TabletPOS 10 Year Anniversary
Article by Michael Da Silva, founder of TabletPOS
These past ten years have been surreal, to say the least. I cannot believe it’s been 10 years since TabletPOS installed their very first site in South Africa, it was the 4th iKentoo site in the world!
TabletPOS has grown from a single person entity to over 50 people with 5 branches around SA and we operate in 12 countries in Africa, the fastest growing country outside of South Africa being Mauritius.
TabletPOS grew out of a necessity to survive, I needed to help my family with a monthly income after being made jobless, it was a do or die situation. I will not wax lyrical about how great an entrepreneur I am or how I found this great product and made it happen or how I pumped money into this venture knowing it was going to be a success… No, I will not lie, I was desperate and grabbed the little wins to just eke out a living to help my wife and family make ends meet.
I was extremely fortunate to meet people and convince them to join in this venture, they believed in what I had to say about TabletPOS, it helped me to turn my own frame of mind around and to start believing in myself again. Since inception TabletPOS has managed to source some of the most amazing staff any company could wish for, I thank my lucky stars that we have them working here. They are the very reason TabletPOS is and has been successful. My colleagues know I will bleed for them, they are the soul, energy and driving force behind TabletPOS.
Looking back, I realise how much I have learned from previous places of employment. It was as if I was in training for this day, this venture and this responsibility. My previous partners and mentors have helped in their own special way to make me the person and TabletPOS the company it is today. I will never forget them. It’s to this end that I am not afraid to employ people that are smarter and more talented than me, better equipped to help get TabletPOS to the next level. We have so many capable staff that we are able to step up into any position at a moment’s notice.
At TabletPOS we love to catch our colleagues doing something right, this helps to create the ethos of what we are trying to achieve, “having fun in spite of making money”. We work hard and play hard, it’s tough sometimes but always worth it.
TabletPOS was fortunate to find a product (A Cloud Based Mobile POS called iKentoo) that was at that time, a brand new technology, it was obviously way ahead of its time in the world and especially in South Africa. Despite this, we didn’t have credibility, we were brand new with no user base to leverage and we had to earn our stripes one customer at a time. This changed very slowly initially but we did gain momentum in the marketplace.
I will never forget one of our first Hostex shows, our stand was placed very close to one of the biggest POS vendors in South Africa. This was daunting as our stand was miniscule compared to theirs and theirs was manned by more people than we had in our company in those days.
Amazingly we had queues of people lining up at our stand to see our product and watch our demos, even the staff of the opposition POS vendor came and accompanied their own prospective customers to our stand. That show helped make us and helped us to bag a corporate customer that we are still working with today. We had officially arrived! Those opposition staff members also cornered me and asked for jobs at our company, it was a very fulfilling show for us all. We are still not the biggest POS in SA, but we will compete with anyone at any time, without any fear of not being able to win at any level.
TabletPOS has grown from strength to strength. It has a strong sales and support structure in place that has enabled us to successfully grow our user base. We installed a record 68 sites in one month with 17 go-lives in a single day, that is no small feat. It shows the capability to scale very quickly because of the technology we use, the hardware is light on the front end and all the heavy lifting is done in the back office that sits in the cloud.
In 2019 iKentoo was acquired by Lightspeed and we are excited that this has enabled us to grow into the retail space too. We are able to leverage against our existing infrastructure to land and expand in this vertical as well.
We have amazing suppliers who have helped us at every turn, it’s been years and years worth of growth together that make us proud to be associated with them.
Special mentions to Scarab and Kemtek, they have been with us from the get go.
Covid was devastating for the world and the hospitality industry as a whole, but I got calls from suppliers saying don’t worry about paying the outstanding bills, I could pay it when I could, that makes me emotional typing this, I will never forget the loyalty and respect shown to us.
To our lovely customers who have helped us grow and have become our ambassadors across SA, they have sung our praises and have spoken to friends and colleagues to impress on them to try us out.
I humbly thank you and hope we grow from strength to strength together.
I insist that everyone at TabletPOS support our customers as much as possible. We do this and love to show our support. Without our customers’ support we would not have had these huge gains and growth we have shown these past years.
We are proud to say that TabletPOS is officially the biggest Mobile POS vendor in SA and the biggest Lightspeed reseller in the world. Lightspeed is a juggernaut that has over 200 000 customers worldwide. With our association, we hope to help grow both our user bases for our continued successes.
Thank you to all my mentors, partners, colleagues, customers and suppliers, who all helped TabletPOS get to this 10 year mark, it is humbling to have all your support.
Thank you for taking the time to read this little article.
Michael da Silva