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Interview With Silulo Ulutho Founder and CEO, Luvuyo Rani

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Luvuyo Rani is the Founder and CEO at Silulo Ulutho Technologies. A visionary and an award winning entrepreneur born in Queenstown but resides in Western cape, South Africa. He is a graduate of B. Tech from the Graduate School of Business at the University of Cape Town. For his extraordinary work providing access to technology, Luvuyo was named on the 2014 JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World (JCI TOYP) recipients in the category of business, economic, and entrepreneurial accomplishment. Also, he was 2016 Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur. In this interview, he speaks with Alaba Ayinuola about his brand, Silulo Ulutho and how he feels as an African entrepreneur. Excerpt.

 

Alaba: Tell us about Silulo Ulutho Technologies and the role you play?

LuvuyoI am a founder and CEO of Silulo. The company was founded in 2004; we started by selling refurbished computers from the boot of a car. We offer Business Services, Mobile Repair Services, B2B Services and Computer Training. We currently have 42 branches in 3 South African provinces (Western Cape, Eastern Cape & KZN). Our vision is to bridge the digital divide between rural areas, township and the urban areas. 

I am responsible for the strategy, PR and stakeholder engagement.


Alaba: What was your startup capital and how were you able to raise it?

LuvuyoMy brother went to make a loan of R10 000 from the bank that enabled us to buy the first refurbished computers that we were able to off sell to the teachers.


Alaba: How is your brand different from other Tech brand in South Africa and what problems is it solving?

LuvuyoOur company is embedded in the townships and rural areas and we pride ourselves in bringing digital services closer to where our market is. 


Alaba: What are the challenges, competitions and how are you overcoming them?

LuvuyoIt’s a challenge to manage a growing business in terms of putting systems and processes and also getting the right manpower. 

To retain man power, they get an opportunity to own a Silulo franchise – this gives them a sense of accountability and ownership.


In regards to systems, we are now on pilot project where we integrating CRM and backend. We are driving a rhythm across the business that encourages alignment and data accuracy.


Alaba: What is the future for your business and what steps are you taking in achieving them?

LuvuyoTo expand in every province, township and rural area in South Africa. Thereafter we will branch into SADC. Also, we plan to deepening our offering through our online store and getting more accreditations so that we can add more training courses. 

We are partnering with Universities (UWC, WSU) to get accredited content that will assist us scale. We will expand through franchising and also looking at funding opportunities. 


Alaba: How is the government supporting the business ecosystem in South Africa?

LuvuyoI don’t feel that the government supports businesses much but the Broad Based Empowerment is support enterprises through Enterprise Development, preferred procurement. These are some of the great opportunities the government has created to assist business prosper.


Alaba: What advice would you give potential entrepreneurs who intend to start a business or invest in South Africa and Africa?

LuvuyoIt is very important to focus in your business and operation until you get the model right – thereafter you can diversify. In the beginning, it’s all about the passion, you have to give your all, sleep and eat your business, It is a tough and lonely road. Go out and build your network so that doors can be opened to you in terms of mentoring, funding and advice. 


Alaba: How do you feel as an African entrepreneur?

LuvuyoI feel very proud to be an African entrepreneur and really believe that it is our time to rise up and prosper. No one can do it better than us. It is also important for us to give back to our communities.


Alaba: How do you relax and what books do you read?

LuvuyoI read biographies, political books, business books and enjoy travelling. I am currently reading: GROWING GREATNESS – A journey towards personal and business mastery by PEPE MARAIS

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Afripreneur

Healthpoint: Providing Innovative Healthcare And Health Finance Solutions In Africa

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Kemi Ayinde is the Chief Executive Officer at Healthpoint and a startup engineer promoting inclusion health in Africa. She feels hurt and crushed for every human being that dies of common ailments like malaria. But believes everyone from every class of life deserves easy access to quality healthcare, so more lives should be saved, and life expectancy should be on the increase. In this exclusive interview with Alaba Ayinuola of Business Africa Online, Kemi shares how her startup is providing health financial intermediation, promoting and achieving Health Inclusiveness in Nigeria and Africa as a whole with some of their CSR projects. Excerpt.

 

 

Alaba: Kindly tell us about Healthpoint, the gap it is filling and the strategic role you play?

Kemi: Healthpoint is a holistic health management solution aimed at promoting universal health coverage in Nigeria, Africa and the world at large. We are a health tech startup providing telehealth and health insurance plans at affordable monthly subscriptions.

Healthpoint is propelled towards achieving global health inclusiveness by making healthcare most easily accessible to everyone; whether young or old, male or female, sick or healthy; regardless of their socio-economic status. Our goal is to ensure that every human being has easy access to healthcare and medical attention when needed in such a way as not to deplete their finances. People should be able to access vaccinations, preventive care, medical treatment, medical advice, health tips, updates and information relevant to their lives and environment.

Our mission is to reduce to the barest minimum every excuse to being unable to access quality healthcare in our society. With this, we would achieve reduced mortality rate, and increase life expectancy.

One of our core solutions is health financial intermediation wherein we buy bulk health cover plans from HMOs and Health insurance underwriters and offer them to people at very affordable monthly subscription fees.

 

Alaba: What is your startup capital and how were you able to raise it?

Kemi: We are only a few months old and we needed to perfect our product and market fit which we have done successfully. We are at a point where we are ready to scale and are open to investment from venture capitalists and other investors. We have since been running on our personal seed capital.

 

Alaba: How is Healthpoint different from other Health Startups in Africa?

Kemi: Healthpoint is born out of the passion and the calling to make healthcare most easily accessible to everyone, young or old, rich or poor. We not only provide telehealth solutions to bring healthcare right in your fingertips, but we also do financial intermediation for people and organizations who wish to acquire health cover plans for themselves, their families, and their teams but do not have the funds to, by buying these health plans in bulk and providing it to them at affordable monthly rates that are very friendly to their pockets and work well with their cash flows.

 

Alaba: What are the challenges, competitions and how are you overcoming them?

Kemi: The health needs in Nigeria alone is very huge and can very much accommodate and absorb every innovative and relevant health solutions so I believe we have a very large market and we would very much welcome every contribution towards achieving universal health coverage for Africa.

Also Read: SMEs: Legal Tips For Office Space Acquisition | Morenike Okebu

Alaba: What’s the future for Healthpoint and what steps are you taking in achieving them?

Kemi: Like I mentioned earlier, Healthpoint is aimed at promoting and achieving Health Inclusiveness in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. So we are looking forward to a point where we implement our innovative healthcare and health finance solutions that accommodates everyone from all social strata across the African continent to be able to easily access healthcare without having to deal with financial risks as a result.

We are a team of very innovative, creative young and vibrant minds that are dedicated and committed to actualizing our goals and objectives per time.  We are a tech savvy and proactive team that rides on technology to drive our goals and vision with no holds barred.

 

Alaba: How is your business contributing to the development of Africa health ecosystem?

Kemi: The African health ecosystem is very vast and still green, and so we have very huge plans to impact the health space significantly with different activities and solutions. We run an annual program that provides Free Health Insurance Cover for Widows, Orphans and less privileged every year. This year, our beneficiaries sprang from four orphanage and vulnerable children care homes as well as widows in Nigeria.

 

Healthpoint is providing them free health insurance cover for a period of one year to cater for their medical consultations, treatments, tests, prescriptions and drugs and so much more. When we listened to their stories and saw how difficult it was for them to afford healthcare, it was very touching and they were indeed very grateful that Healthpoint could think of something as this to help them with.

 

Alaba: What advice would you give potential entrepreneurs who intend to start a business or invest in Africa?

Kemi: For budding entrepreneurs in Africa, I would say always maintain the passion, close your ears to all negatives, keep moving like a train, trust God and above all, let the vision keep driving you until you get to that point where you’ve always dream of. Africa is a hub of emerging markets waiting for you to pilot.

 

Alaba: How do you feel as an African entrepreneur?

Kemi: Being an African entrepreneur for me is a huge privilege that avails me the opportunity to contribute in solving some of Africa’s biggest challenges across different sectors of modern day living. It is a somewhat challenging business environment, but if I remain determined and very passionate about my overall goal, I am convinced that my impact will be felt and recognized in the African emerging markets.

 

Alaba: How do you relax and what books do you read?

Kemi: The saying is true that “all work and no play make Jack a dull boy”. As hardworking as I am, I am also a fun loving person and I particularly enjoy travelling and going for vacations. I love to listen to inspiring music and watch some comedy once a while.

Most of all, I enjoy being home with family. It is very fulfilling for me.

 

Kindly Visit: Healthpoint

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Afripreneur

Afripreneur Profile: Vumile Msweli, CEO At Hesed Consulting

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Vumile Msweli is the Chief Executive officer for Hesed consulting. A consulting firm specializing in commerce acceleration; career coaching; women empowerment; facilitation and training on the African continent, with presence in Nigeria and South Africa. She has previously worked for reputable multi-national institutions such as Barclays, Investec, Nedbank, First National Bank and Vodafone. Vumile is an Operations; Finance and Strategy executive with experience in both the telecommunications and finance sectors.

She has successfully led global teams in Africa (Nigeria; Kenya; Democratic Republic of Congo; Zambia; Lesotho; Ghana; Tanzania; Mozambique and South Africa); and Europe (Scotland; Isle of Man and England). These teams held various specialties such as Operations; Client Services; Strategy; Business Development and Risk Management. Vumile was most recently the Client Services Partner for Africa and the Middle East at Vodafone where she oversaw Service Strategy and Operations for Corporate Clients globally.

Vumile is an avid coach and international speaker having spoken in conferences; expos; workshops around the globe on topics such as leadership; women empowerment; finance matters and conducting business in Africa. She has spoken at the African Union in Ethiopia, Women’s Economic Forum in India USAID in Zambia and various organisations across the globe. She is the host of Vumi and Veuve host Women in Commerce as well as has her own regular weekly feature in Nigeria’s largest publication The Guardian.

Vumile has been featured in publications such as China’s Rare Birds(2018); The Guardian Nigeria (2018); True Love Magazine (2012); Destiny Magazine (2011; 2016 and 2017); Bona Magazine (2015); Essays of Africa Magazine (2016) as well as The Thinker magazine (2015). She has been featured on Ghana’s ETV, is regular contributor on SAFM (radio station) and was the business anchor for Voice of Wits (radio station). She’s a guest writer on business; finance issues and women empowerment for Essays of Africa and Destiny Connect.

 

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Commerce: Accounting Sciences (University of Pretoria)
  • Bachelor of Commerce: Finance Honours (University of Johannesburg)
  • Masters Business Administration (University of London, United Kingdom)
  • Executive Education (New York University, United States of America)
  • Executive Education (GIBS, South Africa and GIMPA, Ghana)
  • Doctorate Applied Leadership (UGSM, Switzerland currently studying)

 

Awards:

  • Women’s Economic Forum Woman of Excellence (2018)
  • Brand South Africa Play Your Part Ambassador (2018)
  • Black Management Forum Young Professional of the Year (2018)
  • 34th Most Influential Young South African by Avance Media (2018)
  • Gauteng Premier Award for Excellence in Leadership (2017)
  • ABSIP Game Changer (2016)
  • Mail and Guardian Top 200 most influential Young South Africans (2016)
  • Elle Boss of the Year in the Corporate Category (2016)
  • Gordon Institute of Business Science: VAEP (2016)
  • Vodafone CEO Award (2016)
  • University of Witwatersrand Radio’s Brand New Heavy in Business (2016)

Visit: hesedconsulting.co.za

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Afripreneur

Cooking As A Calling | Chef Femi Aliu

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It is a world filled with different people having different interests. So, I’m not surprised at all that we all see cooking differently.

To someone, cooking might just be a necessity because the stomach has grumbled for the umpteenth time. To another, cooking is a responsibility, either as a wife, mother, the only girl in the block or the eldest person in the house.

To yet another, cooking is a “no go area” …LOL. Indeed, it is a world full of many people, and what makes the world interesting is actually this diversity.

So, while there is a crop of persons fleeing from cooking, here I am, embracing the art of cooking as a lifestyle —better put, a calling.

Yes! Cooking for me, is a calling, my calling that I have positively responded to and have been walking the journey since the past 15 years.

Also Read SMEs: Legal Tips For Office Space Acquisition | Morenike Okebu

Responding to cooking as a call has left me from a mediocre state to an expert level, adding the title “Chef” to my name, a badge of honor I wear on with pride, fulfilling its course.

Food is one of the basic social amenities for humans made cooking highly essential and Important, hence, the swam of food vendors.

I, for a while, nursed the burden of wanting to see people eat tasty and healthy meals, and not only that, eat it at their own convenience. This particularly fueled my passion and love for cooking.

I can say that I am living a purposeful life with Cooking, because cooking, for me is beyond a business venture. It is a solution to a problem I saw, a purpose wherein I am able to attend to an urgent need and it has enabled me to reach out to the busy professionals, recovering patients, family, couples and friends.

 

I Am Chef Femi Aliu

Personal Chef/ Founder Chef Femi Culinary Services

 

www.cheffemi.com

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