“Women can go so much further if they stick together”- founder of In Good Company and Siko Republik CEO, Jabulile Gwala
Jabulile, who is a marketing head and humanitarian (she’s a Brand South Africa: Play Your Part ambassador), is currently registered for her Master’s in Business Administration Degree at Henley Business School. She lets us in on her journey and being the change she wants to see in corporate and business for women.
How did In Good Company (IGC) come about?
IGC was started in 2014 when I moved into a senior role. It was inspired by a need to create a space for women to support each other in the workplace. It was originally created for senior managers to engage and be mentored by women in executive roles, but it evolved into a platform where women from all walks of life could share life lessons with each other.
What drives your need to create a platform for women in business?
The fact that I personally need those platforms. As a woman in the corporate world, I have seen how women can go so much further if they stick together. I have also seen how insecure women can be toxic to others. Women who lead from a place of self-love, clear purpose and authenticity really produce unimaginable business results.
How is it juggling your dual career?
It’s tough. There’s no other way to describe it. It’s tough but necessary at this point in time. I treat all my ventures as projects and allocate hours for each project. I do my best to always stick to the allocated times, and I make sure I’m present enough to ensure that things are done right the first time.
I’m precious with my time because I know that you can get through a lot if you use your hours wisely. This means less TV for me. It also means missing several events and being booted out of girl gangs because I’m always busy with one thing or another.
What have you learnt in your entrepreneurial journey?
It doesn’t have to be lonely. Collaborating has really been at the heart of how I do business. I’ve learnt how to ask for help. I’ve learnt a lot about who I am; what I am good at and not so good at, which allows me to be clear on who I need to work with to deliver on my vision. I’ve also learnt a great deal about shared values. Business relationships that have stood the test of time for me are the ones where there is mutual respect and shared goals. Finally, this is a marathon, not a sprint. Take your time and stay in your lane. Instagram life is not real life.
READ MORE: “I may not have a million followers on social media, but I can do the job,” - Penny Lebyane
What have been your highlights as a businesswoman?
Launching Siko Republik, which is an African print-inspired athleisure brand for African women. Watching the brand and the business grow from strength to strength has been rewarding. Winning different awards and being invited to big platforms like Tourism Indaba to showcase our products has also been encouraging.
IGC was a success in 2018, what are you focusing on this year?
Meaningful connections. This year, the focus is on our Business Connect tool, which is an app that connects like-minded individuals with one another. You can book a one-on-one slot with some of the guest speakers and other pioneering women in different business sectors. All you have to do is to buy your ticket, tell us which industries you’re interested in and we will match you to guests who are interested in the same industries as you. Plus, you can book a 15-minute connect session with industry trailblazers.