We Are Kwena
In the battlefield called business, it takes a tribe to survive. A true “warrior culture” that stands together with pride, honour, valour and experience, under the guidance of strong leadership. In combat, a warrior tribe combines their unique set of skills with a vigorous spirit, an unstoppable energy that allows them the advantage to face all challenges and adversities as a united front. Tall. Strong. Undefeated. This is what it means to be Kwena.
In Setswana, the word Kwena means crocodile; a stealthy water warrior symbolic of strength, courage and agility. The “Kwena” is a resilient creature with a tenacious appetite for survival, not to mention an unwavering commitment toward their young. It is quite poetic and not by chance, that Kwena Group Holdings chose such a powerful African name to represent their company culture and organisation.
“I don’t like to define values, as I feel it is a term that is often overused and not lived. It becomes a strapline, a marketing gimmick that never materialises into anything. I prefer key words such as loyalty, respect, empathy, joy and celebrate.”
It’s true that a warrior tribe is only as strong as its leader. A heroic archetype that aligns his followers with strategic vision in order to ensure sustainable growth and survival. Luckily for the employees at Kwena, they have not one but two great leaders to lean on. Partners in business and partners in life, Eben (CEO) and Yolandie de Jongh (Director) have seen Kwena through a number of evolutions, but one common goal remains; to contribute positively to the South African economy as well as the future of their children.
Our African story begins when Eben met Yolandie. The dynamic duo met at a company called Manpower International, where Eben had been head-hunted as their new Managing Director. Yolandie was a permanent recruitment consultant at the time, but it wasn’t long before her passion for people evolved into something bigger. Her business journey took a new turn when she opened up her own recruitment agency called Bambelela Resource Optimisation (BRO).
In 2012, Eben decided to join the company as CEO, where his innovative and strong business acumen transformed BRO into what is now known as Kwena Human Capital. Over the next decade, Kwena Human Capital metamorphosed into Kwena Group, a holdings incubator consisting of six proudly South African subsidiaries, while retaining its origin as a leading blue and white collar resourcing agency. While each company profile differs in terms of their unique service offering, the Group operates as a collective unit, providing full turnkey solutions to a multitude of national and international markets, including but not limited to mining, engineering, oil and gas, petrochemical, construction, IT, FCMG, marine, on and offshore verticals.
“The current economic status of South Africa has guided us towards a complete turnkey offering, some of which happened organically and others simply presented itself. We offer our clients skills, we help them ensure a safe working environment for their people, we insure their people, we pay their people and most importantly, we keep them safe. Every company within the Group was established to ensure that the needs of our clients are met.”
The secret to Kwena Group Holdings’ success is this strategic synergy between subsidiary companies in order to deliver a consistent, quality service that exceeds client expectations. The “bolt ons,” as Eben would call it, flows from the simple process of sourcing an individual for a client in order to solve a problem, and expanding on that by crafting sustainable solutions. Combined with a strong importance on interpersonal connections with clients, as well as a respectful collaborative company culture and persistent attitude, makes Kwena a worthy adversary in the business market.
“Our clients come back because of our “never say die” approach. We never turn down a challenge.”
This “never say die” commitment is etched deep into the skin of Kwena Group and all its employees. Respect is a non-negotiable and of the utmost importance to the Kwena “work value”. Loyalty and trust solidifies the company culture, transcending from top level management right down to customer interactions and service delivery.
“The value proposition we place on our employees has a direct impact on our customers. We value our employees as much as our clients because one cannot survive without the other. As leaders, we need to set the example in order to define the way our customers remember and experience our brand.”
So what do Human Capital, People, Offshore, Benefits, Protect and Risk Solutions all have in common? They are warriors. They are resilient. They are Kwena.