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Resilience and Grit helped Moosa and Kimwaga build their Business

Kizito Okechukwu

Kizito Okechukwu | April 18, 2024

Photo: Taher Moosa and Lesetse Kimwaga, the co-founders of Anylytical Technologies.

Anyone who has visited 22 On Sloane in the past seven years will surely know that there are two faces that you’ll remember, those of Taher and Lesetse.

In November 2017, their incredible journey to success began when they pitched their business to join the 22 On Sloane residency. They thought thoroughly before answering questions, spoke softly and remained totally calm – and we had to be very focused on grasping all that they were saying. After their pitch, I soon realised that they weren’t the typical Silicon Valley or “hyper-oratorian” entrepreneurs that one would associate within their industry.

Taher and Lesetse eventually joined 22 On Sloane in January 2018 after their successful 2017 pitch and completed several programmes, including benefitting from several cash grants available from our various partners.

Their company, Anylytical Technologies, is a software company that specialises in bespoke software solutions. Many companies resort to off-the-shelf, or one-size-fits-all technology for their business, but Anylytical focuses on companies looking for unique and customised software solutions for their business. They boast a wide range of clients that include, but not limited to, First National Bank (FNB), where they have built strategic products that help their C-level executives make various business decisions. Other clients include Bryte Insurance; MiX Telematics where they have collaborated to build vehicle tracking and fleet management solutions, which have helped other big-name clients, such as Shoprite, manage their delivery trips and have also built a solution that supports the Al-Imdaad Foundation with their donor management system. Today, the company has personnel of around 25 and generates a good few million dollars in annual revenue.

So how did it all start, you ask? The two met during their consulting days and quickly established a strong, like-minded connection to start their own business. Religiously putting money aside every month finally helped them to launch their business, just more than a decade ago. As most startups, they also had the humble beginnings of running their businesses from home, at coffee shops and in hotel lobbies before they eventually moved into 22 On Sloane in 2018 to set up their operations. Sloane became their nest, allowing them to formalise their business and build their value proposition.

A few months ago, I received a call from Taher. Before I picked up, my mind raced from pillar to post thinking that something must be wrong somewhere, because Taher would seldom call, but would text or chat around the corridors at Sloane.

I took a deep breath and answered, fearing the worst.

His call was just to inform me that they had acquired a new building and will be moving out of Sloane by the end of March 2024. Phew! It was such an emotional moment for both of us and he even insisted that if I want him to stay on, he can. I retorted and told him that he should never, that this is a cause for celebration.

At 22 On Sloane, our aim has always been to work with businesses and support them, hoping that they outgrow our space and programmes, and that ultimately, they eventually buy their own building and scale their business to greater heights.

The camaraderie we had, the laughs – and just seeing Taher and Lesetse and the rest of their team at Sloane is what I will miss the most. They were an inspiration to many businesses at 22 On Sloane and the thrill of seeing them grow from two founders to 25 employees is something that is worth celebrating.

A few years ago, as their business grew, I chatted to them about their progress and one of the things they shared with me was that when they started their business, they thought it was about the technical ability to help companies, but at some point, they had to have a vested interest in the businesses that they work with. As they said, this is because if you just have a bunch of developers with no vested interest in the client, the business will surely fail. So, their starting point is always to get to know the client.

What is the next big thing for them? It’s now to empower more managers in the team to take up executive roles and internalise them properly into the strategic objectives, vision and mission of the company. They have also built the capability to deploy and leverage skills outside of South Africa, given the shortage of skills in the country. Previously, they developed and built a technical solution for each client, which most times the Intellectual Property resides with each individual software engineer. Over the years, they have now built a technical blueprint that can be deployed to any of their clients, and this has increased their productivity, seeing projects executed much faster than before. They also aim to train up more engineers that can help support the various work that they do using their technical blueprint.

When we launched 22 On Sloane, one of the rooms we put out at the campus was a prayer room. I seldom used the room, but one of the startups that I frequently saw in that room was Taher and Lesetse. They were not just entrepreneurs, they are faith-based entrepreneurs that had grit – and even amidst all the challenges they faced pre- and during Covid, they were resilient and never, ever gave up.

They are a true example of what entrepreneurs are made of and on behalf of my colleagues at 22 On Sloane and the entrepreneurial community in South Africa, we salute them! I wish them well as they move into their new building in Rosebank. May this be a start of more expansion, more jobs and greater economic contribution to the country and the continent.

Go spread your wings guys and keep flying high!

Kizito Okechukwu is the Executive Head of 22 On Sloane startup/smme campus; and co-Chair of the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) Africa.

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