the outsourced services solutions company is a great example of doing business for good.
Witbank-based IT firm Nkgwete IT Solutions is a proudly South African, majority black-female-owned IT services company. The firm provides and manages IT outsourced services solutions to their clients and is a great example of people doing business, but also people doing business for good.
“We decided to partner with CIO South Africa to get the message out there that technology is a powerful tool and should be used for good, and that’s what businesses should understand. The CIO South Africa community is a great platform to help us communicate that message, says Siddika Osman, CEO at Nkgwete IT Solutions.
“We not only joined the CIO South Africa as a way of getting new business out of this partnership, but to also send the message out there that South Africa needs technology to unleash the talent that we have and not only at a corporate level but also reaching out to the underserved communities,” she notes.
According to Siddika, the pandemic really exposed the technological divides that exist in the country, where on one side children who had access to technology could continue to go to school, while on the other side, could not continue their education - left behind for over a year.
Siddika has been working in the ICT sector for the past 26 years and 10 years ago, decided to become an entrepreneur and start her own ICT company. “We started out as an enterprise supplier development (ESD) company because back then, there was quite a demand for women-owned ICT companies in South Africa,” she says.
The IT firm initially started out with 40 employees and now employs 120 people. In fact, Nkgwete has now grown to a point where they are using ESD companies. “So, we are paying it forward because that’s exactly where we started as a company and got the opportunity to grow, which is something I believe is very important to do for other smaller businesses,” says Siddika.
Driven by purpose not profit
Siddika is of the firm belief that as an entrepreneur, it's not all about profit. “We focus on profit, but we also have a purpose. Our vision is unlocking Africa’s pulse through technology as Africa is rich above the ground with the people, their skills and their resilience and adaptability, and is rich below the ground through including the resources that we have,” she says.
Nkgwete not only partners up with established companies and makes a profit by selling technology services to them, but also takes technology to underprivileged communities.
“We have been donating computers to underprivileged communities for the past five years. However, we don’t just drop off those computers and walk away, we train the teachers and educators on how to use those computers. This includes annual visits to schools to teach learners how to set up an email address in order for them to apply to tertiary institutions,” Siddika explains.
Some of the solutions offered at Nkgwete include end-user computing, which enables organisations to call Nkgwete’s service desk. Nkgwete also has a team of remote support agents who can do firstline remote support and resolve your problem without them actually coming to you. If your problem is of such a nature that it cannot be resolved remotely, Nkgwete has a team of 80 engineers across the country that can be deployed to your site; bundled in that service offering is third-party vendor management. “For example, if you have a faulty machine, you don’t have to call the manufacturer or send it out to that specific manufacturer to get it fixed – we handle all of that for you.
“We provide end-to-end IT support and it is for that reason that our customer satisfaction index is at 95 percent. We do that really well, we have the tools, technology and skills to provide that function,” she says.
Added to the solutions on offer at Nkgwete is a digital onboarding system, where if a new employee has joined the business; there is no need for any physical paperwork: everything is done digitally (i.e., employment contract, confidentiality agreement and payroll), even signatures.
Nkgwete’s mobile workforce app allows its service desk to know where an agent is so that if a ticket is logged in their specific area, that agent can be immediately notified through the app. It also allows customers to sign the job card for the task on the app once the task has been completed and complete a customer satisfaction survey, and it was all developed in-house.
On why larger enterprises should partner with Nkgwete, Siddika says, “You should partner with us because we have proven that we can deliver and have a track record to back that up. Most importantly, we are a black woman-owned ICT company in South Africa, and there is a need to grow and elevate technology companies led by and empowering female participation in STEM, ” she concludes.