How I Became A Tech Entrepreneur in South Africa

How I Became A Tech Entrepreneur in South Africa
Published: 13 December 2015 (4421 Views)
Israel Chiduri is a young and vibrant tech entrepreneur who is currently based at the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship in South Africa. He is the co-founder and Managing Director of Jozi Creations Holdings, a Web Hosting, Domain Registration, App Development and Design Company located in Johannesburg.

Israel was born in the dusty streets of Mabvuku, Harare, Zimbabwe. According to him, he is not an economic migrant but he is a "technology migrant". As a young boy who was groomed in a township, life was a bit difficult as his mother passed away when he was 6 with the father following when he was 15 years old. Before the sad departure of his parents, Israel was always involved in the rearing of chickens, ducks, pigeons and township roadside farming.

As someone who was business minded Israel went on to start his first personal business which was a small movie rental service which was funded by his friend. This small business was successful but he ended up selling it to a rival competitor after the economic downfall in Zimbabwe.

After some time he ended up in Johannesburg with only R50 in his pocket and with no place to stay. Within 3 days of his arrival in SA he managed to scoop a job as a general construction rubble cleaner and was promoted to a Storage Manager  within a week by a local based plumbing company. While growing up, Israel was always fascinated by state of the art technologies ranging from Satellites, WiFi and online applications.

While employed he managed to save up some money to take himself through some IT Training and along the way we also managed to get Satellite Technology scholarships. He then moved to a logistics company and was then offered a job at a local learning TV Station.

At this TV station that's when he taught himself how to code. It took him years of sleepless nights.

"I was the first in the office and I was also the last to leave. I would get into the development room at 5am or 6am then leave around 10pm when the studio night shift guy would leave. A couple of times I actually had to sleep in my car in the office basement just to avoid driving forth and back.

I think I was blessed enough with enough IT resources to teach myself how to code. My Manager by then had given me a mini server to play around with and I just cannot remember how many times I re-formatted that machine to get things done. My first interactive and responsive site was run on that very same server" said Israel with a smiling face.

After resigning from the TV channel Israel decided to become his own boss. He has always been motivated by his former boss who is a founder, chairman and a director for companies like Liberty, Jacaranda FM, Kagiso Media and Mindset TV.

"Before starting the hosting business I went on to run more than 4 businesses but they all failed dismally due to bad partnerships, mismanagement of funds and lack of proper business management skills. I didn't have a mentor and proper admin skills. After sour partnerships I then decided to make my wife my business partner, and that was a great move as the money will always remain in the family cycle.

After starting the hosting and web development business I then decided to get proper training through the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship . Within the period of the training I started to see more web based untapped potential being released within me. Revenue started coming in. I'm talking about 70% profit margins. It was like the great entrepreneurship awakening!" said Israel passionately.

As an entrepreneur Israel has really benefited from attending the foundational course at the Branson Centre in South Africa. He is one of those individuals who have been changed by this training.

"I now view my business at a different angle. The money is coming in and growing Jozi Creations is my main objective at the moment. Some of our new clients are actually coming in from our competitors as we offer unique packages and services. We are currently growing our business through direct marketing, authentic newsletter campaigns and social media platforms.

We are the cheapest hosting company in Johannesburg and our turnaround time when it comes to developing websites is less than 48hrs. Our new, old customers are happy and we are also happy. Our teams are stretched across different external sub-contractors and we are offering an outstanding service to our clients. We hope to take a large chuck of the market share in a couple of years to come as we have new marketing strategies in place" 

Through networking at the Branson Centre Israel has grown is business, found new motivation and is learning from other entrepreneurs.


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