IT boffin bags award

SOYISO MALITI

A Kuils River entrepreneur, who started selling computers from the boot of his car after quitting his teaching job, received an international award for his entrepreneurial achievements.

Silulo Ulutho Technologies’ blue and white pamphlets are common sights at taxi ranks, shops and houses in townships across Cape Town – and as a result, Luvuyo Rani, the owner of Silulo, has received international recognition with an award.

Mr Rani, who runs his business, which provides digital knowldge and IT services, from Khayelitsha, was recently named a Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year for 2016.

He learned about computers as a student at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology before he became a teacher at KwaMfundo High School in Harare.

He identified the need for computer knowledge in his community when he found out that teachers at the school couldn’t teach the children to use computers because they were not computer literate.

This prompted him to start selling computers to the teachers and in the community, from the boot of his car.

The first computer he used was a Dell Pentium ll. Since then, his business has boomed.

He now has 38 stores, 26 of which are owned by him, while the rest are franchise, located in the Western and Eastern Cape.

Mr Rani’s business, worth more than R30 million, employs more than 170 people.

“We’re happy we got it. It boosts our confidence and will further our network and opportunities for the business,” he said about the award.

“We appreciate the recognition.”

Mr Rani said he realised he had reached a milestone when there was a problem at one of the franchises, but he didn’t have to travel all the way there because on the other end, there was someone capable of resolving the matter.

Outlining his short- and long-term plans, the IT mogul says he wants to see the company expand into all nine provinces before growing it in the Southern African Development Community, and then moving into north Africa. Mr Rani is gunning for at least 400 stores by 2024.

According to a media statement, The Schwab Foundation, headquartered in Cologny-Geneva, Switzerland, selected social entrepreneurs from across the world to join its network of more than 300 outstanding entrepreneurs from 60 countries that work to improve the world through change.