Thriving on challenges



Striving to better himself at each challenge, Fillemon Neputa does not hesitate to explore opportunities given to him, no matter how scary changes might be to most.


Growing up dreaming of becoming the best police detective, life had other plans in store and he has rather became an icon in project management.


He was recently appointed as Namibia Post Limited (NamPost) financial project manager where he is responsible for the implementation of the company’s strategic plan for the next three to five years.


“When growing up I wanted to be a police detective, a very good one.  Later at high school when I started to make choices as to what I really wanted to study I was confused at what direction to pursue in tertiary education. So I prayed long and hard, I got an answer and I was accepted at the Polytechnic of Namibia (PoN) to do Business Computing. Ironically, at that point I had never used a computer before; they had just introduced computer studies at Centaurus High School where I was studying.”


Therefore, he started with the course in 2002 which he ended up liking; “It was tough, I am not the cleverest person that you will find, but somehow I found strategies to get around and understood the course within the required time,” he says.


Fortunately for him, he even became a Telecom bursary holder which was a sign he was in the right direction.


I started my in-service training at Telecom Namibia in 2005 as a bursary holder of the company for my IT degree at the Polytechnic of Namibia. Shortly afterwards I was fortunate to qualify for another scholarship that allowed me to further my studies in  IT at the FH Jena in Germany. Upon my return to Namibia I then got a job at Telecom as a systems analyst where I specialised in the support of the rather rare modules of SAP Project systems and Investment management. there’s only a handful of companies that make use of these modules in Namibia,” he says.


“The said module comes with the ERP software package that Telecom bought at the time and we worked through the system life cycle on the said system.


As motivational speaker and business coach Brian Tracy pointed out: “When you develop yourself to the point where your self-belief is so strong that you know you can accomplish anything you put your mind to, your future will be unlimited.”


Following that line of thinking, four years down the line, he felt the need to further develop his knowledge and decided to look for new challenges  and subsequently he joined First National Bank (FNB) as Business Analyst.


A move that he describes as a natural progression as it is related to his previous work as a System Analyst, although more on the technical side.


He remained in that position for a period of one year, and then was promoted as manager of projects and innovations, where he served for a further three years.


One of the highlights of his career was project managing the project on the chip and pin card.


“We successfully delivered that project even though we had to some challenges in the market but by the time they were issued everything was tested and certified,” he beams.


He was also co-responsible for the account optimisation project at FNB which is basically an enhancement whereby at the point of sale, the systems will cross sell different products to you; “The system contributes significantly to the company’s bottom line.


His last project at FNB was the replacement of the teller system. This involved the replacement of the entire branch automation system.


“It was a challenging project as anybody could imagine a project of that magnitude and impact to the entire country-wide clientele. We had our challenges on the project but with successful project management we minimised the impact on our customers,” he recalls.


With such an accomplishment under his belt, it’s no surprise that he was snatched by NamPost to spearhead their project management office.


He identifies a project as a unique undertaking that has specific requirements which has time, quality and financial requirement. It arises from a business need, so there should be a business case to every project, he says.


“Project Management is a practice which requires patience, discipline and persistence to successfully deliver a project,” he notes.


 His excitement as project manager comes from witnessing the fruits of his efforts from a project started from scratch.


As he put it, working for Nampost is an honour and notes that the drive behind his work is to make sure whatever he touches turns to gold and leave a legacy wherever he works.


“It was an honour to be offered to work for Nampost as it meant that I will be following up in my father’s footsteps. My father worked for the company since 1976 and retired in 2010. I saw it as a challenge to positively contribute towards the growth of this business and the economy at large. I would like to see the company growing consistently through the contributions that we make via our projects.”


This family man says the bible has kept him grounded and provided him renewed strength wherever he felt like giving up.


Looking at the future, he notes that succeeding at the task at hand is on his agenda.


He, however worries about the youth as he stresses that they are not focusing on efforts that would propel the nation towards Vision 2030. The youth have to continue the legacy that was built by our forefathers.


“To our leaders I think we have done well so far as a country, although we still have our own challenges. Let’s add more vigour in our efforts towards our country’s development. I am sure if we all hold hands, we will manage to grow our economy to the likes of South Africa and even Nigeria, and we can as a country innovate and reach such stature,” he concludes.  PF