Carin de Klerk Conquers The Hustle and Bustle of Events
If you’re fluent in the language of communications,then Carin de Klerk is a name that you will be very familiar with.
Carin is one of the formidable women behind Sindana Communications, an award-winning integrated communications company known for its innovative partnerships for events, PR and marketing.
While a simple interview could never do justice to her vast experience, she takes us through some of her career highlights and her transitionfrom the corporate world to the world of entrepreneurship.
A true farm girl at heart, Carin was born and raised in the southern town of Mariental. Her first experience with the workplace came in the form of an internship which she began during holidays while still studying PR and Marketing at Potchefstroom University in South Africa.
“Being a farm girl I came to Windhoek and was lucky to have applied to the Ohlthaver & List Group. They took me on, I did some internships with them during the holidays and then, when I did my Honours, they actually approached my lecturer to say they would be keen to take me on once I completed the degree,” she recalls.
Carin worked for ten years at Standard Bank before she co-founded Sindana Communications with her partner Carmen Martins. Carmen handles the communications aspect of the business and Carin is in charge of events. While events management may be stress and a headache for some, it’s actually what Carin thrives on.
“There’s something about hosting people, coming up with an idea, inspiring people to believe in this idea, creating this wonderful evening that is magical,”
“It started with Standard Bank. I was lucky to work for four very forward-thinking MDs who always preached entrepreneurship. They kept saying “We’re never going to have enough jobs for everybody, be an entrepreneur”, and I thought, “How can you do this, how can you literally chase us away?”. But during this time I started arranging special events for the bank,” she says. By the time she left, she made use of the decadeof opportunities at the bank and the skills acquired, and applied all the experience to her new venture.
Sindana, loosely translated from Oshiwambo and Otjiherero, means “to succeed” or “to win”. After passing the initial hurdles and dealing with the struggles that all startups go through, Carin and her partner eventually were victorious.
“We went in heart and soul for the first three months. We didn’t have an office, a laptop or a printer, we didn’t have a client, but we had faith in ourselves,” Carin recalls.
Sindana Communications is now a fully fledged company that employs young people and invests in them. Carin believes that this is the core solution to the unemployment issue in Namibia, saying, “It’s about a collective effort, creating opportunities, finding the strength in people that we can utilise, not closing the gate but rather opening it.”
This article is based on an interview with Carin de Klerk on 99FM. Tune in to The Royal Hustlers on 99FM every Monday to Friday at 07h35.