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Nobuhle Ngubane Wins Gold at International Awards


Soweto resident and single mom, Nobuhle Ngubane isn’t the type to let adversity stand in her way, and in spite of only having a matric, she has gone on to win gold at the contact centre industry’s most prestigious event – the ContactCentreWorld Awards held in London recently.

Nobuhle, a quality assessor at South Africa’s leading CMO company, Merchants, joined three other Merchants people, Donovan Crout, Vanie Subrmoney and the company’s Customer Director, Zain Patel on the world’s stage in London.

Nobuhle was awarded a gold for Quality Auditing, while Donovan won Best Client Services Manager and Vanie Best Trainer. Zain received gold in the Executive Award and was honoured with a silver in the Large Contact Centre Category.

But it is Nobuhle’s story that shows just how much influence a company’s leadership can have on a person and their desire to succeed.

Nobuhle comes from humble beginnings – her mom was unable to send her to university, but she began her career with a determination to ensure that her son would not face the same challenges she did.

In 2011 she joined Merchants, as a contact centre agent working shifts, speaking to a myriad of customers and everyday learning and improving her skills and knowledge. From contact centre agent, Nobuhle rose to interim team leader and trainer assistant and it was in the latter position that she truly found her calling.

"As a trainer assistant, I dealt with the new hires (new employees), ensuring that through their training, they met the minimum requirements to start on the floor," explains Nobuhle as she talks about her road to the gold.

"This was when I saw the impact quality had on the performance of the agents. During training we would listen to and evaluate calls and I would often visit the quality team to find out more about the process. The manager at the time noticed my interest and suggested I apply for the Merchants Future Leaders programme - a programme designed to help people develop their leadership talents and use them within the company.

"I applied and graduated top of my class," says Nobuhle, who adds that her son, who was born the year after she matriculated, was the inspiration for her to put as much effort as she could into improving herself.

Nobuhle joined the Quality team just two years ago and in that short time has had a major impact – so much so that this year, she decided to enter the CCW awards.

"Every entry into these awards is even more daunting than most," explains Zain "because in addition to submitting an in-depth entry, explaining why you think you should win, you also had to prepare and present in person, a talk to the various attendees at the three-day event – these are the same people that you compete against. For Nobuhle this was a first, but she rose to the challenge and like our stalwarts Donovan and Vanie, gave 110%."

As a leader in the BPO and CMO industry, Merchants prides itself on investing in and developing its people – Donovan, Vanie and Nobuhle are all evidence of this commitment to development.

"I had never even been on a plane, never mind out of the country," says Nobuhle, "the experience was exceptional, and made me grateful for what I have. I experienced so many new things, and a different way of life, it was amazing.

Date Posted: Wednesday, July 5, 2017

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