Anthea Dantu | UPP Group (Pty) Ltd
Programme sponsor: Barloworld
“They’ve helped me beyond my understanding and completely evolved the way I see myself”
Over a decade ago, Anthea Dantu’s life looked very different. She was living in Cape Town and working for a finance company as the team lead of an internal call centre. She wanted to grow within the business but promised opportunities never materialised. When her Johannesburg-based sister and brother-in-law suggested she make a cross-country move and join them in their plumbing-empowerment business, she decided to go for it. “I honestly didn’t know if I could live in Joburg. I told all my friends that I was going to go for six months to a year, just to find my feet. The plan was to go back to Cape Town and start something new,” she explains. Twelve years later, she is still in Johannesburg and loves being part of the family business. “It was challenging at first. In a male-dominated industry, it was very hard for me to get my voice heard. I’d just come from a very corporate environment, dealing with the same type of customer every day. At UPP, every customer is unique, and their needs have to be met differently,” she says.
In 2019, UPP Group was selected for a business-development programme sponsored by Barloworld and powered by Raizcorp. As operations director, Anthea found the learning and guiding (mentoring) portion of the programme lifechanging. “My guides were amazing. They’ve helped me beyond my understanding and completely evolved the way I see myself. They taught me to believe in myself and find what makes me unique so that I understand the value I bring to the business. My confidence has definitely grown,” she says. “During the Covid-19 pandemic when I was bogged down with uncertainty and fear, they helped me refocus on my values and see the positive opportunities in a bad situation,” she continues.
To aspiring entrepreneurs, she advises, “Do what you are doing and don’t focus on negativity around you. Only you can control your future so take a step back and envision what that means for you. Write that vision down and stick it somewhere so that you can be reminded every day why it is you’re doing what you’re doing.”
To Barloworld, her programme sponsor, she has this message, “Thank you for an opportunity that not many people get. From the bottom of my heart, I want to say thank you for the most incredible two-year journey I’ve ever been on. I know that years from now I will still refer back to everything I’ve learned at Raizcorp.”