Priscilla Kevin of IN4NET services over 20 local corporate and small medium enterprises in Port Moresby, primarily in enterprise resource planning (ERP) services and support. The growth has also seen her expand the services the business offers, and now includes the provision of ICT management and advisory services, financial business data analytics and document management, and reselling SYSPRO™ products. This she has managed to successfully undertake through a partnership arrangement with another local ICT company, M.I.S Software Solutions Ltd.
The growth since 2003, when she started out, has been great, but not without its challenges. Said Priscilla, “the major stumbling block was about obtaining sufficient capital, accessing
finances. Entering an industry which is heavily technology, equipment based, that involved substantial funds, and getting a work space set up.” She added, “in the early days it was making about making some quick money so that I could pay for overheads and set aside funds for expansion plans.”
In these early days, Priscilla had to be the jackie-of-all-trades, covering the administration and financial aspects of her business, sales and marketing, as well as being the technical resource undertaking the ICT service to local businesses. Priscilla said, “Our clients are mainly corporate businesses who seek to run their business using a reliable fit-for-business
enterprise resource planning software.” She added, “we make that mark by selling a word class supported product like SYSPRO™ and working with a partner who has been in this space for over 20 years.”
What is ERP one asks? Priscilla explains, “simply put, ERP is about integrating and managing various elements of a business by ensuring that all these elements are linked through an information system so that it can track and report on ones business planning, inventory and purchases, financial aspects, human resources, amongst others. We can tailor
accordingly to suit the type and size of a business.”
Working with PIPSO
Since April this year, Priscilla has been part of a team of ICT enthusiasts in Port Moresby working on the EU Business Climate Facility (BizClim) funded pilot cluster initiative. The pilot cluster initiative in PNG is on developing an ICT cluster in Port Moresby. Says Priscilla, “I’m thrilled to be part of this regional pilot project, the first cluster project for the Pacific,
and here in PNG focusing on ICTs to be a business led development.”
Along with other ICT enthusiasts and entrepreneurs, Priscilla is of the view that under the cluster project, those businesses in the ICT industry can reap more benefits through greater collaboration and partnerships. Whilst the range of businesses competes in a market like Port Moresby, there is, under the cluster project, potential to link up with
competitors to identify potential areas for collaboration. Says Priscilla, “this could be in sharing freight costs, undertaking joint training for staff, pooling resources for bigger projects which one cannot undertake as a small business for example.”
Priscilla hopes that through the cluster initiative, she is able to inspire other young women to explore the potential the ICT industry has, and that these young women find the interest and support to participate and be part of wider movement to using and promoting technology for private sector development and social development. Asked what would be a key message to share with young women wanting to start their own business, Priscilla didn’t have one, but three thoughts to share:
i) Know you product/service and be sure you know exactly how you are going to market that, and how is it different to other products/providers in the market.
ii) Discipline – from ensuring small tasks are completed and following through, to items pertaining to finance and your time; managing all requires commitment and disciple.
iii) Think globally but act locally – dream and plan for the bigger things but bring it down to local context to implement; that way you are challenging yourself too.