Adapt or die!

Talking bucks the GetBucks way

GetBucks Managing Director, Marthin de Kock, believes that for industries to survive and thrive in the next five to ten years, they have to take the financial technology (fintech) route and make use of financial intelligence.

According to de Kock, companies that continue to do business the way they used to 20 years ago will not survive.

He feels the future of industries is to be faster, better, easier and more convenient and companies will have to ‘adapt or die!’

This week, as most businesses prepare to go for the Christmas break, we chat with the Managing Director of the fastest growing financial services provider in the country, to get his thoughts on business and life in general.

Q. Who is Marthin de Kock outside the corporate walls of GetBucks?

A. I was born in 1970 in Stellenbosch – Western Cape, South Africa.

I lived there until I was nine years old. Unfortunately my dad passed away in 1979.

My mother then moved back to her family in Hartswater, a small rural town in the Northern Cape.

I completed my school years at the end of 1989. In 1990 I did my National Service in the Defence Force before starting my tertiary education at the Free State University in 1991.

I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Personnel Management in 1993, and my Honours Degree in Business Economics and Business Psychology.

From 1994 to 2004 I was fully involved in the insurance industry occupying various management positions as well as having my own brokerage.

In 2004 I was headhunted by an internationally renowned health resort to spearhead the financial turnaround of their business in Stellenbosch.

I completed the task and was there until 2007. It was time for a new challenge in life and I joined the Microfinance industry combined with the insurance.

I was in charge of operations in multiple African countries from 2007 to 2011.

In 2012 I was asked to start up GetBucks in Botswana and have been in charge of GetBucks Botswana since May 2012 up to today.

Q. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

A. I love spending time with my family, playing squash, watching my children play sports.

I also enjoy watching rugby and cricket. I have a deep passion for sport in general.

Q. Tell us about your family.

A. I am married to Vivian de Kock. We have been in holy matrimony for 18 years this year.

We have two daughters – Rene, who is turning 18 in January and Louise who is 14.

They are not only part of my life they are my life! Unfortunately my mother passed on in 2003.

As the youngest of five children I have three sisters and one brother who have been a solid rock of support.

They are leaders in different industries and I am very proud to call them my siblings.

Q. As a South African, what fascinates you most about Botswana?

A. How clean the country is, firstly. The involvement that I had with the development of the youth of Botswana and how they keep impressing me.

They are so well mannered and you can see the determination in the youth to succeed.

I believe the future of Botswana is in good hands.

The people in general are so well mannered and you don’t see any people that show much aggression towards their circumstances.

I love the way people in Botswana take responsibility for their own circumstances and show determination to better their own situation.

Q. I love this country. It’s just over five years since you established GetBucks in Botswana as its first MD. Describe the journey to date.

A. We wrote our first loan on the 01st of June 2012.

We started with BTU (Botswana Teacher’s Union) Employee Benefits, only lending to BTU members.

In 2014 we bought over CashCorp, which gave us the opportunity to provide credit services to all employed people in Botswana.

By the end of 2014 we established a relationship with BOGOWU (Botswana Government Worker’s Union), which enabled us to provide credit and insurance services to government and council employees.

From a humble beginning to a locally listed company in 2017, as well as a group listing on the German Stock Exchange, we are proud of each of our staff who made a contribution and thankful to the Lord for our achievements over the years.

Q. You are considered the fastest growing financial service provider in the market with your portfolio of product suites. How did this happen?

A. We could not do this alone. We could not do it without the different relationships we built over the past five years.

The two major ones would be our relationship with BTU and BOGOWU. We are strong believers in relationship management and stakeholder engagement.

It’s part of our business philosophy. It is all about relationships or partnerships.

I am reminded of a billboard at OR Tambo Airport, which reads: ‘If you want to go faster, walk alone, but if you want to go further, walk together’.

Q. What are the future plans of the business?

A. To educate the market to become fully fintech, so any person that has access to the internet or a smart phone will be able to make use of our services.

We also want to make use of artificial intelligence so that we can learn lessons from our current client base and do every day better than the previous day in terms of our processes, systems and just the way we do things to keep making our service faster, easier and more convenient to our customers.

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