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Vox Telecom’s 100% Growth Model

Vox Telecom’s CEO Jacques du Toit has his sights set on expansion driven by sales and acquisitions.

Monique Verduyn

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Jacques-du-Toit

Vital Stats

  • Player: Jacques du Toit
  • Company: Vox Telecom
  • Position: CEO
  • Contact: +27 (0)87 805 0000
  • Visit: www.voxtelecom.co.za

To double the size of the business in five years — that’s the high-level strategy that Jacques du Toit is driving at ICT company Vox Telecom.

The company delisted from the JSE’s AltX in 2011, following a R500 million buyout by shareholders. After talk of selling the business was halted mid-2014, the shareholders gave the go-ahead for the growth strategy, based on the company’s performance over the previous five years.

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“Achieving 20% growth per year should be an expectation for almost any enterprise,” says du Toit.

“But when the business is facing massive deflation it’s a different story. We are looking at 13% deflation on our core voice and data products every year going forward.

“We will only see growth by outselling that deflation, and outselling the inflation of our operational expenses. I am confident we will achieve that because we are successfully diversifying into new ICT product streams that Vox Telecom has never played in. We are selling more than ever to an expanding market.”

Product diversification

Aggressive acquisition has given the company more than 150 products aimed at consumers, SMEs and large enterprises, as well as the people to get them into the market.

Without that expanded product base it would have been senseless to commit to the growth du Toit says, but the company’s growth trajectory has placed it in a position to service a broad market.

Plus, its ambitious strategy has the support of the board and investors.

Trust at the core of strategy

To ensure that the whole organisation ‘lives’ the company’s vision and strategy, du Toit says trust is critical.

“Trust is the foundation of the survival and success of any company. Without trust there can be no sustainable business.”

He and the management team have built a network of positive relationships with employees over time, giving them faith that the organisation is moving in the right direction.

“The leadership team has been with Vox Telecom for more than 15 years, and our people believe that we have set the company on the right strategic course,” he says. “They also know that if we need to tweak it or change direction, it will be for the right reasons.”

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Core values are fundamental

Du Toit stresses that strategy can only be implemented and executed when the entire organisation shares the same core values.

“Core values are the guiding principles that dictate behaviour and action. When you have an organisation of more than 900 people, embracing and understanding the core values is essential to the success of
the strategy.”

When people have different views of what is important to the business, he adds, disaster ensues.

“You can have the smartest mission and vision statements, and you can excite people about your objectives, but if you do not all subscribe to a common set of core values informing how you deliver your services to customers, you will fail.”

Open channels of communication

Du Toit says that because the business environment is changeable, it’s vital to ensure that everyone knows what the end goals are.

“We know where we are heading, but we may have to make a detour every so often. To ensure that our people always know what is going on, we have taken practical steps that make it easier to execute the strategy.”

These include breaking the business up into smaller divisions, each headed by a member of the executive team. He maintains that it is much easier to ensure execution of strategy because each unit is agile and the team knows exactly what they are responsible for.

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“Big teams are slow, lose focus and find it difficult to prioritise because there is too much white noise in the background,” he says.

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+.

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