By Feroza Petersen
Cape Town - AYO Technology Solutions (AYO) is ecstatic the Group and the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) reached an amicable conclusion and settled their legal dispute.
According to the PIC, the parties have settled the protracted legal dispute in a way that, given the circumstances, best protects the interests of their stakeholders and gives the AYO company a chance to expand and add value going forward. A win-win situation for all.
This brings us full circle to AYO’s original purpose. In 1996, AYO was established on the tenet that modern technology, ICT, would have a profound influence on the future. AYO believes in expanding the business through the inclusion of Black individuals and Black businesses thereby transforming the ICT sector for South Africa by South Africans. Working strategically to be “The Champion of B-BBEE ICT”, the Group developed a diverse business portfolio that included investments in connectivity, communications, hardware, IT services, software development, and all other aspects of technology.
AYO started to grow organically and expanded further as it proceeded to acquire new companies, alliances, and innovative technology from its existing portfolio. AYO continued to gain access to innovative technology through partnerships with companies such as InterSystems Corporation, Cisco Systems, Microsoft Corporation, IBM, and Riverbed Technology Inc.
“With interests in disruptive technologies that advance life, business, and economics we have developed a diverse investment portfolio that touches on all aspects of technology from connectivity and communication to software development and cloud-based services,” said AYO CEO, Amit Makan.
“Ultimately, we strive to become a leading Africa-based group. Pioneering smart living, playing, and working throughout the continent and beyond. This exciting development lays a firm foundation for the realisation of AYO’s future growth for the benefit of all stakeholders,” he said.
One of AYO’s most competitive advantage is its empowerment credentials, which is underpinned by the B-BBEE ICT Sector Codes that seek to advance economic transformation and enhance the participation of Black People in the South African economy.
Amid worldwide retrenchments during and post the COVID-19 pandemic, the ICT sector remains a trying and highly competitive landscape for employees. But through it all, AYO managed to hold on to its valued employees and remain employing highly sought-after Black talent.
During 2017, AYO had approximately 858 employees, of which 32.7% were black employees.
83% of the Group was Black-owned, of which 31% was Black-female owned. By 2021 the number of employees increased to 2089 with an increased percentage of Black employees to 49.7%.
AYO believes that its B-BBEE ownership and employee statistics make it best positioned to increase the market share of its current product and service offering and has attracted significant deal flow to acquire or partner with companies that require B-BBEE ownership in order to maintain or grow their businesses.
Currently, AYO’s BEE Procurement Recognition level is 100%, while Black Ownership is 66.75% and Black female ownership is 31.8%. AYO is also recognised as an Empowering Supplier.
The Top 5 Black AYO shareholders, in order of volume of shares, are:
- AEEI 49.36%
- PIC 25.01%
- SACTWU 3.49%
- 3 Laws Capital 2.41%
- SIH 2.33
This company is built on the true essence of Black Economic Empowerment and AYO hopes to consistently transform the ICT landscape.