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Interview: Dimension Data MEA CEO Grant Bodley

In this episode of the podcast, Duncan McLeod interviews Grant Bodley, CEO of Dimension Data in the Middle East and Africa.
Bodley talks about how Dimension Data is doing in the region, how it’s weathering the tough economic environment and where the opportunities lie in the local IT services sector.
The CEO, who took the reins three years ago from Derek Wilcocks, discusses the IT outsourcing market, the demands that corporate clients are putting on IT service providers and where the industry is headed.
He also talks about the opportunities in the broader Africa and Middle East, and which markets are showing greatest promise.
Bodley then turns to Dimension Data’s black economic empowerment strategy following the company’s ugly fallout with its previous chairman, Andile Ngcaba.
Lastly, he discusses Dimension Data’s portfolio businesses, including Internet Solutions, Britehouse and Merchants, and how they fit into the group strategically.
Don’t miss the interview!

Interview: Adapt IT CEO Sbu Shabalala

In this episode of the podcast, Duncan McLeod interviews Sbu Shabalala, CEO of the fast-growing JSE-listed software specialist Adapt IT.
Shabalala talks about his upbringing in KwaZulu-Natal, his education and how he first got involved in the IT sector – and in business.
He discusses why he founded Adapt IT, its listing on the JSE and its rapid growth over the past 14 years.
In the podcast, Shabalala talks about the group’s strategy, including its plans to expand internationally. He explains the group’s acquisition strategy, and why it sees East and West Africa as big growth opportunities.
The discussion touches on the weak state of the South African economy and what that means for the IT sector, why he thinks Adapt IT’s shares are undervalued and the group’s plan to buy back its own shares, and where he sees the group going over the next five to 10 years.
Don’t miss it!

Interview: SwitchTel CEO Greg Massel on ‘perverse’ Icasa regs

Icasa has not thought through its proposed new call termination rate regulations and their impact on the industry if they’re implemented without significant changes will harm the industry and lead to higher prices for consumers.
That’s the view of Switch Telecom CEO Gregory Massel, expressed in this episode of the TechCentral podcast. “The single biggest issue is that, either intentionally or unintentionally, they seem to steal from the poor and give to the rich,” he said. “It really could be devastating to a lot of the newer entrants to the market.”
It’s a great podcast about a very important issue. Don’t miss it!

Bob van Dijk and Larry Illg on Naspers's global investment strategy

In this episode of the podcast, Naspers CEO Bob van Dijk returns to the show, this time with Naspers Ventures CEO Larry Illg, to talk about the group's global technology investments and strategies.

Van Dijk, who spoke on the podcast last week with letgo co-founder Alec Oxenford, talks about Naspers's investment philosophy, the sort of businesses it's looking to invest in and whether he thinks the group could strike gold again like it did when it invested in China's Tencent.

Illg then talks about his background, why he joined Naspers and some of the investments that Naspers Ventures has been involved in.

Van Dijk and Illg offer their views on the Chinese, Indian and South African markets and the opportunities for Naspers in those countries.

And Van Dijk talks about Naspers's plans to (possibly) list some operations in other markets, in the process reducing its exposure to the JSE and further reducing the discount in the group's valuation relative to the value of its stake in Tencent.

Could Naspers list pay-television subsidiary MultiChoice separately as part of this process? Van Dijk talks to this and more in the podcast. Don't miss it!

Interview: Naspers CEO Bob van Dijk and letgo co-founder Alec Oxenford

Naspers announced last week that it will invest a further US$500-million - about R7.2-billion - into US mobile classifieds platform letgo.
In this episode of the podcast, TechCentral editor Duncan McLeod interviews Naspers CEO Bob van Dijk and letgo co-founder Alex Oxenford about the investment.
Van Dijk explains why Naspers, through its subsidiary OLX, decided to invest in the fast-growing letgo, what the opportunities are for the business and the possibilities for letgo to work with other Naspers group businesses.
Oxenford then talks about the origins of letgo, its growth ambitions and why it's partnered with Naspers.
He also explains why letgo is focused, for now, on growing its US operation rather than expanding into international markets and the machine-learning and artificial intelligence technologies that underpin the platform.
It's a great discussion. Don't miss it!

Interview: Coindirect chief product officer Stephen Young

In this episode of the podcast, Duncan McLeod interviews Stephen Young, chief product officer at a new, Cape Town-based cryptocurrency exchange called Coindirect, which is focused on facilitating crypto trading in emerging markets, especially in Africa.
Young talks about the origins of Coindirect, what it offers and why it believes there is a largely untapped market in Africa for cryptocurrency trading.
In the podcast, he explains Coindirect's business model - including its fee structure - as well as how the company protects its customers' investments from a security perspective.
Young talks about why trading cryptos in many African markets is difficult, and how the company seeks to make it easier through its peer-to-peer market.
He also gives his views on where bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are going in the long-term, and which tokens he's invested in and why.
It's a great discussion. Don't miss it!

Interview: Liquid Telecom CEO Reshaad Sha

Reshaad Sha returns to the podcast in this episode to talk about his appointment as CEO of Liquid Telecom in South Africa.
Sha, who was previously with Dark Fibre Africa as chief strategy officer and CEO of DFA’s Internet of things subsidiary SqwidNet, joined Liquid Telecom two months ago.
In the podcast, he explains why he decided to take up the opportunity and sets out the challenges and opportunities facing the operator formerly known as Neotel.
Liquid Telecom South Africa, which has been through several big challenges in recent years (as Neotel), was originally created as the second national operator to compete with then-monopoly provider Telkom.
Sha talks about where the company is positioned in the market today, where he’s going to focus his efforts as CEO and why the operator's spectrum assets offer huge potential. In the podcast, he hints that a deal is in the works to unlock the potential of that spectrum.
He also explains how Liquid Telecom is positioning itself in cloud computing and data centre infrastructure and touches on the policy and regulatory landscape in telecommunications in South Africa.
It’s a great discussion. Don’t miss it!

Interview: Teraco CFO Jan Hnizdo

In this episode of the podcast, Duncan McLeod interviews Jan Hnizdo, chief financial officer of Africa's largest data centre operator, Teraco Data Environments.
Hnidzo speaks about the origins of Teraco, why it was founded, who financed it in its early days, its rapid expansion and the investment by private equity firm Permira in 2015. Is a listing on the cards?
In the podcast, he talks about the investments Teraco has made to date in building its various data centre facilities, and why that number will more than double in the coming years.
Hnidzo also explains what’s involved in running data centres at scale, the challenges of ensuring five-nines (99.999%) availability and why major content distribution networks have chosen the company’s facilities as their hub for the African continent.
He talks about Teraco’s expansion plans, its approach to East Africa and West Africa – why the company may pursue acquisitions to establish a presence there – and the impact that the Internet exchange point NAPAfrica has had on Internet costs and communication in South Africa.
It’s a great podcast. Don’t miss it!

Interview: Dimension Data's Peter Gray on the Tour de France

In this episode of the podcast, Duncan McLeod interviews Peter Gray, senior director of the Dimension Data Global Sports Practice, about how advanced technology is being used at this year’s Tour de France.
Speaking from the race, Gray explains how an advanced layer of technology has been blanketed over the world’s premier cycling event, allowing a high level of real-time data and analytics to be shared with cycling fans and the teams behind this year’s entrants - on television, on social media and the Web.
In the podcast, Gray explains how Dimension Data, which has been involved with La Tour since 2015, has applied machine learning and predictive analytics at this year’s event. He talks about the team of hi-tech vehicles involved in tracking the race, what's involved in following the 176 participants, how all the data that is collected is processed - both in real-time and in the cloud - and the myriad data points involved.
Even if you’re not a cycling fan, it’s a great discussion about how technology can be used to transform a major sporting event and make it more engaging for those involved and for fans. Don’t miss it!

Interview: Aldred Dreyer on digital migration

In this episode of the podcast, Duncan McLeod interviews Aldred Dreyer, the newly appointed head of the project management office for digital migration at the department of communications, on South Africa's long-delayed digital terrestrial television project.
In the first interview since being appointed, Dreyer explains the current status of the project, what his office is doing and what comes next.
He talks about the department's plan to switch off analogue broadcasts in the Free State by the end of the year and what was discussed at the recent meeting between government and TV manufacturers about producing integrated digital sets for the South African market.
He explains why fewer set-top boxes may be needed to be subsidised for indigent households and weighs in on whether it makes sense for South Africa to scrap terrestrial television altogether in favour of satellite direct-to-home alternatives.
Don't miss the discussion!

Interview: Touch HD founder Tbo Touch

In this episode of the podcast, Duncan McLeod interviews Touch HD founder Tbo Touch about his life, his business, #datamustfall and his next big venture.
Touch — born in Sharpeville in 1981 — talks about his big plans to enter the video-streaming space with a new venture to be launched later this year called THD. The platform, which will showcase original South African and African content and which will include international programming, will compete head-on with DStv, according to Touch. It will be launched in the first week of October.
In the podcast, Touch talks about his upbringing, why he left the country for the US as a teenager, his experience working in the music business in New York (and interviewing top artists), his return to South Africa and his career in radio.
He recounts setting out on his own, establishing a venture with Cliff Central founder Gareth Cliff and the later launch of his online radio platform Touch HD.
He also talks about the #datamustfall movement, which he spearheaded, and what he learnt from it — while defending himself from critics who have accused him of selling out to the mobile operators. He says in the podcast that he plans to ramp up the #datamustfall campaign in the coming months — which will no doubt not be music to the ears of the big industry players.
It’s a great podcast about a fascinating entrepreneur. Don’t dare miss it!

Interview: Stripe co-founder and president John Collison

In this episode of the podcast, Duncan McLeod interviews Stripe co-founder John Collison, who in 2016 became the world's youngest self-made dollar billionaire.
Collison, who founded Stripe with is brother Patrick, talks about his upbringing in rural Ireland, how they launched their first business Auctomatic (which they later sold, while still teenagers, for US$5-million), how the idea for Stripe came about and how they built and scaled business.
In South Africa this week as part of former US President Barack Obama's delegation to the country, Collison talks about whether growing up in Ireland - outside of the craziness that is Silicon Valley, where the company is now based - was a hindrance or an advantage. And what lessons does that hold for young South African technology entrepreneurs?
McLeod asks Collison for his views on South Africa and Africa more broadly, how the Internet is going to reshape the global economy from a financial services perspective - are banks, for example, ripe for disruption? - and the likely impact of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on the world's financial system.
He also talks about what's next for Stripe and whether an initial public offering is in the works. Finally, Collison reveals some of his favourite books.
It's a fascinating discussion. Don't miss it!

166 episodes

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