Ronald Reagan once commented that ‘Information is the oxygen of the modern age.’ As time progresses, his statement has become even more pertinent with few people or businesses being able to function without information at their fingertips. Most have experienced the panic that ensues when data is suddenly lost or the frustration when one can’t locate a file that’s urgently required. This is where our featured business of the week, Gabsten Data Management Consultants, swoops in to save the day.
The story of Gabsten starts with its owner, Iniel Dreyer, a highly experienced player in the IT industry. He was the Operations Director at an IT Service Provider in South Africa and before that a systems engineer for Microsoft in the Middle East. He also worked for Shell Services International in the UK and Malaysia.
Despite all his travels and exposure to different countries and cultures, South Africa will always remain his home. He strongly believes, ‘We have a beautiful country with loads of opportunities to make a difference.’ For this reason he started Gabsten in 2009, named after his two daughters; ‘Gab’rielle and Kri’sten’.
The opportunity to start his own company presented itself when an international data management company (Commvault) needed an entity in South Africa to provide services, support and training. Since then they have grown to also include a cloud based backup product called CloudProtect, specifically aimed at small and medium-sized business.
Their mission is to provide affordable data management services to all people in South Africa. Iniel also believes, ‘It is crucial for us to educate our people and provide employment to South Africans. Even though we are a small company of 12 people, we are one of the top support partners for Commvault in the world. We are proud of the calibre of services that we offer to our customers. Being a small business our most important differentiation is excellent service delivery.’
Challenges will always present themselves when running any business. Iniel cites cash flow as being one, and also sourcing adequately skilled IT professionals for the product they support. These challenges taught him valuable lessons including, not only employing individuals with the required skills but more importantly seeking people with the right attitude. Those who are willing to learn and are positive can be taught the trade and will be an asset to the business.
If you were to ask Iniel Dreyer, what the keys are to running a successful small business, he would say:
- ‘Don’t be scared to make mistakes. More importantly, learn from them.’
- ‘A bad decision is better than no decision.’
- ‘Surround yourself with good people.’
Iniel explains why he believes that people should support small business: ‘Most big companies started small. If small businesses don’t get support, they won’t be able to evolve, grow and employ more South Africans.’
For more on Gabsten visit:
Small Business Friday is brought to you by the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC) and Nedbank(Title Sponsor) and encourages all South Africans to interact and support small business everyday; especially every Friday and even more so on Small Business Friday, the first Friday of Spring every year. This grows local communities, drives job creation and ultimately builds the nation. With your support small business will be able to employ more, therefore reducing rates of unemployment and harvesting the entrepreneurial spirit.