WINDHOEK – Even though it was built from scratch not so long ago, Nuusiku’s Novelty Events cc has managed to survive and grow over the past two years. New Era’s Tender Reporter Steven Klukowski spoke to the business owner Nalice Helmuth on why she believes her business has the potential to excel.
New Era (NE): How long has Nuusiku’s Novelty Events cc been in existence and how big is the company’s workforce? If possible, please tell us about the gender composition in your workforce.
Nalice Helmuths (NH): “This company has been in existence since 2013 and I am employing two ladies permanently as well as one guy and another two ladies on a casual basis.”
NE: Tell us about the shareholding or ownership of the business?
NH: “I am the sole owner of this business.”
NE: What business is your company involved in?
NH: “Nuusiku’s Novelty Events cc specialises in the provision of catering services as well as events management.”
NE: Being a two-year-old company, what challenges are you experiencing when applying for standard mandatory, good standing certificates at Inland Revenue, Social Security, Ministry of Trade and Industry, etc?
NH: “I do not experience any problems to obtain these documents.”
NE: What is your view with regard to the frequent reporting about “tenderpreneurship” and the association of the phrase with corruption in the tender process and what can be done to address it?
NH: “It is a bad thing that denies companies meeting all the requirements for tenders possible opportunities to grow. Some tenderers should not be advantaged above others purely on the basis of nepotism, and favouritism.”
NE: Some Namibian companies are increasingly entering into joint ventures with foreign companies. How, in your view, can Namibians benefit out of these joint ventures in terms of employment opportunities and sharing of wealth?
NH: “Since many Namibian tenderers do not have the necessary financial resources, expertise and experience needed to tender, these joint ventures entered into can serve as a measure to address it. I do, however, believe that the local (Namibian) shareholding percentage should be gradually increased with time in these joint ventures. Skills transfer programmes should furthermore be in place in order to capacitate the unskilled Namibian workforce better for future projects.”
NE: What programmes are in place in terms of skills development and capacity building of employees at your company?
NH: “The employees mostly receive on-the-job training, but I am considering sending them for more advanced training as time goes by.”
NE: What is your company’s view on giving back to the community?
NH: “When catering, we normally donate left-over foods to vulnerable groups and are working towards giving back more to the community in future.”
NE: What is the rate of success of your company’s output with regard to tenders being awarded to you?
NH: “No tenders have been awarded to Nuusiku’s Novelty Events until now. We are more involved in catering and doing event management for private clients, who provide us with jobs on quotation.”
NE: Do your employees belong to a pension fund and medical aid scheme, and if not in what way are they assisted in this regard?
NH: “They are registered with the Social Security Commission and will at a later stage be provided with medical aid and pension benefits.”
NE: How well equipped are your employees when it comes to occupational health and safety at the workplace?
NH: “My employees are equipped with hand gloves and all other related hygienic wear needed in the catering industry. They also go for regular medical check-ups, as required for fitness certificates from the City of Windhoek.”
NE: Any innovative ideas you might have tested before that you want to share with the readers?
NH: “Yes, I used to assist with the preparation of food at functions and when I realized people actually love my cooking, I grabbed this opportunity and started my own catering business. I never regret that decision till today.”
NE: Anything else you want to mention?
NH: “Yes, I just want to emphasize the fact that you can only survive in this world if you look out for opportunities and maximally utilise them to your own benefit. Do not always wait for opportunities to come to you, blaming others for your circumstances. Despite being a degree holder, I never gave up hope and started my own business.”