Renee Keeble, CEO of SA Commercial, a company that employs 180 staff members and operates from both Johannesburg and Cape Town, says she was born with an entrepreneurial spirit, having always dreamt of running her own business.
I grew up in Cape Town. My Dad was a very successful sales person and my Mom spent many years in Education. They both eventually moved into entrepreneurship, running a few businesses. I worked in my parent’s business from a young age and learned some of the essential skills needed to run a successful business.
After receiving my IMM (International Marketing Management), I began my career with one of the largest South African financial services companies where I received the highest level of training and finally moved into divisional management, managing the profitability of the direct marketing division. This is where I fell in love with the industry and just knew it would be a stepping stone towards my own business.
Thus in 2007, with support from my husband, Wayne Keeble, who is also my business partner, I decided to start up SA Commercial. Wayne had already started SA Commercial Short-Term Insurance and it made business sense to use the current infrastructure and business credentials to bolt on SA Commercial BPO. It was exciting and fearful times when I left a permanent job to start my business! The first year was tough and I never realized until then, that decision making would play such a key role in sustaining a business. Knowing when to base your decision on facts or use your intuition or both, becomes a critical influence when trusting your conclusion. That sounds quite easy – right! But when you are affecting the livelihood of more than 180 people, it is no longer about you – it’s about the people in your business and the decision becomes 100% more important and personal to you. So, the second toughest part of being an entrepreneur is consistently displaying a positive approach and to remember to fail quick and cheap.
Today, we service both the domestic and international markets. Our clients are from various industries, such as Health, Retail, Financial Services, and Technology. We were approached by Accenture. Our engagement with Accenture in the ESD programme centred around collaboration for greater credibility and strength. Accenture has provided some impactful training and development for our management team. In addition to this Accenture has challenged our strategic thinking and supported us in stretching our current capabilities.
Accenture has challenged our strategic thinking and supported us in stretching our current capabilities.
We recognized that learning and development plays a key role in our growth. Accenture supported us with an amazing management training programme specific to our needs. To win in our industry, we have to completely understand it, foster confidence amongst our people who lead our business.
We all need to put our hands up instead of out!
Going forward, our strategic plan is very clear. We’d like to accelerate growth in the BPO industry both domestically and achieve at least 30% internationally. We also aim to implement advance digitation platforms as an enabler of preferred communication through customer engagement. It’s also important for us to remain autonomous in our business and be the employer of choice. Success for me is discovering purpose and waking up daily, feeling optimistic and passionate about that purpose! Both in business and personally.
The gratification experienced when our clients smile and tell us how we helped their business, when our employees are happy and motivated through our efforts. Witnessing the change in our employees’ attitude, personal and career growth, commitment and pure tenacity to walk with us on this journey. This gives me reason to aim higher. And lastly, living my dream! Success for me is discovering purpose and waking up daily, feeling optimistic and passionate about that purpose! Both in business and personally!”