A Business Based on Technology and Relationships
An example of what happens when you prioritise the needs of your customer, Bintecs is a small start-up Namibian company that has gone from operations on a balcony, to creating a second business (IT Namibia) to support their clientele, most of whom have been and stayed with the company since it’s inception.
Nadia and Chris Burger are the couple behind the business, that started when Chris had what he calls his “Jerry Maguire Moment”, and the pair decided to follow their passion into a business.
Bintecs is an IT (Information Technology) Sales business, and the original business Nadia and Chris started. “We started off with basic support and sales to small businesses and that evolved to corporate support where we managed the IT infrastructure of a company. About two years ago we decided it’s time to split the company and Bintecs became our sales company and we started IT Namibia, and IT Namibia is solely SLA clients. Clients with Service Level Agreements, as we call it retainers. We have comprehensive retainers and we have smaller retainers, so we cater for everyone, the small SME as well as the larger corporate clients.” Says Nadia
“We’ve got architects, engineers, accountants that all work on the same kind of retainer and then we’ve got smaller companies that do not need that much active support from us. We saw that gap, so we created a smaller retainer for these guys, that they can afford but still get a mighty service, great consulting and products.” Says Chris
“You get a lot of cowboys out there that just keep the system going. They do a lot of patchwork. We are first of all there to help the client to make sure that what you have on site is licensed, that you’ve got premium hardware and backup solutions. We give the client peace of mind.” says Chris, to which Nadia adds, “Clients are not necessarily ‘IT wise’. We are there to make sure that their IT has gone in properly so they don’t have to worry about that, they can just do business.”
“We always thought we were just going to do the service side of things and that’s what we are passionate about. But we found that we are also passionate about people and making things work, so they can make things work for themselves.”
When asked what their recipe for success has been Nadia explains that it’s about relationships. “You have to be involved, they [the client] have to know your name. We always thought we were just going to do the service side of things and that’s what we are passionate about. But we found that we are also passionate about people and making things work, so they can make things work for themselves.”
“That’s where relationships come in again. We would not be able to sit here if we didn’t have relationships with people. At the end of the day the business community, they carry each other.”
“What works in today’s economy is not necessarily going to work tomorrow or the day after that. You have to be able to look far ahead and see what’s coming and you have to be able to adjust. You have to be a flexible businessperson. It’s extremely important, and I think more so in Africa. It’s growing so much and there’s so much potential for growth, but you have to see it and you have to capitalise on it. That’s where relationships come in again. We would not be able to sit here if we didn’t have relationships with people. At the end of the day the business community, they carry each other.” Says Nadia, Chris adds, “That’s why it’s important for us is to keep a personal touch, and be honest with our clients.”