Business makes her come out naturally

By Fabian Simvula
May 2011
Women in Business
INSPIRED by loopholes in the human resources (HR) market in Namibia, Charmaine Davids’ consultancy firm, Easy-HR, has turned her into a shrewd businesswoman.

Davids is one young entrepreneurs who got into the business world in 2007 by setting up– Easy-HR that has grown into something big.

Easy-HR is a premier one stop shop for all of Namibia’s HR related services and provides effective and professional human capital solutions to a wide range of private and public sector clients. Easy-HR also boasts of international clients such as Tiffany’s in New York, (USA).

In fact, the art of business makes this strong woman come out so naturally.

“My parents were both entrepreneurs, and that nurtured the ambition in me at a very young age to become an entrepreneur.

‘’I opened my business in Windhoek in 2007 and decided to capitalise on my skills and expertise in the area of human resources.  After two years, I started various other business ventures and have not regretted my decision of going into business,” she says about her journey into the entrepreneurship world. 

Her story of powerful branding, tightly controlled distribution and multiple streams of passive income contains lessons for entrepreneurs in any industry.

“The fact that prompted me to start my own business is that I realised the gap in the market for quality HR consultants that can deliver HR solutions to benefit the country. 

“When you work for large organisations, you are forced to become a specialist in one or another field and have to rely heavily on others for expertise.  Having my own consulting firm has strengthened my HR capabilities as I have grown more in all areas of HR and have had the satisfaction of introducing solutions to my customers that suit their particular need.  Every customer is different and that’s the challenge,” she says.

She turned the business model in her industry on its head before diversifying into a wide range of other services.

“The business dynamics to which the HR field must respond and contribute are increasingly turbulent and therefore I have adapted my capabilities and competencies to the dynamics that influence the human side of the business to make unique and valuable contributions within the context of these changes. Ultimately, my goal is to add greater value, impart knowledge of high-impact concepts and tools to my customers,” she bubbles.

Easy-HR’s services range from assisting clients with restructuring, skills audit analysis, recruitment and selection; formulating policies and procedures; HR audits; HR training; preparing talent management; implementing performance management; balanced scorecard implementation; writing job descriptions and job evaluation, remuneration modelling, payroll administration, and many more.

Davids’ 13 years in the industry have been the shining light for Easy-HR.

“I started my career in the public sector when I was headhunted by the Ministry of Labour during my final year as an Industrial Psychology Honours student in South Africa to assist in heading a new Vocational Counselling Division. 

“Once I completed my year working off my scholarship, I decided to leave the public sector and travelled to London (UK) to work for two years where I gained valuable exposure in HR, marketing and finance from an international perspective. 

She returned to Namibia and worked for a few organisations before joining De Beers Marine Namibia mainly dealing with Strategic Alignment through the scorecard perspective, organisational development and using various diagnostic instruments to measure the culture and climate of an organisation.

And she still believes that she has a lot to offer: “I have assisted clients in various industries, from SMEs to high network clients to save money, improve their business processes, win customers and improve efficiency through expert advice and providing customised solutions.

“Through successfully managing both internal and external relationships, I have accelerated the achievement of goals and positioned myself as a valuable resource in a variety of situations in Namibia.  I have had the opportunity to gain international exposure not just by working in the UK but having various international clients.” 

In a career filled with firsts and superlatives, Davids has managed to amass a sizeable fortune, become one of the most powerful people in the entrepreneurship industry, and yet maintain a sense of humility and compassion which makes her remain largely unnoticed.

“The biggest challenge I had was networking and marketing my business. This meant going against the grain of my personality and forcing myself to speak to people about my business randomly. I was forcing myself to be like a very small portion of the population that has the innate ability to strike up a conversation with anyone. I was much shy and once I started learning the correct marketing tools and techniques, my business really took off. My hard work has paid off and customers are coming to me through word of mouth and what I have to offer.   

“I also admit to being a bit of a perfectionist. I take a great deal of pride in my work and am committed to producing the highest-quality work I can. Sometimes if I’m not careful though, I can go a bit overboard. I’ve learned that it’s not always possible or even practical to try and perfect everything. Sometimes you have to decide what’s important and ignore the rest in order to be productive. It’s a question of trade-offs,” the woman of substance states.

What is her company’s growth plan for the next five years?

“We intend to achieve an operating margin of 25 percent by the right product and service offering mix and productivity measures. Our strategic intent is transitioning into a leading HR firm by emerging as a leading player leveraging on our unique strength of HR and Business Intelligence. We also pride ourselves for providing expertise and direction through cutting edge consulting services and support in key areas of human capital management.”

Whilst adhering to the highest professional standards, Easy-HR drives and assists organisations to achieve a competitive edge through its people.

She adds, “Most importantly though, our mission is to provide high quality services and solutions customised to each of our clients’ needs.  One size fits all is not what we stand for. Our vision is to be known as an organisation firmly committed to quality and the customer – to be the most valuable HR brand on the market we operate, by using best practice, every time.”

Historically, entrepreneurship has been a male-dominated pursuit, but many of today’s most memorable and inspirational entrepreneurs are women.

Davids has wise words for those who want to venture into the HR industry.

“To become an independent consultant, it is important that you have a clear vision as well as motivation to succeed, integrity, ambition, focus and drive, professionalism, perseverance and exceptional communication skills.  You need to have the right knowledge, skill-set, resources and be able to network effectively to make it work. Believe in yourself and trust your brilliance! Be persistent and never give up because you have the power to create a business, and a life you love,” she adds.

“I love to read, spend time with my family and watch movies.  I like to write poems and swimming keeps me sane,” she says.

“My mother has been my coach and my father an incomparable advisor through the years. 

My role model is Oprah Winfrey because she has defied all odds and has used her hardships to become a power player in business.  I am also continually inspired by my clients! Creating ideas is another source of deep inspiration for me,” Davids states.

Easy-HR has integrated today’s market trends and industrial requirements for the optimum of their clients. PF