Namibia: Interview with Samra Aochamus

Samra Aochamus

Managing Director (Insite Communications)

Samra Aochamus

INSITE Communications began life in July 2000 as Insite Networking Services. Could you give us your thoughts on the evolution of Insite activities from its creation to today?

I joined the company about three years ago when I took over from the previous manager. When I joined the company it didn’t have a clear direction and that is why I decided to concentrate mainly on public relations, which was my area of specialization. Therefore, we have been providing our clients with corporate communications support, media relations work and corporate events management.

Could you tell us about some of the firm’s key figures?

At this moment we have four core members of staff, two graphic designers, a writer and myself. I am responsible for administration, social investment and sourcing new business. We also have another five members of support staff. The company’s turnover is approximately three million Namibian dollars annually. The company has and continues to grow rapidly, which is also very vital in such a competitive industry. So far, the company has mainly relied on what is referred to as ¨ word of mouth¨, which is when a client informs other potential clients about the company.

What are the strengths of Insite Communications?

The Company’s main strength is the way in which we work as a team and to achieve a high level of competency and professionalism towards clients. This has proved to be very important as it helps us focus on our tasks. The compliments and feedback we receive from our clients really indicate that they appreciate our professionalism. This generally indicates that our clients are very satisfied with our work and they thus refer other potential clients to us. An example of our professionalism: when I joined the company deadlines seemed to be flexible, now our motto is “a deadline is a deadline” and we work together smoothly to achieve them. Competency is a key element in this industry, where the cliché goes “you are only as good as your last job”.

What companies represent your client base?

We do work for the MTC, First National Bank of Namibia, Namibia Dairies, Skorpion Zinc Mine, NAMCOR and the Electricity Control Board among others. We have done a lot of work for the above-mentioned companies and they have been very loyal to us.

What are the company’s main projects?

The Company’s biggest job at the moment is the contract that we have with MTC for their newsletter, the Cellchat. This will be the first contract in which we print one- hundred thousand copies every month, up until now we printed fifty-thousand copies a month. This contract is a huge priority for us. Later in the year we will also do a few corporate functions for different companies. Every year we try to do more corporate functions; these bring in more revenue and also provide the company with good exposure.

What is your partnership strategy?

Internally, myself and two other individuals own fifty-one percent of the company with the remainder being owned by Advantage McCann. I do believe that this is the way it will remain for now, as we are not looking for any other partners.

What is the Black empowerment?

Black empowerment is basically a program that thrives to give a better chance for those individuals that were previously disadvantaged by, for example, apartheid. There is now a real drive to bring in black partnerships into businesses.

Your personal experiences are also of interest to us. Could you tell us about your career up to your promotion to Managing Director of Insite as well as your greatest accomplishment during your time as Managing Director?

I was born in Pakistan and raised in the UK. I did my undergraduate degree in psychology at Glasgow University in Scotland (where I met my Namibian husband) before I trained to teach English due to the fact that I knew that I would be coming to Namibia. I moved to Namibia in 1998 and luckily, as soon as I arrived I was offered a job to teach English at the University of Namibia. After about four years at the University I went back to the UK to do my Masters in Pubic Relations and Marketing. On completion of my Masters I came back to the University of Namibia as Public Relations Officer in the Marketing Office and was then approached by the partners at Insite and offered partnership in the company.

We’re here in the Republic of Namibia to promote the investment opportunities of the country. What would your final message be to our readers concerning these opportunities?

I have been living in Namibia for about eight years now and it’s a beautiful place to live in. We generally feel safe here in that we don’t have the levels of crime that neighboring countries might face. Politically I am happy to see the election of a new President, who seems to have started on a good foot, with his anti-corruption stance. The business environment generally and the communications industry in particular is becoming very competitive. All in all I think that Namibia has a lot of potential and I am positive about Namibia’s future.