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Africa: The first 30 days

Lawrence Twigg

Regional CEO Africa

Sekura Mobile Intelligence Ltd

South Africa: The first 30 days

South Africa: The first 30 days – My first 30 days as a Sekurian have been a rollercoaster ride of learning, connecting, meeting and travelling; from the beautiful mountain hamlet of Clarens in the Free State Province to the mine dumps, vibrancy and hustle that is Jozi, the City of Gold, and then onto the fairest of cities, Cape Town. The world-renowned winelands of the Western Cape garnered the full attention of the team too…

After a busy couple of weeks settling into the new role and holding several informative virtual meetings with the wider Sekura team back in the UK, the work started in earnest when CEO, Mark Harvey flew into Johannesburg to join me on a road trip. Day 21: Time to introduce Sekura to South Africa.

Gathering storms over Johannesburg

Prior commitments meant us having to tough it out and hold our first meeting with Manie van Schalkwyk, CEO of the South African Fraud Prevention Society, in Clarens, his hometown. The three-and-a-half-hour drive is an opportunity for overseas guests to experience the beauty – and magnitude – of our incredible country. A very special and successful engagement was followed by a lightning two-day trip to Johannesburg where we met with a number of industry leaders and future partners. Thank you, Shaun Strydom, Paul Behrmann, Kevin Chetty, and Premlin Pillay for your time and valuable insights. Cape Town was beckoning.

Beautiful Clarens.

The Cape leg of the tour was both deeply satisfying from a Sekura point of view, as we were once again privileged to meet with top executives from a broad range of industries, and personally, I got to reconnect with old colleagues and friends. What was becoming very clear, was that the reception of Sekura in South Africa was both warm and very positive. How good to see you again, Adrian Vermooten, Nico Jacobs and Scott Brown.

A little city sightseeing followed by wine tasting in and around magnificent Franschhoek was on the cards for the weekend, too. Chief Product and Partnership Officer, Keiron Dalton, joined us in Cape Town on Saturday 25 March. His feet had barely touched the ground before he found himself staring at a gorgeous vineyard and mountain view in the winelands and an afternoon on the patio was well spent.

The winelands.

Monday dawned bright and amazing, as it so often does in Cape Town. A great breakfast meeting with Greg Brophy and Waheed Adam was followed by another dash to the airport to head back to Sandton. Mark was leaving Keiron and me to return to the UK, and we were doing push-ups in preparation for another hectic week. We were on day 27 but it may well have been day 227.

There were several firsts in Johannesburg this week: one was that a certain Lawrence Twigg was spotted not once, but twice, wearing a suit. The other was far more important; team Sekura met with all four Mobile Network Operator partner teams, and what a great session of meetings that was.

Delighted to have met and shared our thoughts with Jetin Lala, Rehana Hassim and Lavird Geswindt from Cell C; Monwabisi Mabude and Jaytoen Gcabashe from Telkom; Sebelo Nxele from Vodacom, and finally Yolanda Mbalu, Collin Millar, Waseem Amra, Bongi Madigage and Chetan Chiba from MTN Chenosis and MTN South Africa.

We had an outstanding week of connecting and establishing a common understanding with our MNO partners. Thank you, all. We look forward to trailblazing through South Africa and the continent with you.

Keiron and I wrapped up the almost two-week road trip by having a second session with two very exciting prospective partners. Watch this space…

The thunderstorms were extra special on Tuesday and Thursday. My flight back to Cape Town on day 30, March 30th, was very welcome.

The journey home.

I’ve worked a few jobs and in a few industries in my 40+ years in the market, but no onboarding and orientation come close to the energy and satisfaction I felt whilst returning home. Well done my fellow Sekurians. You can be proud of what we have done in such a short space of time. Africa runs in our veins. Let’s make her proud and service her people brilliantly.