NATASHA Winkler took a few zig-zags to find her way to the top of a company within the Letshego Holdings Limited Group witch has a current market capitalisation in excess of US$500 million that places it in the top 40 sub-Saharan Africa companies; the company is Letshego Holdings Namibia. The company opened its doors in 2002 as Edu- Loan Namibia, providing consumer and micro-lending services. It focuses on low to middle income earners in the economy, through the provision of financially inclusive solutions.
Winkler was appointed Head of Financial Inclusion for the Letshego Namibia Group of companies since May 2015 and is responsible for sales, marketing and corporate affairs within the group. She is a member of the group’s management team. Prior to holding this position, Winkler was employed at Nedbank, Deloitte and First National Bank in various managerial roles within the finance and administration functions.
Winkler holds a BCOMPT degree obtained from the University of South Africa and has completed five-year audit articles with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Windhoek. Other specialist areas include property management and database management.
In an interview with Confidente recently, Winkler talked about her duties, advice to women and young girls on leading independent lifestyles as well as spending quality time with her loved ones as a way to unwind after a long day at the office.
Give us a snapshot of who you are?
I am the Head of Financial Inclusion for the Letshego Namibia Group of companies since May 2015 and my key responsibilities include:
•To spearhead development of transactional company solutions and channels for consumers, the MSE market and growing overall transaction company revenues,
•To provide strategic management, by identifying business growth opportunities and deliver those through the design of the most cost effective delivery channel appropriate to the respective segment,
•To promote and drive innovation across the group and
•To develop appropriate marketing strategies and objectives for marketing and selling the organisation’s products and services.
Briefly tell us about your upbringing, who/what would you say played a role in who you are today?
I grew up as a grandma’s girl, brought up by my grandparents with very little interaction with my biological parents in my early childhood years. Seeing my grandmother struggling to bring up three children with a husband that was unfit to work, sometimes had a low-paying job and sometimes even without a job at all, has made an impact in my life until this very day. She is my role model and now as a mother of two boys myself, I understand better how hard it must have been for her all those years. The goals I have set for myself in my career today have everything to do with how I was raised and what I want to give back to my own children.
What do you enjoy most and least about your career?
In my career path thus far, I have enjoyed learning from the different people I have encountered. Learning is infinite and we should strive to enjoy the learning process and use the components to enrich our perspective to continue towards our goals. Any career path will not be a path filled with sunshine and roses but there may come many challenges and obstacles along the way. The secret however is to have a plan. An action plan that will allow you to continue towards your goal even amidst challenges we face throughout our career.
What advice do you have for girls and fellow women on becoming independent forces to better Namibia?
Live your passion through your career. When deciding on what career path to follow, ask yourself, “What do I love doing – What makes me tick?” Consider how you can turn your passion to be revenue generating. When we follow a career path that is in line with what we are passionate about, it brings about high job satisfaction without losing enthusiasm throughout the journey. I believe that by pursuing your passion you bring out the best in you and makes you shine. People will notice.
Just what do you do for a little fun?
I enjoy spending quality time with close friends and family members for social gatherings or quick breakaways. As a hobby, I enjoy dancing and usually break out all my dance moves at every opportunity I get.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015