CAPE TOWN – Freddy Mahhumane decided that varsity was not for him and founded his own IT company, Open-Technik.
Gauteng-based Mahhumane was studying IT, specialising in Software Development when he decided that he wanted to start his very own company. He then gave up on his studies and dropped out of varsity.
He says that wanted to create more solutions using open source software. He then realised that he is actually good at what he does when he won an award as the best Newcomer at global software enterprise company, Novell South Africa’s awards.
Mahhumane then equipped himself with the technical skills in order for him to compete in the industry. He says that he had to learn continuously in order to position himself favourably in the competitive industry.
Open-Technik grew exponentially and now has a client base of 1 000 clients and has created over 50 different software. The IT company operates country-wide, with one of their biggest clients in Rustenburg in the North West. Mahhumane says that he is always looking to improve his business and take it to great heights.
“As a young entrepreneur, I always look to improve my business and take it to great heights, all my achievements are in the past and I have to work even harder to stay competitive”. This is the key to his success.
His journey to entrepreneurship however did not come easy. He says that it was tough at the beginning to gain the trust of clients and to get them on board. Yet, he aimed high and says that through hard work, he could provide an efficient service.
He was also able to grow his client base by means of a strategic approach. “My strategy was to work with clients only. I started an approach where I would only work with clients who were 10 times bigger than my business. The bigger the clients I signed there more respect we gained in the industry”, said Mahhumane.
He was also a speaker at independent start up community, StartUpGrind Johannesburg. “I was glad I was able to share my story and motivate young and up coming entrepreneurs”, said Mahhumane.
Mahhumane proves to be a serial entrepreneur in his own right. He is involved in several other projects, including an app he developed that provides a car wash service, Kool Wash. “This is our latest innovation, a digital car wash service that looks at creating more jobs and entrepreneurs. From the app, a user can send a request and get their car washed at home. The app is mostly mostly suited for Estate living”, says Mahhumane.
When asked what advice he would give aspiring entrepreneurs, Mahhumane says he encourages the youth to learn an open source skill like JAVA programming or Linux OS administration. This will teach individuals about where the world is going, he says. “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. So the man with courage is not he who does not feel afraid but he who conquers that fear” – Entrepreneurship is scary world, but be courageous in whatever you do and keep learning all the time.
Mahhumane has utilised his knowledge and opened up a public platform where he shares business advice to aspiring entrepreneurs. Community group, Young Black Entrepreneurs was launched on Facebook. “The group was created to answer all the questions I struggled to get answers for when I started my business as an entrepreneur. The greatest gift of being a leader is to be able to share and improve others as well. So this group gives an opportunity for other entrepreneurs to market themselves and learn while doing it”, said Mahhumane.
He says that there is definitely a scarcity of entrepreneurs in SA. Mahhumane believes that we need to create an aptitude of innovation and learning which will in effect create more entrepreneurs. “Entrepreneurship is a culture that motivates, up-skills and helps give back to our community. But being an entrepreneur must be about problem solving, so definitely because of the problems we need to solve we must create more entrepreneurs”.
Mahhumane shares with us an exciting project that he is currently working on, an Open Source school for the underprivileged youth. This school will train the youth to use open source software. This will improve their understanding of technology and assist them in adopting a culture where they will be challenged to create solutions, concludes Mahhumane.
Source: Business Report