If Nomsa Nteleko could achieve one thing for South Africa, it would be to influence the adoption of a curriculum that embraces critical thinking, design thinking, collaborative teamwork, project management, coding and soft skills. She is convinced that this set of skills can enable and empower young people to succeed in their endeavours within the economy and the emerging fourth industrial revolution in South Africa.
With a background in project and programme management, Nteleko’s passion for technology, accounting and building teams led to her starting OS Holdings, an award-winning business that provides process-driven software solutions to medium and large organisations.
Her motivation was to build a professional team that values Africa as being a creator of technology solutions that successfully solve African problems.
The decision to disrupt the market was pivotal. As founder and CEO, Nteleko has built the company on a growth strategy that is dependent on the empowerment and development of her team. The main drive and measure of success for the team is the success of the businesses they impact.
Starting a tech company 10 years ago, in the thick of male dominance within the industry, is an achievement Nteleko is proud of. When OS Holdings was founded, it was with the goal to create space for black professionals and boost female representation within the tech industry.
The vision was to become a leading technology solutions provider for local government and state-owned entities who were receiving backlash due to lack of systems, internal controls, compliance and reporting,” she says.
Nteleko describes how these are critical problems of national importance that her “super team” of young, black professionals has the opportunity to transform the tech space from within and impact society on the ground. What has been crucial for OS Holdings is that municipalities operate effectively as businesses and that OS Holdings provides the much-desired service delivery for its communities.
A decade later, the vision of a futuristic technology company has expanded into being a tech leader in Africa. Seeing this come to fruition entails developing a private sector wing, cloud solutions and incorporating artificial intelligence to add to the solutions that OS Holdings offers, Nteleko explains.
It hasn’t been an easy journey for the Entrepreneur of the Year and Top Empowered Company: Business Leader finalist of the Top Empowerment Awards 2022, but Nteleko has learnt many insightful lessons from the process of establishing OS Holdings.
“I had to trust my team wholeheartedly,” she says. “We started developing our own software, and it was an expensive and tough journey. We learned a lot in terms of drafting a specification in a precise manner. We had to learn to collaborate with partners of the same mindset and value system.”
Returning to her project management acumen, perhaps the most definitive of these lessons is the art of project management, which is, in her experience, “keeping a business afloat while scaling it”.
Today, OS Holdings has made strides in Gauteng local municipalities and state-owned entities, and has extended to KwaZulu-Natal with the opening of new offices in Durban.
Evolving into a tech leader in Africa is just a matter of time for Nteleko and OS Holdings by promoting innovative technology solutions that South Africa has to offer to the continent and the world.