DVT: Chris Wilkins

DVT: Chris Wilkins


A conceptual thinker, Chris Wilkins founded software development company, DVT in 1999 because he was fed up with the arrogance and overpricing he saw in the market.

“People ask how we got the business going, expecting a grand tale, but in fact it was all very tactical. My partner and I financed it ourselves by maxing our bonds and making significant salary sacrifices for a number of years. That’s what it’s like in the beginning. You invest a little and you get a small return. Then you invest a little more, and the return increases slightly. And so it goes until one day you have a fair-sized business.”

Today, DVT has a turnover of R150 million annually, with offices in Cape Town, Johannesburg and India. Its range of medium and large clients has one thing in common – their demand for reliable and predictable delivery, an expectation that Wilkins’ team has met more than a thousand times.

“We keep our staff happy so that they deliver to clients,” he says. “It sounds like a cliché, but paying people well and recognising their achievements is key to business success.” He also believes in seeing as many clients as possible every week, employing the best people in the industry, and having a good PR process in place to position the company as a thought leader in its space.

“We are well on our way to becoming one of the top three providers of application software and services in the country. Persistence and perseverance got us here. You have to believe that you can do what you say you can do.”

Vital stats

Player: Chris Wilkins

Company: DVT

Launched: 1999

+27 (0)21 467 5400; dvt.co.za

Monique Verduyn
Monique Verduyn is a freelance writer. She has more than 12 years’ experience in writing for the corporate, SME, IT and entertainment sectors, and has interviewed many of South Africa’s most prominent business leaders and thinkers. Find her on Google+.