As a young, vibrant and highly professional entrepreneur Julius David, aged 25, grabbed the opportunities life offered him with both hands and is reaping the fruits of his efforts today. New Era spoke to David, the founder and sole owner of Windhoek Accounting & Taxation to uncover the recipe to his success.
New Era: How long has your company been in existence and how big is your workforce, also in terms of gender?
We have been in existence since 2009. Over the last seven years we’ve built up a good track record of experience. Our staff compliment is made up of seven full-time employees, who are a group of young graduates with the necessary expertise to provide our clients with sound tax advice, bookkeeping services and immigration advice. We’re very much pro-Affirmative Action compliant, which is why our staff compliment consists of previously disadvantaged young professionals made up of 70 percent females.
Tell us about ]the shareholding or ownership of the business?
Windhoek Accounting & Taxation is fully owned by me, Julius David, a young accounting graduate, law scholar, a registered tax practitioner, registered business accountant, who also holds some other degrees in commerce.
What activities is your company involved in?
As Windhoek Accounting & Taxation we are involved in bookkeeping, business registration, taxation and stocktaking, pastel training & support and VIP payroll training and support. Our second business arm, IBN Immigration Solutions (Pty) Ltd, is an international immigration service provider with branches in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Stellenbosch and Windhoek. We assist corporates and individuals to get work visas, work permits and study visas, both inbound and outbound.
How competitive is your company, Windhoek Accounting & Taxation, in terms of other big companies and how are you dealing with the competition?
Our competitive edge is really knowledge-based. We see to it that our employees are well equipped with the necessary knowledge and well up to date with tax and immigration legislation. We also have below market rates and we give well-customised customer service to all our clients that really help us to standout above the rest.
What is the rate of success of your company’s output with regard to tenders/projects being awarded?
As Windhoek Accounting & Taxation, we have not received any government tenders to date, nor did we submit any tender proposal. Our clientele is mostly in the private sector, even though now and then we assist government agencies with accounts reconciliation, preparing books for audit, Pastel training and maintenance and, lastly, VIP payroll training and maintenance.
What challenges are you experiencing when applying for or renewing required, mandatory good-standing documents (tax, social security, company registration, etc.)?
This is our core business. We assist a lot of other SMEs to get good standings and also to keep their books well up to date and in good standing with Inland Revenue. We have been doing this for a while now and over the time we have mastered the best way around this, so we don’t really experience difficulties anymore.
What programmes and interventions did you put in place in terms of skills development, capacity building, and personal growth with regard to your employees?
We value capacity building very much at Windhoek Accounting & Taxation and IBN Immigration Solutions. We run monthly in-house training. We send our employees to seminars, conferences and workshops. Our well-equipped South African partners, who have been in business over 15 years, also come to Namibia every third month to conduct training with our employees. Even next month we are attending an international immigration conference that will be hosted in Cape Town. This is an international platform, where all immigration providers come together. Africa is hosting it for the first time and we’re very excited to be part of it. We highly value and motivate personal development.
It is a well-known fact that corruption is thriving today in the procurement and tendering process. What is your view on this and how can it be controlled best?
Corruption and bribery is ruining business. Projects are no longer awarded on merits and this is promoting a culture of laziness. We do not subscribe to such deals. In fact, all our employees have signed an anti-bribery policy. A lot of international immigration networks, which we affiliate with, make us sign anti-corruption policies too.
It is a common trend for Namibians to enter joint ventures with foreign companies. How do you regard this and how best can local people and the country at large benefit from these joint ventures?
Knowing that there are certain areas where we lack capacity as a country, I think this is a good practice. It is very important that such joint venture agreements come with a skill transfer component for the foreigners to transfer skills to the locals, so that in the future the locals are able to do it alone. Even though in practice there are certain local companies that are not technically involved to absorb the skills, there are quite a few that are adopting this concept very well and the skills are being transferred to the locals.
What is your company’s view on giving back to the community in terms of social responsibility?
Giving back to the community is very important, but I strongly believe that as much as we are not doing bad as a country, we can do way better. The private sector is very reluctant and I think government needs to get involved at a legislation level to compel companies to apportion a certain percentage of their revenue to social/community development programmes. They should be compelled to take part, especially the international conglomerates that take everything they make back to their countries. If you look at other countries in the world, they are doing it but Namibia wants to be the sweetheart all the time. We are an SME, a very small player in the industry really, but with the little we make, we are very much involved in social and community development initiatives.
Do your employees belong to a pension fund, Social Security Commission and medical aid scheme, and if not what measures are in place to address it?
Yes, our employees are fully covered. We do not compromise on health.
How well is your workforce equipped when it comes to occupational health and safety at the workplace?
Even though we can do better in this area, at least we have basic facilities in place and our employees have been sent to occupational health and safety training to acquaint themselves with it.
Anything else that you perhaps want to mention for the benefit of the readership out there?
As young people we should invest our time in things that matter, things that will improve our lives, and that of the people around us and our community.