From receptionist to specialist and manager

A client-oriented mindset
Cathleen Kachilulwa enjoys exploring various fields and domains and fearlessly takes on challenges that require her to step out of her comfort zone.
Mariud Ngula
Cathleen Kachilulwa serves as Salt Essential IT’s customer relationship management (CRM) specialist and contract manager. Having joined Salt Essential in June 2021 as a receptionist in administrative support, she has since climbed the corporate ladder to CRM and management departments.
“I have always enjoyed interacting with people and solving their problems. That's why I decided to pursue a career in customer relations to apply my natural problem-solving talents. Having gained valuable skills and experience in the corporate world over the years, I am confident I have found my passion.”
Kachilulwa became a ‘Saltie’ after quitting her job of eight years to explore new avenues. She said Salt approached her, when she had been unemployed for a few months, to temporarily assist at their reception for three days.
Before she knew it, three days turned into permanent employment for two years and counting.
“I was so intrigued by their work culture that I did not mind the position at the time, but had a better vision of where I wanted to be. I spent six months at reception before being promoted to CRM specialist and recently to contract manager,” she said.

Thriving despite challenges
Kachilulwa describes herself as a versatile, adaptable and resilient person who can thrive in any situation. From humble beginnings, she grew up in the multi-cultural town of Tsumeb – learning to appreciate diversity. She underscores curiosity and passion as her biggest motivations, which have helped her through her transitions.
She enjoys exploring various fields and domains and fearlessly takes on challenges that require her to step out of her comfort zone. “I think this attitude helped me grow as a person and as a professional, adapting to the changing needs and expectations of the market. I faced many challenges in my life, but I never gave up. Nothing came easy for me. I worked hard and believed in myself and my talents. I also learnt from my setbacks and stayed positive.”

As Salt’s CRM specialist and contract manager, Kachilulwa manages relationships with their clients and oversees the contract lifecycle, ensuring the contracts they sign are fair and beneficial for both parties.
“I also work closely with the sales, marketing, legal and finance departments, coordinating our efforts and aligning our goals. My role requires strong communication, analytical and problem-solving skills. One ought to have a keen attention to detail and a client-oriented mindset.”

Influential mentors
On individuals who have supported her growth and guided her career development, she indicated that she works closely with Salt’s managing director, Sonja Coetzer, who has been one of her most influential mentors. Her admiration is rooted in Coetzer's virtuousness and open-mindedness, in addition to her constructive feedback and recognition of all her employees. “I also admire Maggi de Waal, our CRM manager. She has taught me a lot of valuable skills and insights, and she always supports and motivates me to follow my dreams.”
Looking forward, Kachilulwa hopes to continue expanding their clientele and strengthening current relationships while aligning her goals with the company’s objectives and values.