Colin Thornton founded Dial a Nerd in 1998 at the age of 19. His first clients were friends and family and his first computer repair room the garage of his parent’s home. By focusing on home users and offering a very high level of service, he occupied a niche at the time which helped Dial a Nerd grow into the business it now is.
The business has grown to have a presence in most of the major South African cities, with five branches and over 70 staff members countrywide. It has over 40 000 customers consisting of home-based computer users and small to medium-sized businesses. Over the years Colin recognised that there were a few staff members that were essential to his business and to retain them he offered them shares as a way of ensuring Dial a Nerd’s longevity. There are now six shareholders who own the business, most of whom are still active in its management.
Colin’s passion and expertise is customer service and he has based his business model on this. His guiding principle is that a successful business must give the best possible service to build up strong customer relationships. Through outstanding client relations, good communications and fast and efficient service the company ensures satisfied customers and future business. Since 2011 Dial a Nerd has been moving its focus to Business support and this is now the companies main focus – to act as an outsourced IT department and deliver savings and improved business continuity.
Colin has served as a judge on a panel of experts in the Accenture Enablis Business Launchpad competition and was named one of the Mail & Guardian’s “Top 200 Young South Africans you should take to lunch in 2011”. In 2012 Dial a Nerd was voted the best service company in the IT category. In 2013 Colin was featured in the Brand South Africa television advert.