By Charndré Emma Kippie
Dr. Keitumetse Tebogo Mothibeli is a growing leader in the field of science with experience in the medical distribution industry and vast knowledge of the medical industry. She has five years’ experience as a Field Applications – and Product Specialist where her key deliverables were focused on maintaining and developing territorial sales functions in accordance with agreed sales and marketing plans. While pursuing her Master’s degree she worked for Adcock Ingram -The Scientific Group as a graduate trainee and later joined the Scientific Group sales team. She was earmarked into becoming an Applications Specialist, where she gained overseas training in the UVP imaging systems in Cambridge and the Applied Imagine-Karyotyping system in Newcastle acquiring a distinction in the field. She became a Field Applications Professional in Immunology and tissue culture at Whitehead Scientific – South Africa in 2012 and handed in her resignation in January 2014 to pursue her PhD full time.
In 2020 she became a Chief Investment Officer for the Chairman’s Investment Panel where she focused on building and mentoring young and dynamic entrepreneurs into creating sustainable and meaningful business. In 2021 she was earmarked to become the CEO of Crystal Partners – a 100% black owned investment company led by black female professionals. Crystal Partners is aimed at becoming the premier choice partner for global and local companies seeking to establish and expand their footprint on the African continent.
Dr. Keitumetse Mothibeli strives to be a leader. She believes that leadership means sacrifice, commitment, consistency and keeping a positive attitude. It is to develop an innate drive for excellence that transcends barriers of any prejudice or predisposition, with a moral obligation for success that should be in the pursuit of human dignity, social fulfilment, and integrated success.
How did your journey with Crystal Partners begin?
Crystal Partners saw a gap in the market for a strong black-female owned and led investment company and established the company with the aim of being the premier partner of choice for global and local companies seeking to establish and expand their footprint on the African continent through strategic partnerships.
We then came together as a group of young, dynamic and skilled business professionals encompassing qualifications in technology, investments, medical, marketing, engineering, aviation, business development, architecture and corporate finance and launched Crystal Partners on the 27th of April 2021.
What are your main career objectives as CEO?
As a CEO of Crystal Partners, I am responsible for high quality business strategies and business alignment. I ensure that long and short term goals and objectives are executed and achieved for the overall success of our partnerships, creating equity value in local and global entities.
My objectives are to generate new and diversified businesses in existing market sectors so as to solve current problems through strategic partnerships and innovation. To introduce practical entrepreneurship in selected sectors and impact societies. This will harness and increase business growth through well-matched partnerships with focus on skill-transfer and business impact longevity.
We are deliberate in growing the African companies into successful global entities through the strategic investments and partnerships, which aim to increase economic activity within the continent.
Please could you tell us a bit about your background and schooling?
Background in Business
I have vast knowledge and experience in the medical field. I worked for Adcock Ingram -The Scientific Group Sales Team and Applications Specialist. I then moved to Whitehead Scientific – South Africa and became a Field Applications Professional in Immunology and tissue culture. I later joined Zucchi Innovations and Mofaya Beverage Company as a Research and Development Director and shareholder with a specialised focus directed at governing processes controlling product development research, concept screening and testing. Research and Development opened up avenues in Mr. Brick were I used green technology together with Zetland technologies at CSIR to make bricks and other products in solving the fly ash challenges in Secunda.
In 2016 I started Maidi Holdings, a multi-disciplinary company whose primary interests are in Maritime, Mining, Infrastructure and Health. Through the company I became the first black female to acquire Diving and Hull cleaning licenses in Durban, Richard Bay and Cape Town Port.
In 2020 I became a Chief Investment Officer for the Chairman’s Investment Panel were I focused on building and mentoring young and dynamic entrepreneurs into creating sustainable and meaningful business. In 2021 I was earmarked to become the CEO of Crystal Partners, a 100% black owned investment company owned and led by black female professionals.
Background and schooling
I was born in Johannesburg and did my lower grades in KwaZulu-Natal, and a small town in the Free state (Bethlehem). I moved to Grahamstown and completed my junior schooling in Victoria Girls primary school and my grade 12 in Victoria Girls High School.
What 3 tips do you have for business women when it comes to getting funding for their business endeavours?
- ‘Opportunity Meets Preparation’ – Always be ready with a comprehensive business plan, and your corporate identity must be immaculate and unquestionable. The funder must be able to trust your story and believe in your business idea. It is said that “first impressions count” so present yourself the way you want to be addressed.
- ‘Your network determines your net worth’ – Invest time in your networks, create a healthy and valuable rapport.
- Be able to show CLEARLY and PRECISELY how you will achieve the Returns on investment (ROI). Your ROI objectives must be “SMART” – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-specific.
What advice do you have for creating sustainable and meaningful business?
Growth and comfort don’t coexist, focus on constant reinvention of your business, always remember business and money are always wrapped in problems and challenges. Your expertise and abilities must come with solving a problem, addressing a need and meeting a need. Some of the biggest entities like Apple Inc. have done this with excellence and managed to stay ahead.
How do you hope to make a positive social impact across Africa?
I understand that Crystal Partners is an opportunity for us to answer a call for staunch, principled, and effective leadership in Africa. Leadership that is focused on strategy, integrity, excellence, and execution.
Have you read any books or listened to any podcasts that have inspired you and your career thus far?
The 48 Laws Of Power by Robert Greene. As much as the laws may not all be palatable to me as an individual, they have given me a perspective on power that allows me to understand people’s intent.
The Four Agreements written by Janet Mills. The overview of “The four agreements” says it all for me:
- Be Impeccable with your word
- Don’t take anything Personally
- Don’t make assumptions
- Always do your best
What is your ‘why’ i.e. Bottom line? And how do you stay motivated?
People. I believe a leader’s moral obligation for success should be in the pursuit of human dignity, social fulfilment and integrated success.”
What keeps me motivated is staying true to myself, my purpose and vision. I’m pushed everyday by how I can make the world a better place for people. My short term goals have been orchestrated in such a way as to ultimately reach and achieve this.
Outside of work, are you involved in any extracurricular activities and/or community outreach projects?
I believe in giving back my time. I focus my energy on building and mentoring young and dynamic entrepreneurs into creating sustainable and meaningful business. I have a platform where I’m dedicated to doing this on a weekly basis.
What does it truly take to be a ‘transformational woman leader’ in Africa? Do you have any tips?
- Commitment and Consistency.
- I believe Leadership is serving.
- Leadership is to develop an innate drive for excellence that transcends barriers of any prejudice or predisposition. Integrity, consistency, excellence, and execution is what I stand for.
*Interested in discovering more inspiring stores about Top Women? Check out the 16th edition of the Standard Bank Top Women Leaders publication on Issuu – Digital Publishing Platform – here.