When a woman starts a company it is often to unleash her full potential and attain excellence. The same goes for Botswana based businesswoman Queen Kgotlaesele who is the founder and managing director of Oak Monte Enterprises. Queen is a software consultant involved in the implementation and support of ERP systems. She says her mission is to provide exceptional and top standard service which exceeds customers’ consultation expectations. Our reporter Melissa Nare catches up with her.
Tell us about yourself and where you are from
I am a young woman from Botswana. I was born and bred in a popular village called Tlokweng which is right on the eastern side of the capital city Gaborone. I am a kind, bright and passionate woman who always dedicates herself in everything she does. I have a Bsc (Hons) Applied Business Computing from the university of Sunderland. I am also a certified Associate in SAP Business Process Integration as well as a SAGE certification as a SAGE 300 ERP Consultant.
I am also a proud member of the Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa (IITPSA)
How long have you been in this business?
I founded and registered Oak Monte Enterprises in August 2020. I had been looking for my true purpose and being an employee a couple of years before was not fulfilling for me. I resigned from my job early 2018 and began the journey of finding myself. It took years but I am here now. Like everyone else the year 2020 and living in uncertain times of covid pushed me to introspect and that is how Oak Monte was founded, after accepting that I was meant to do bigger things in life.
What would you like your company to be known for?
The name comes from an oak tree. It is known to be a very sacred and strong tree which exhibits indomitable and uncompromising character and strength. Like any other well known and big company I want the company to demonstrate that and stand the test of time and to overcome common challenges to eventually become the go to company for ERP software.
What are some of the challenges you have faced since you started?
Capital in any new company is a factor. I would be surprised if anyone with a company says they did not pass through that stage. I have had to put together multiple streams of income to secure enough money to pay for company licenses and similar things to get started.
Another big challenge we face as companies, especially women owned is acceptance. I have a lot of women who will always tell you that they have had to put double the effort jut to be able to walk through boardroom doors or secure a contract. It has taken a lot of strength for me to get the right people to believe that I am capable, and I am glad to see that we are now gaining recognition.
What has been the highlight of your business?
I will never not speak about the support I get from people I don’t even know. Social media has played a huge role in giving me the faith to be here now. The inboxes with words of encouragement from people in similar positions and even those in different countries, countries I have never been to for that matter means a lot.
I will never forget the first time I secured one of my first jobs. It is common knowledge that in sales you must always follow up with a potential customer. I did not.
I pitched to the client with as honestly as possible, even told them that we were only a start-up and didn’t have enough resources, but we will make sure that does not impact the job. I never called to check afterwards mainly because I knew I was up against companies that have been existing for more than ten years and some had even more than ten certified consultants.
The day I received the call is one that I cannot be put into words. That call was the beginning of great things. We did the job and delivered perfectly.