Lurco Business

Providing innovation through best practice

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The multidisciplinary technology and consulting company, Lurco Business, answers real business challenges through innovation and best practice, providing high-value end-to-end solutions to various industries.

“Lurco Business was registered in 2010, but I kept it non-operational due to my very hectic work commitments and studying,” explains the founder and Business Director, Maupi Peter Letsoalo.

“The company started operating in mid-2016 and I positioned it to focus on three pillars, namely technology, consulting and acquisitions,” he adds.

His parents were strict advocates of academia, and Letsoalo holds a number of academic qualifications, achieving a Bachelors (BSc), Honours and Master of Science (MSc) in Computer Science at the University of the Free State, followed by a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT). Currently, he is completing a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at North-West University (NWU) and a Doctorate in Business Leadership (DBL) at the University of South Africa (UNISA).

Letsoalo possesses a plethora of professional certificates and has worked in various senior and advisory positions for companies such as Eskom (via a consulting firm), Business Connections, the South African Bureau of Standards, Rotek Engineering and KTS Technology.

“Throughout my career, I have always wanted to start my own business and see it flourish. I kept postponing that dream because year after year, I would take on even more financial commitments,” explains Letsaolo.

It was a scuffle with an executive at his previous engineering firm that motivated his resignation and provided the push he needed to establish Lurco Business.

“Lurco Business focuses on delivering high-end solutions to clients and on conducting the assessments necessary to enable the use of technology. The reason for that is most companies purchase very expensive software and hardware infrastructure and realise their mistake only after they have financially committed and they are locked in contracts they can’t get out of.

“More often than not, their internal staff rarely uses the software, which just becomes a white elephant. So, we assist them by first conducting assessments to find the pain points to prioritise. We uncover mission critical elements of the business and then match them with technology. This is the reason why we don’t necessarily sell technology upfront to our clients,” explains Letsoalo.

In terms of acquisitions, the company focuses on acquiring technology, services or products that are not well-known by the market.

“We do this to get a leading edge. There are many resellers of well-known technologies and solutions in the market, so much so, that it’s not worth competing against the bigger ICT providers. They control the pricing index and they can always kick you out of the market. Because of this, we had to look for technology solutions only we own or only a handful of companies have the competence to deliver.

“One of the acquisitions we are currently busy with is an exclusive agreement with a Silicon Valley-based company to become the SADC region’s Master value-added reseller (VAR). That way, we will have control over the pricing index of the technology with our own reseller network,” he says.

Currently, the company operates from its Midrand office in Birchwood Court but, through partnerships with various other technology providers, it has a national footprint.

“We have a partner that operates in Mozambique, Kenya and Mauritius, and through that partnership arrangement, we have started making inroads there. Our biggest win will come to fruition when our agreement with this United States-based company concludes. We will gain an SADC-based footprint, which will be a collection of 16 countries. Our vision is to grow drastically in 2019 after we have concluded our international agreements,” Letsoalo enthuses.

Made up of a team of young dynamic minds, Lurco Business is well-positioned to keep clients at the forefront of the technology evolution, motivated by knowledge, skills and the organisation’s ability, as well as to keep the company abreast of new technologies, especially during the Fourth Industrial Revolution era.

“Currently, we are busy drafting business proposals around the Fourth Industrial Revolution within the SADC region. When the wave hits, we want to be one of the primary technology firms that controls its consumption,” says Letsoalo.

He mentions two very big business examples around this, the first being the use of high-performance computing in various sectors such as mining, agriculture, finance and human settlements.

“The list for using this technology is endless. We can help companies that deal with artificial intelligence (AI), big data and aviation realise their benefits,” says Letsoalo.

“The second example is the use of space communication technology to monitor, operate and control ground-level infrastructure. The biggest benefit of this technology is that it will enable Eskom, Transnet, Sentech, the Department of Energy, among many other entities, to have a global view of their infrastructure and much more,” he explains.

Lurco’s core consulting services include project management, management consulting, technology and maturity assessment compliances. Lurco offers various security countermeasures like a state-of-the-art firewalling solution that is locally produced. Through their acquisition model, they have an exclusive agreement to distribute this solution to the public sector or via other technology providers that have public sector clients.

“This solution is built using the same principles, hardware and software as the likes of the more favoured international brands like Cisco, Juniper, Fortinet etc. The same technology can be used in an enterprise environment or when one has to design a network topology.

“The technology is called software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN), which is the new wave of technology to replace the traditional Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), which is more expensive. So, through this network technology, we are able to offer security as a service and design a more efficient and cost-effective network topology for your enterprise,” explains Letsoalo.

Lurco Business is a unique technology company that works on the basis of solving mission critical and core services and then bringing optimisation and value-add to a well-functioning system.

“What sets us apart is that we don’t just pack a solution onto a collapsing environment and hope for the best, like most companies would do because they are chasing a bottom line more than anything else. We believe that when our clients grow, we grow and vice versa,” says Letsoalo.

His leadership style and personal business philosophy are rooted in his belief that anything that lands on your table effortlessly can also disappear the same way it came, thus making him a firm advocate of good old-fashioned hard work.

“There are times when I spend three complete days without sleeping. When I started, I used to struggle to function well if I hadn’t slept for a day. I could even feel my heart trying to leave my chest. As time went by, I became used to it, so much so, that I could push myself for three full days without sleep. My wife knows I like to say that I wish a day were 34 or 40 hours long, instead of 24 hours. There’s so much to do and time is a commodity we rarely have,” he muses.

On his approach to dealing with challenges, Letsoalo says that he has learnt that they cannot be resolved by the same conditions that created them and that while most challenges can be resolved, the injection of human arrogance into the equation deters the production of a solution. He further states that while developing and running a business is not easy, perseverance and self-motivation is key.

“Being a serial ‘technopreneur’ in an emerging economy, like South Africa, can be very difficult and discouraging. We have the capability to provide disruptive technologies crafted locally, but the business market hasn’t matured enough to look for and develop solutions locally rather than overseas.

“Many South African firms have the knowledge to invent even far greater than what the more developed countries can offer us. If we don’t encourage this development, we will lose the next Elon Musk or Paul Maritz.

“The journey hasn’t been easy at all but I believe we are moving in a direction that will greatly improve the landscape of South Africa, technology-wise,” Letsoalo concludes.

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