Are you lucky enough to love what you do?
Nirmala Reddy is passionate about her work, and it comes through in the way she talks about what Nedbank does. She currently holds the position of Senior Manager, Enterprise Development, at Nedbank. Responsible for SME support and development within the Enterprise Development and Supplier Development space, Nirmala joined Nedbank’s Transactional Banking team back in 2004 to focus on public sector business. Her exposure and experience across community development and the business arena has provided a valuable, insightful platform to her current sphere of SME, Enterprise and Supplier Development.
Nirmala believes strongly in the power of entrepreneurial development and its role in the economy. She believes that community, nurturing and role-modelling is a powerful approach to overcoming challenges for a sustainable, successful, vibrant tomorrow. In terms of their approach to enterprise development, Nedbank does not believe in a one-size-fits-all approach. They offer a personal touch and relate to their customers on an interpersonal level. “Walking the journey with the bank” is how Nirmala describes it. Via the enterprise development platform, they bring the bank to their business owners. This means bringing the solutions that are really going to add value to their customers’ lives. “We’re always trying to raise the bar,” Nirmala says. “We’re trying to do things differently.”
As a leading SA industry player, Nedbank acknowledge their responsibility to ensure that black-owned companies are given a platform to develop and grow their businesses within the group’s supply chain. A healthy relationship with suppliers is seen as a unique opportunity to express Nedbank’s enterprise development commitment tangibly and practically through a values-driven approach built on trust, collaboration and innovation. Nedbank has developed a multipronged approach, not just in line with non-recoverable funding, but also in terms of integrating enterprises through the group’s supply chain. The bank implemented several enterprise development training programmes, incubator programmes and other events for the support and development of qualifying entrepreneurs.
Some of the key takeaways from this interview:
- As business owners, it’s important to take stock of where we are and whether or not we’re still excited about what we’re doing. Is this still what we want to do? Are we still feeling the excitement we once did?
- When your beliefs and enthusiasm come through clearly, people stop and listen
- Be selective – make sure there’s a reason behind what you’re doing
- It’s important to have the correct and relevant support surrounding where your business is going
- If you love what you do – everything flows from that and you’re more likely to be bold and brave in what you’re doing.
- An element of agility is vital for SMEs.
- Never overlook the importance of your compliance being in place – now more than ever.
- Maximise and leverage what is available to you.