"I wanted to open my own consultancy from the day I walked into my first consulting job" admits Ntokozo Mkhize; "That was in 2007. I looked at their working model and I said, 'I'll replicate this for myself one day'."
"So, over the years in corporate South Africa, I was learning things, constantly intrigued by how things are done, and always keeping an eye out for opportunities" he goes on; "There were a few attempts at some business ideas... but they fell flat."
"I knew I'd need a business partner who would complement my skills. But the friend I had in mind was never ready, or he wasn't hungry for it enough. So, I eventually started on my own in 2015."
And while Mkhize modestly admits he’s not sure where the zest to open his own business came from, he is now over half a decade in to owning his own enterprise, Zela House, an end-to-end data solutions firm that deals largely with data analytics, BI, data integrations and statistical models to help clients extract value from their data.
As an Accenture ESD programme candidate, Mkhize has already began working with the Accenture Microsoft Team, but says that his regular bi-monthly mentor meetings have been a highlight: "My mentor has been able to help me navigate my way around Accenture. In our meetings, we’ve discussed ideas to move the business forward. As someone who runs a business alone, it’s great to have someone to bounce ideas off, someone to guide me and to have honest conversations with about things happening in the business."