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Going ‘Uphil’ with determination

Going ‘Uphil’ with determination

Ulandi Philander, owner of Uphil Brand and Promotions has worked hard to be where she is today.
She is no stranger to the concept, started from the bottom (casual) now here (business owner), because of her persistence and determination to win.

These are just some of the characteristics she inherited from her late mother, a person from who she draws tremendous inspiration.

Her company assists companies to build their brand, increase market share and profits, increase clientèle and thus grow from strength to strength with brand and marketing support she offers.

As a teenager, Philander lost her mother before completing her studies and had to step in to help her father and younger siblings, therefore, in order to earn money and contribute to the household she did casual work.

“I made a good impression on someone who saw great potential in me and that is how I got my first permanent job. I then quickly moved into the position of personal assistant, a position I held for 11 years,” she explained.

She learned early in her career that she loved connecting with people from various backgrounds, being of service and being part of projects that is about positive change which naturally made her a good fit for a career marketing where she worked her way up to Marketing Manager.

“After almost 15 years in the corporate world, I decided it was time to take on new challenges,” she added.

With the support from her husband and children, Philander finally took the leap and started her business in October 2019, with only herself as an employee.

“This is when Uphil was born, with the slogan ‘Together we rise’, where I emphasised to my clients that brand exposure and awareness is important in order for their companies to stay relevant and rise,” she highlighted.

Uphil’s branding and marketing support services include services such as poster printing, t-shirt- and vehicle branding, signage, advertising on platforms such as social media and email, selling outdoor and indoor marketing sales promotional items like gazebo’s, flags banners and corporate gifts.

“In essence, I offer a one stop brand and marketing advice and service centre where I work closely with clients on their strategic branding and marketing plans, then assist in the execution of the plans through advertising and branding materials,” she emphasised.

According to Philander to start your business and grow with minimal financial risk to gain momentum is a challenge, but she makes it work by being disciplined enough to remain responsible and focused. “The tough decisions you have to make every day and be 100% responsible and accountable for each of them is a major challenge,” she informed.

She advised businesswomen to believe in themselves, to have faith that they will make it, and not to be afraid to take that step in starting their own businesses. “Do it because you have the passion for it, not for the money, networking is important so build a great network to surround yourself with, equip yourself with the basic knowledge to understand business and finance management so that you can grow your business financially,” said Philander.

For the future Philander wants to grow her business to be financially stable and create employment in order to invest in other Namibians. “Ultimately, the aim is to have a positive and tangible impact on other companies through branding and marketing, and subsequently, in a small way, contribute to the development of Namibia as a whole,” she concluded.


About The Author

Mandisa Rasmeni

Mandisa Rasmeni has worked as reporter at the Economist for the past five years, first on the entertainment beat but now focussing more on community, social and health reporting. She is a born writer and is working on her degree in Journalism at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST). She believes education is the greatest equalizer. She is the epitome of perseverance, having started as the newspaper's receptionist in 2013.

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia


20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.