South African entrepreneur Luvuyo Rani established Silulo Ulutho Technologies eight years ago in Khayelitsha, which still holds the title of the township’s first and leading Internet cafe.
Based in Khayelitsha, a township in South Africa’s Cape Town, Rani’s goal was to set up computers for teachers in the area to use for their teaching preparation, which he hoped would provide educators with a better platform to teach from.
What Rani hadn’t taken into account, though, was the fact that very few of the teachers actually knew about computers and technology, let alone how to use them. So it was back to the business drawing board to modify his business plan.
Luvuyo didn’t give up on his business; he simply adapted the business plan and model. He found a building and turned the centre into an Internet cafe, where Khayelitsha residents could use computers and have access to the internet. That business idea, too, took an unexpected turn. Instead of breaking even, Luvuyo found Silulo losing money. Again, he refused to give up and developed a new plan that would cater to the available market.
The company’s new business plan was to provide training courses to the Khayelitsha residents, where they would be introduced to computers and the world of technology in baby steps. This has not only given technology education to the people, but it has also made big businesses take note of Luvuyo and his company.
Rani has proven that you need not fear rewriting your business plan a couple of times in order for it to work. His story is another example of the resilience and adaptability of South Africa’s new breed of entrepreneurs.