Formerly known as Thompson Radio, Teltech Namibia; a reputable company in the supply and servicing of an array of industrial and commercial communication products, has over the years, expanded the range of services to aviation, security, asset-tracking, audio and visual and alternative energy, which has necessitated the company’s name change in line with their expansion.
Mr Janko Barkhuizen, the manager says, “Our name change actually started in 2008 due to the expansion of our business into new ventures but we did not force our new name unto our clients as some of our long-standing clients were already used to it. We would like to see ourselves as a solution providing company and in areas where people say things are impossible to do; we take up the challenge to prove otherwise. Of course a lot of times, it comes back to how much you are able or want to spend to come up with a solution to a problem.”
Barkhuizen adds, “Our key clients consist first of all of different Government departments. In addition, we have a wide clientele-base, these various services range from private to public companies, farming and rural communities. We believe that most of our clients continue to transact business with us because we put them first and provide professional services with top quality products.”
As a proudly Namibian-owned company, Teltech strives to offer clients with the best expertise possible.
“Our employees are annually trained in international institutions, local ones and in-house, to offer top services to our clients. What we have learnt over the years is that Namibians often get professionals from other countries (especially South Africa) to assist when projects get a bit too “technical”. A lot of projects are also many a times completely done by foreign companies.
“Teltech wants this mindset to change for two reasons; the first one being that a lot of money leaves our country that could actually be reinvested in our economy. The second reason is that a lot of skills, which could be introduced here, are being lost. Teltech will not deny that we never use foreign professionals on big specialised projects but 90% of the time, we ensure skills are transferred to our employees,” he states.
Commenting on the dynamic changes taking place within the communication industry and innovations being done in the Namibian market to improve the general living standards of people, he says: “A big change that is occurring in the communication and electronic market is that it is moving towards IP (internet protocol) or digital. This makes integration, implementation, maintenance, monitoring and operation of different products much more efficient. The ever increasing Internet bandwidth that we are not much part of at the moment, is something that all Namibians can look forward as Internet is a huge tool that is indirectly part of improving living standards.”
Teltech has managed to infiltrate the Namibian market and open up new ones where they did not exist before, which is a great achievement for the company.
“We have infiltrated the market in areas where we were told it is not possible and have successfully completed some of the biggest projects in our field in Namibia,” the manager says.
However Barkhuizen, asserts that his company also faces challenges in as far as finding skilled locals to employ is concerned, as a result, the company has been spending more money on training their employees to abreast them with the necessary skills required by the market.
“The challenges we face most of the time is in getting highly skilled people to employ and for that reason, we spend a lot of money in equipping our employees with the necessary skills. The other huge challenge we face is competition from bigger economies that have more buying power than us, therefore, they are able to provide their commodities at better prices,” laments Barkhuizen.
As part of the company’s social responsibility, from a developmental perspective, Teltech takes in students from accredited institutions and train them practically for a few months to equip them with skills, which acquaint them with hands-on experience for the marketplace.
He beams, “We spend a lot of time and money on skills development and we take in students that have just finished their courses at accredited institutions. We then do a few months’ practical work with them. This is a way of giving them the edge to get into the market place, although this is not always possible all the time.”
Barkhuizen believes that Namibia’s small population actually makes it competitive in the sense that companies are then faced with a responsibility to establish and maintain mutual relations with their clients, which enable quality service delivery in the sense that upsetting clients will tarnish the company’s image and reputation and may scare away potential clients.
Namibia’s population, he states, makes it a bit more competitive for some than others, “We do not have masses to do business with and if you upset your clients, it quickly spreads among the people,” adding that: “I think one of the main reasons businesses thrive in Namibia, is through Government efforts in investing in infrastructure. This builds businesses and create employment, improves the quality of life for Namibian citizens and keeps the country as one of the most stable economies in Africa.”
His parting shot is an advice to employers to spend more time and money on skills development and always give better client services. PF