Mohatla and Moyce did not envisage problems in starting own firm
Nyaleti Technology is a black-owned and managed information communications and technology (ICT) company founded in 2005 by Judas Mohatla and Keith Moyce.
Frustrated by the lack of opportunities and challenges in their jobs, Mohatla and Moyce decided to start their own company to service the surging BEE companies and the small, micro, and medium enterprises (SMMEs). Mohatla, with his commercial administration background and Moyce combined their skills and started Nyaleti Technologies.
With the business skills and experience they had, they didn't expect things to be difficult. To their surprise everything that they needed to go forward with their business after registering it was not easily accessible. And finance was the most difficult.
Financiers wanted them to have collateral, which was difficult to raise. Mohatla says even development finance institutions expected them to meet the same criteria as banks. Mohatla says he even thought of going back to his former employer and asking for his old job, but the entrepreneur in him kept him going.
After failing to secure funding, Mohatla and Moyce decided to use their limited savings to start their company. They couldn't afford to rent a proper office and used their homes as offices. They bought second-hand tools and old cars.
But the lack of high-tech equipment put them at a disadvantage against their competitors. No one wanted to do business with a new company with no history that used old equipment. They struggled to get clients.
"When we started Nyaleti Technologies we thought all was going to be easy. We wanted to grab opportunities that were opening up to black people in the post-apartheid dispensation, but to our surprise even for government tenders a track record was needed," says Mohatla.
"Just like any ordinary guy, I thought getting into business meant lots of money in my bank account, flashy cars and living in super suburbs around Johannesburg. But achieving all that was not easy.
"We didn't expect the kind of work and challenges that we faced in starting and running Nyaleti."
The lack of computers and related equipment that they needed to service their clients effectively was one of their main problems.
They were forced to charge low fees to get clients.
"We needed clients to have references, especially for government tenders."
Clients would take advantage of their situation and they were forced to do jobs for half the money they would have charged if they had everything they needed.
Their business is mainly about taking a service to the clients and Nyaleti needed perfect equipment to perform key tasks such as logging travelling costs that were charged to clients.
Nyaleti is finally on sound footing. When it started the company employed only the two partners, but now it employs 12 professionals. It provides services to clients ranging from project management, enterprise resource planning to information technology audits, and website design and hosting. It also rents out technology equipment, computers and servers, and sells software, hardware and network solutions.
Looking back from where they started, Mohatla says: "I don't believe that we have reached this stage. It was not easy but now we enjoy a consistent client base and we are planning to expand into retail and continue giving our clients good service."