Q. What products and services does Social Light offer?
A. Social Light is a social media management company that specialises in digital solutions and is geared towards introducing innovative services to assist companies that are looking to positioning their brands and acquiring in-depth information on client sentiments. Our more popular solutions that we have brought into the market include Social Media Management for the corporate and private sector, HD Live Stream, Animation, Messenger Bots, Media Monitoring, Warehouse Automation and Digital Automation.
Q. What inspired you to start a business in the digital solutions industry?
A. I volunteered in a marathon a number of years back and realised that there was a communication gap between the organisation and customers. I started working to fill that gap and later decided that this is the right business for me because I enjoyed the transformation of communication through technology. The key question was who then, if not me, to bring digital transformation to Botswana as none existed at the time.
Q. How did you manage to turn use of social media into a fully-fledged business?
A. Business was second nature to me because growing up I used to sell sweets and jiggies to buy things that I needed. I knew I had to share value with my customers consistently and they would eventually follow suit. I began by asking people I knew how to register a company and I was lucky enough to have an acquaintance who taught me some business basics such as quotations, invoices and collections. The most important thing I had to do was just get started. I identified my first customer and offered him a deal whereby I volunteered my services to him and gave him an option of paying only when he saw the value after 30 days. It was smooth sailing from there.
Q. What has been some of your biggest highlights businesswise since starting the company?
A. I have to say the best moments for me were live streaming events for the 2017 Global Expo Botswana which had British billionaire and business magnate Richard Branson in attendance and for London-based Zimbabwean billionaire businessman and philanthropist Strive Masiyiwa when he was in Botswana for the Youth Town Hall Meeting organised by the government. Another highlight has been interviewing DJ Fresh on Social Light TV, which is an online TV channel that is broadcast through live vlogs on Facebook. The most defining moments for the company was in 2020 when the President of the Republic tagged me on a social media post notifying me that I was among a group of other young entrepreneurs who made history by being the first to make it into the Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 list.
Q. Do you think new age media poses a threat to traditional forms of media?
A. In life and business, the only constant is change. I mean, when was the last time you watched the national television or turned on the radio? If I took your phone right now, you would be agog the whole time. Simply put, it is not a threat to content but a threat to the way content is delivered. So traditional media needs to become more agile, collaborate and grow with startups in the digital space.
Q. How would you define the Botswana digital landscape and how far along is the country in catching up with the Fourth Industrial Revolution?
A. In my personal opinion, we need to be a lot more adaptive as a people at all levels. Let us allow digital to grow by making technology accessible to the people. I do not understand why the financial sector is not allowing ordinary Batswana to participate in the digital revolution by providing an affordable point of sale. I believe at this point we should be tendering and bidding fully digitally. Why do we still need paper? The revolution is already here. The question is are we going to give each other a chance to participate or are we going to all continue watching from the sidelines? We have more than three data centres that are not fully utilised but many of our daily functions and data are being handled outside the country.
Q. How do you think companies can take advantage of innovative digital solutions to position their brands?
A. The most important thing is to understand the local digital economy and how their company is built within the value chain as it is not heavily regulated or owned. The second step is to get in touch with a specialist with a proven record of accomplishment so they get you the best return on investment while you focus on the more important parts of your business.
Q. What advice would you give to businesses navigating the sometimes-tricky platform of social media?
A. Social media has no barriers to entry but deserves a lot of time learning the mechanics. If you are starting up, take your time to learn more about social media and invest in your brand.