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The Business Day section of the South Africa Sunday Times featured Endeavor Entrepreneur Luvuyo Rani for being “bitten by the entrepreneurial bug,” as the article is titled. Rani was selected by Endeavor in 2011 along with his brother Lonwabo for their IT services company, Silulo Technology.
Luvuyo started out as a teacher in Khayelitsha who wanted to build his own business. With a demand for technology on the rise, he began selling refurbished computers from the boot of his car. In 2004, the Rani brothers launched Silulo and set up an internet café. At first, there were no customers.
“People need technology but we were pitching to a market that simply didn’t know how to use what we were offering,” Luvuyo said.
They began offering training classes and advice and support, along with IT retail and repair. Now their internet cafés have about 300 to 400 visitors each day. In six years, Silulo has grown from a single internet café to a US$0.5 million company.
“I don’t think I was meant for teaching. I was much more in love with entrepreneurship. It’s more about doing something no-one has done and creating employment, and the effect of technology and people learning from us that you can start your business from nothing.”
Silulo continues to expand with the help of Endeavor South Africa. The Rani brothers were recently set up with an Advisory Board and were provided with strategic introductions- an IT company to assist with a new sale system, and the Chair/Founder of one of South Africa’s largest restaurant franchises. Endeavor also connected Luvuyo and Lonwabo to a mentor from Ernst & Young who has provided the accounting and tax advice needed to scale their company.
Luvuyo Rani hopes to build a presence in every province and to possibly franchise Silulo by the end of the year.
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