Bringing lessons from Capitec, 10X’s new COO joins a new ‘revolution’

10X Investments’ new Chief Operating Officer, Uvesh Betchu, says he will be applying many of the lessons he learnt during his 11 years at Capitec Bank, the pioneering South African financial services disruptor, to his new role.

Betchu, who was Head of Business Support and Operations at Capitec, describes his move to 10X as “joining the revolution with the purpose of improving clients’ financial wellness”.

Steven Nathan, 10X Investments’ chief executive, noted that the disruptive asset manager’s new COO had been with Capitec “through a period of tremendous growth and had led a number of initiatives to help them scale, improve efficiency and build a customer-centric business”. 

Capitec went from being a start-up in 2001 to the third largest bank in South Africa in terms of retail customers. Betchu also served on the Executive Committee at the bank, which now has a market capitalisation of R113 billion.

One of the things he has learnt “that is applicable in any business”, Betchu says, is: “When you say you are a client-centric business, what does that mean in your everyday operations; how do you live that?”

He adds: “A lot of companies say that they are client-focused businesses, but in their actual application they start with profit first and not client first.

“You should start with the client first, and ask three questions: 

1. Is this what the customer needs? 

2. Are we doing it as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible? 

3. Is it good for business?”

Betchu adds that 10X’s performance over the last 10 years has built trust and confidence in the brand, “trust that there is a simple, cost-effective investment philosophy that has yielded superior results, and we can see it”.

“That is how the trust has been built. I think the business will start to snowball.”

He says the challenge when a business is scaling up is whether it has the infrastructure and capacity to meet the increase in clients’ demand for service. 

“A COO should future-proof a business to be able to upscale rapidly in line with customer growth. If you are unable to do that, the client experience will deteriorate and ultimately you will break down the trust and lose clients.”

Betchu – who has a B Com in Management and Marketing and a Masters in Business Leadership – expects a steep learning curve in his new role since he “doesn’t come from the specific asset and investment management environment”. He says that he is looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead. 

One of the things that is driving him, he says, is “the fulfilment that I will experience when looking back in a few years and be able to say: ‘We have contributed significantly towards delivering more value to customers who once had no idea of where their retirement planning was going, where their money was invested, or how to read about the performance of their investments’.”

Nathan, his new CEO, who is also the founder of 10X, added: “Uvesh is highly aligned to 10X’s values and vision, with strong operations, people and leadership skills.”

Betchu adds: “I am here to serve my team, empower them, and mobilise them towards delivering value to customers so that they can retire with dignity.”

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