Samuel Sekgobela | Dots Connect Technology
Programme sponsor: Oracle
“If I was not part of this programme, I don’t know how things would have gone”
When Dots Connect was founded in 2016, Samuel Sekgobela started out by selling ICT hardware and software products. Competing with the likes of Game and Makro, Samuel found it was hard going and he decided that something needed to change. “We decided to change the whole target market. Now we only target private companies and the public sector,” he says.
To add to his offerings, he branched out and began providing internet services. “We saw that there was a gap and a large market in IT. I come from a background in networking, so we decided to add background networking as one of our service models. We do installation and configuration of access points. From there, we acquired ICASA (Independent Communication Authority of South Africa) licences to move into internet. Now, we are officially internet service providers,” he explains.
In 2019, Samuel saw a social media post in which Oracle South Africa were offering a sponsored entrepreneur growth programme, powered by Raizcorp. “I saw an opportunity for myself,” Samuel says excitedly.
His application was successful and he learned a great deal while on the programme. “Understanding the finance and knowing where your money is going actually helps. Now I know how many clients I need to sign up to break even. Back then, I didn’t have that knowledge. Now I know how to target, how to budget, what my company margins are and everything,” he says.
Samuel was grateful to be on the Oracle programme when Covid-19 hit. “You need a mentor to talk to and someone telling you it’s fine. The Raizcorp guides are always making you look at other opportunities and telling you not to give up. If I was not part of this programme, I don’t know how things would have gone. Having someone to back you up and give you that hope, education and all the tools that you need – I made it through,” he says gratefully.
Since starting the Oracle programme, Dots Connect technology has increased their staff count by two. With the help of a grant, they’ve managed to buy their first tower. “We have been piggybacking from other networks, but the aim is to have our own network,” Samuel says.
The Oracle-Raizcorp programme has definitely been a journey of growth for Samuel and his business. Dots Connect has seen turnover growth of 290% “It has had an impact on my personal life and in my business. It helped me to push through a lot of things, as a person, as a business, as an entrepreneur. Even though it’s been a rough journey, with Raizcorp’s direct method they keep pulling me back on to the right path,” he says.
His advice for other entrepreneurs? “Assess the situation first and learn. Once you assess the situation, you can come up with a solution. Going through the beginning stages of a business, you panic. Having people to guide you in the process is awesome. You have to be persistent and never give up. Make sure you show up. You have to go through the processes,” he stresses. “I’d like to say thank you to Oracle. Thank you for supporting me in this journey.”