Dropout now boss with brains
A STUDENT HAS DEVELOPED A SUCCESSFUL WEBSITE DESIGN COMPANY AND IS ALREADY RE-BRANDING,WRITES
AUNIVERSITY dropout, who doesn’t encourage others to follow his example, is the brains behind a web services company, Joren Communications, founded in 2013.
Rendani Nevhulaudzi, 29, who dropped out of Unisa after three years of studying IT, said he had always been interested in creating things.
Working for an employer is restrictive, he said, “You follow procedures and you can’t really create what you like.”
Interviewed by Business Report, at his offices at the Softstart Business and Technology Incubator in Midrand, Nevhulaudzi said he wanted to contribute to society and have the freedom to create his own designs.
Bureaucratic processes in formal employment situations inhibit creative expression, he explained. “But when you have your own business, you can evolve and create your own things. This brings me joy,” he said.
Nevhulaudzi had a lot to say about politics during the interview. He argued that politicians were selfserving and because of this there were not many black companies doing well in his sector.
“I saw a gap and that is what prompted me to be part of this business,” he explained.
“We want to be an excellent company that provides excellent websites,” he said.
In the coming year, Nevhulaudzi expects his company to evolve into a “more integrated digital agency” to suit the changing needs of his clients. “We are already managing digital projects for our clients,” he said.
“We are re-branding and really going into the digital space.”
Services offered by Joren Communications include website development, intranet design and development, and web applications. Key service areas are web hosting and support.
The young entrepreneur’s clients include the School of Journalism at Wits University, Johannesburg City Parks, the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC), Ditsong Museums of South Africa, Lovelife, Smartstart, and the South African Association of Youth Clubs (SAAYC).
Nevhulaudzi recently returned from Dubai, where he attended the Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX), an annual global consumer computer and electronics trade show, exhibition, and conference held at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
“Any technology that you can think of is showcased there,” he said. Networking was a major objective for Nevhulaudzi and his team. The exhibition provided a platform to position the company and find out what was happening in the sector.
“We want to grow our business offerings and create new partners internationally. I’m particularly interested in the Internet of Things and Augmented Reality,” said Nevhulaudzi.
“Our plan is to grow the business to compete with big businesses and become a fully integrated digital ICT company.”
While he was in Dubai, Nevhulaudzi’s offices were broken into and all the company’s computer equipment was stolen.
“Our company was down for three days. They stole everything and I was devastated, man. I didn’t know what to do. We didn’t even have insurance for those things,” he said.
Joren Communications employs a team of 10, mostly young people under the age of 30.
“They have energy and are full of creativity,” Nevhulaudzi said of his team, adding that they hoped to address the problem of unemployed youth in the country.
Nevhulaudzi admits to being a university dropout but hastens to add: “I’m a self-educated person. I read a lot of business books on marketing and entrepreneurship. I can run this business from anywhere in the world because we have systems in place that allow for that.”
The outspoken entrepreneur boasts that self-educated people normally do well in life.
President Jacob Zuma reportedly taught himself how to read and write Zulu in the bush while the other children went to school, but nevertheless he speaks French, Russian, Xhosa, Zulu, Portuguese and Swahili fluently.
Developing a thick skin and being optimistic about the future are what keeps him going.
Joren Communications business entrepreneur Rendani Nevhulaudzi with his team.