against the odds

Nyaleti Technologies is a black-owned and managed information communications and technology (ICT) company. It was founded in 2005 by Judas Mohatla and Keith Moyce.

Nyaleti Technologies is a black-owned and managed information communications and technology (ICT) company. It was founded in 2005 by Judas Mohatla and Keith Moyce.

Frustrated by the lack of opportunities and challenges for them in their respective jobs, Mohatla and Moyce decided to start their own company to service the surging BEE companies and the small, micro, medium enterprises (SMMEs) market.

Mohatla, with a commercial administration background, and Moyce put their skills together and started Nyaleti Technologies.

With the business skills and experience that they had, they didn't expect things to be that difficult. To their surprise, everything that they wanted in order to go forward with their business after registration was not easily accessible. Finance for the business was the most difficult to get.

Traditional financiers wanted them to have some collateral and it was difficult for them to raise it. Mohatla says even when they went to development finance institutions, they were expected to have the same things that banks wanted from them. Mohatla says he once thought of going back to his former employer to ask for his job back, but the entrepreneur inside him kept him going.

After failing to secure any funding, Mohatla and Moyce decided to use whatever savings they had to start-up. They couldn't afford to rent a proper office and used their homes as offices. They bought second-hand tools and older cars.

The lack of high-tech equipment was also putting them at a disadvantage. As a new company with no history, and using old equipment, no one trusted and wanted to do business with them. They struggled to get clients.

"When we started Nyaleti Technologies we thought all was going to be easy. We only wanted to focus on grabbing opportunities that were opening up to black people.

"But to our surprise, even government tenders preferred companies with traceable records, not individuals within those companies with the same experience. These are companies that had done the jobs before.

"Just like any ordinary guy, getting into business meant lots of money in the bank account, flashy cars and living in super suburbs around Johannesburg. But achieving all this requires hard work and perseverance," says Mohatla.

"We didn't expect the kind of work and challenges that we faced starting and in running Nyaleti." Another factor that gave Nyaleti Technologies a problem was the lack of computers and related equipment. They needed these to service their clients effectively.

With poor equipment, they were forced to charge low fees in order to get clients. They needed clients to have references, especially for government tenders. They would do some jobs for half the money they would have charged if they had everything they needed.

As their business is mainly about taking service to clients, Nyaleti needed perfect equipment to do other key things, that is, logging travelling costs in order to charge clients accordingly.

After trying for a long time Nyaleti was finally on a good footing. When it started operating the company only had two employee partners, but now it employs 12 professionals.

It provides services to clients ranging from the project management, enterprise resource planning solutions, information technology audit, and website design and hosting. They also rent out equipment, computers and servers, sales of soft and hardware and network solutions.

Looking back from where they started, Mohatla says: "I don't believe that it's us here. 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."