Yoli Mqoboli is a certified global Remuneration Specialist with extensive experience in reviewing and developing total remuneration policies, packages, and frameworks for both public and private sector organizations.
Her career started off at the South African Reward Association (SARA) as an intern —gaining exposure in all aspects of total rewards such as basic remuneration, benefits, and total reward elements. She has worked for blue chip companies focusing on expatriate reward management and Africa reward.
After her last stint in corporate, she started Sunguti Business Solutions, a 100% black woman owned human capital solutions consultancy specializing in tailored remuneration, reward and benefits solutions and talent acquisition solutions.
Yoli then approached her former Director and pitched the idea of coming back to the organization as an independent consultant, as such giving her the independence and time to start-up and nurture Sunguti.
What was the spark that led you to start Sunguti Business Solutions?
Sunguti Business Solutions, before the name ever came into existence, was always a dream of mine. I fell in love with Business Management during my undergrad studies. As such, I decided for my postgrad studies to specialize in Business Management. I had in mind a Business Solutions consultancy focusing on each of the various business functions.
My business model would be that of a sub-contracting arrangement as I don’t have experience in all of the business functions. This was also aimed to collaborate with other professionals and hopefully, garner more business participation. I wanted to start a business that is meaningful to me and to other businesses.
What services do you offer your clients? Are they only limited to South Africa? If yes, what are your goals to grow Sunguti to rest of Africa and the world?
Currently, our capacity is in Human Resource solutions, which include Remuneration and Benefits consulting and Recruitment. We focus on permanent placements, response handling, and headhunting services.
Our service offering is in South Africa and we plan on expanding it to Swaziland first, and then the rest of Southern Africa. Our short-term plan is to penetrate the southern Africa region, due to the geographic reach and ease of doing business.
As a 100% black women owned Human Capital solutions consultancy company, do you find it is easier for black women to start their own consulting firms, especially in your industry? If not, what are some of the challenges you’ve faced?
Starting a business is hard for anyone, and as a black woman within the Reward fraternity is twice as hard. This industry has and still is owned by elite white-owned professional service providers. Women face hurdles such as access to funding, lack of access to other types of business due to non-exposure as these fields have been traditionally deemed to be male gender specific. Also the lack of a support network and lack of advisors or mentors in these areas of business.For Yoli Mqoboli, starting a business within the Reward fraternity was twice as hard Click To Tweet
Reward management, which is a specialist function within HR, is currently a scarce skill with fewer black professionals. Yes, there has been an influx of black talent –however, the skill is not mature enough.
The major challenge for us as black-owned consultancies is getting taken seriously by companies and peer competitors. You’re deemed an unknown and your credibility shaky because your brand is not yet established. Corporate South Africa prefers to reserve remuneration consulting projects for the big professional services. There is little confidence in smaller consultants who ironically have consulted for the same corporates under these big professional service providers.
How can the challenge of small black-owned consultancies being overlooked be overcome and ensure that they make a mark in the consulting world?
There is no perfect answer, however, in light of the new developments in BEE procurement regulations –bigger professional services providers who aren’t fully representative in black ownership and participation will be urged to partner up with smaller black consultancies. Some have already done that therefore the rest will probably follow suit.Yoli Mqoboli: The major challenge of black-owned consultancies is being taken seriously Click To Tweet
In the meantime, it’s us smaller black consultancies who have to create the opportunities, approach potential partners and keep abreast of developments in the market. However, the same needs to be done by bigger competitors.
What advice would you give to women looking to venture into the remuneration management and talent acquisition space?
You need to have a flair for people, numbers and the evolution of human capital solutions. You need to love what you do, and you will never have to work a day in your life!
Secondly, you need to network and keep abreast of the developments within the area of reward management, both locally and globally.
What are your goals for Sunguti in 2017? How will you ensure you meet the goals?
My goals for Sunguti in 2017 is to focus more on business development initiatives; this includes joint ventures and collaborative partnerships with some of the bigger corporations, and expand the service offerings to Swaziland.
We also aim to register with the relevant SETA in the introduction of accredited training and development services. Lastly, we aim to strive for standards of quality and commitment to our current clients.
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