top of page

5 Reasons why Capitec has been so successful.

I was lucky enough to get the chance to listen to Capitec's Group CEO, Gerrie Fourie, talk about why he thinks they have been so successful.

This is what I took away.

1. Write down where you want to be in 10 years and regularly check to see how you are progressing against that vision

This makes a lot of sense.

It is something we should do at a personal level, at a company level, and at a country level.

But for most of us, the idea of visioning out over ten years (or more) is a pipedream.

We like the here and the now. Our survival instincts were not developed to plan decades ahead.

And in most companies and governments the incentives (bonuses and votes) are typically set to ensure results are delivered in years, sometimes months.

So a major advantage for Capitec is that their founder-led mindset has sustained with a view to the long-term.

2. The fundamentals should stay the same

If you have even slightly followed Capitec over the past decade, I’m certain you’ll agree that they have stuck to their knitting.

Simple, affordable, accessible banking.

Which meant they have focused on refining their existing offerings and avoided chasing shiny new opportunities, such as overseas expansion, mortgages and bitcoin, allowing them to focus on delivering their fundamental promise.

Simple, affordable, accessible financial products and services.

3. Appoint the best

Every leadership team I have ever worked with professes that they employ the best.

No surprises then that Capitec also believe their success is correlated with hiring amazing people.

But in Capitec's case, all the signs indicate they are succeeding.

For a start I've always been impressed by the people I've met from Capitec. And those I know personally are 100% top of their fields.

And like Google, they also take their time to hire, rather than simply rushing to fill open vacancies.

Their hiring process is also not for the fainthearted as they put all candidates through a succession of interviews and psychometric testing.

Capitec isn't for everyone. Everyone isn't for Capitec. The fact they know this is an advantage.

4. Every client is treated the same

The fact that Capitec doesn’t differentiate its offering between market segments (e.g., high-net-worth individuals vs. low-income earners) gives it one massive advantage.

Like TikTok or Facebook, it’s easier to scale if you offer the same service to everyone.

The politics of segmentation kills growth as internal teams fight over who owns which customers, which customers should get what benefits and how relationship managers should divy up their time to support their ‘best’ customers.

Segmented clients, lead to internal silo’s, divergent processes and non-unified systems. It introduces politics and friction into the system.

This is why of all the reasons why Capitec has been successful, the fact they don't have a differentiated offering, is perhaps their most important asset of all.

5. Disrupt yourself

On stage, Gerrie was clear about this. You have to be ready to disrupt yourselves.

Again, this is a statement many leaders make but that few seem to be able to deliver on.

Capitec have certainly made huge progress improving their tech stack.

But I suspect the real test is to come. Because up until now, Capitec has been the disruptor.

They have benefited from being the new kid on the block, unincumbered with technical debt and legacy thinking.

But will they adapt their model as new disruptive technologies, such as artificial intelligence, start to transform whole industries?

Or could Capitec find they are the ones that get disrupted, as a new wave of fintechs’ transform financial services with blockchain enabled, AI driven decentralised autonomous organisations?

The next three years will be telling.

Want to hear more?

Gerrie's keynote was hosted by Biz News. you can watch it here.

And there were plenty of other nuggets too.

For example, to the question what does it takes to be a great leader?

“You need an ability to explain the why. And you have to be able to ask good questions to

check your team understands it”

Simple really.



bottom of page