Resilience and grit helped Taher and Lesetse build their business

Taher Moosa and Lesetse Kimwaga, the co-founders of Anylytical Technologies. Image: Supplied

Taher Moosa and Lesetse Kimwaga, the co-founders of Anylytical Technologies. Image: Supplied

Published Apr 18, 2024


Anyone who has visited 22 On Sloane in the past seven years surely remembers two faces – that of Taher and Lesetse.

In November 2017, their incredible journey to success began when they pitched their business to join the 22 On Sloane residency.

They thought thoroughly before answering questions, spoke softly and remained calm. We had to focus on grasping all they were saying.

After their pitch, I soon realised that they weren’t the typical Silicon Valley or “hyper-oratorian” entrepreneurs one would associate with their industry.

Taher and Lesetse eventually joined 22 On Sloane in January 2018 after their successful 2017 pitch. They completed several programmes, including benefiting from several cash grants available from our various partners.

Their company, Anylytical Technologies, specialises in bespoke software solutions.

Many companies resort to off-the-shelf or one-size-fits-all technology for their business, but Anylytical focuses on companies looking for unique and customised software solutions for their business.

They boast a wide range of clients that include FNB, where they have built strategic products that help their C-level executives make business decisions.

Other clients include Bryte Insurance; MiX Telematics which they have collaborated with to build vehicle tracking and fleet management solutions. They have helped other big-name clients, such as Shoprite, manage their delivery trips. The pair have also built a solution that supports the Al-Imdaad Foundation with their donor management system.

Today, the company has around 25 personnel and generates a good few million dollars in annual revenue.

How did it all start? The two met during their consulting days and quickly established a strong, like-minded connection to start their own business.

Religiously putting money aside every month finally helped them launch their business, just more than a decade ago.

As with most start-ups, they also had the humble beginnings of running their businesses from home, at coffee shops and in hotel lobbies before they eventually moved into 22 On Sloane in 2018 to set up their operations. Sloane became their nest, allowing them to formalise their business and build their value proposition.

A few months ago, I received a call from Taher.

Before I picked up, my mind raced from pillar to post, thinking that something must be wrong somewhere because Taher would seldom call. Instead, he would text or chat in the corridors at Sloane.

I took a deep breath and answered, fearing the worst.

His call was to inform me that they had acquired a new building and would be moving out of Sloane by the end of March 2024. Phew!

It was such an emotional moment for both of us and he even insisted that if I wanted him to stay, he would.

I retorted that the move was cause for celebration.

At 22 On Sloane, our aim is to work with businesses and support them, hoping that they outgrow our space and programmes and, ultimately, buy their own building and scale their business to greater heights.

The camaraderie we had, the laughs and just seeing Taher and Lesetse and the rest of their team at Sloane is what I will miss the most.

They were an inspiration to many businesses at 22 On Sloane and the thrill of seeing them grow from two founders to 25 employees is something worth celebrating.

A few years ago, as their business grew, I chatted to them about their progress. One of the things they shared with me was that when they started their business, they thought it was about the technical ability to help companies but, at some point, they had realised that they had to have a vested interest in the businesses they worked with.

As they said, this is because if you just have a bunch of developers who have no vested interest in the client, the business would surely fail. Their starting point is always to get to know the client.

What is the next big thing for them?

It’s now to empower more managers in the team to take up executive roles and internalise them properly into the strategic objectives, vision and mission of the company.

They have also built the capability to deploy and leverage skills outside South Africa, given the shortage of skills in the country.

Previously, they developed and built a technical solution for each client, which, most times, the intellectual property resides with each individual software engineer.

Over the years, they have now built a technical blueprint that can be deployed to any of their clients, and this has increased their productivity, seeing projects executed faster than before.

They also aim to train more engineers who can help support the work they do, using their technical blueprint.

When we launched 22 On Sloane, one of the rooms on the campus became a prayer room. I seldom used the room, but I frequently saw Taher and Lesetse.

They were not just entrepreneurs, they are faith-based entrepreneurs who have grit – even amid all the challenges they faced pre- and during Covid, they were resilient and never, ever gave up.

They are a true example of what entrepreneurs are made of. On behalf of my colleagues at 22 On Sloane and the entrepreneurial community in South Africa, we salute them! I wish them well as they move into their new building in Rosebank.

May this be a start of more expansion, more jobs and greater economic contribution to the country and the continent.

Go spread your wings guys and keep flying high!

Kizito Okechukwu is the Executive Head of 22 On Sloane startup/smme campus; and co-Chair of the Global Entrepreneurship Network Africa.

Kizito Okechukwu is the co-Chair of the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) Africa; 22 on Sloane is Africa’s largest startup campus. Photo: Supplied