Despite the challenges of COVID-19, SITA has continued supporting education and economic empowerment for disadvantaged groups in South Africa. This commitment is made as part of SITA’s corporate social responsibility strategy to support the communities wherever in the world it operates and of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE)* requirements in South Africa.
Since 2015, SITA has invested in the acceleration, growth, and sustainability of 15 Small, Medium, and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) in South Africa, primarily for IT. Many have become suppliers of SITA. The aim of the business development program – managed by service-provider Raizcorp on behalf of SITA – is to increase the participation of black-owned SMMEs, both within SITA’s supply chain and in the broader South Africa economy.
In this interview, Milan Dayal, Owner of Compuclinic, talks about how his enterprise is progressing with support from SITA.
Milan, what is Compuclinic Solutions?
Compuclinic is an IT solutions company focused on supporting enterprise organizations in healthcare, air transport, environmental, and education sectors. We supply, implement, and support computer hardware and software. We also manage other technology solutions ranging from data centers, security, backup, cloud services to break/fix, remote support, managed network monitoring, and helpdesk services.
What spurred you to set up Compuclinic Solutions and evolve your client base?
My goal was to set up a reliable, cost-eﬀective, trustworthy IT consultancy brand in South Africa. Initially, I set up Compuclinic to support other SMMEs and assist entrepreneurs with implementing smart solutions that would allow their small businesses to catapult into larger organizations. After a few years of helping SMMEs, I decided to focus primarily on providing IT solutions to tackle real-world challenges that not-for-profit organizations face in their daily existence.
We identified and then built solutions addressing the IT challenges faced by not-for-profits. These challenges included budget constraints, limited access to the internet, and legacy systems with no plans to upgrade.
Key relationships built within the local South African IT distribution channel meant that Compuclinic could successfully provide these non-proﬁt organizations with the greatest value for their IT budget. Plus, with the use of hardware, software, network, cloud, and IoT (internet of things) technologies, along with our skilled, informative, and passionate team, we were able to make a difference and tackle our clients’ IT challenges.
What has the development support enabled you to do?
The business development program funded by SITA allowed Compuclinic to grow immensely. Our business revenue achieved new heights through access to new market opportunities, which enabled me to hire a core operations team. We were able to aﬀord more seats in the oﬃce, which allowed us to start an IT internship program to give aspiring IT professionals the opportunity to enter the professional services industry.
The support we received included everything from training to financial assistance. We redesigned our oﬃces to include a practical training center to host aspiring IT students in our internship program. We built a technical hardware center to refurbish used computer hardware to donate to those in need. We also purchased essential IT equipment and software to assist our team members in managing operations and growing our day-to-day business.
In 2018, our supplier development relationship with SITA began. SITA’s CSR commitments in South Africa support schools with computer labs in rural areas with no internet access or equipment to facilitate computer-based learning. We were contracted to supply, deploy and test these interactive computer labs at schools and provide training to ensure efficient management of the facilities.
Children with access to quality education through technology become lifelong learners, transform their communities, break the cycle of poverty, and experience life in all its fullness. Compuclinic is very passionate about making a diﬀerence through education in Africa, where there is a chronic need for computers in schools. As part of our social obligation, we chose to support these schools for life, for free remotely.
Between 2018-2021, Compuclinic has successfully completed multiple other projects supporting SITA and SITA’s customers. These assignments include supply, delivery, implementation, and support of data center and network infrastructure, workstation rollouts, hardware upgrades, refresh programs, and procurement support.
The partnership with SITA has provided our team with invaluable skills transfer and professionalism from working with a global technology leader. It has allowed us to unlock other opportunities in other avenues even through a global pandemic when projects had come to a standstill. For example, we were able to invest in an online portal, relaunching an upgraded e-commerce platform, CShop.co.za, an enterprise e-commerce shopping experience specializing in computer hardware and software. We also relaunched our solutions and support portal: compuclinic.co.za. Both platforms are performing well in assisting new clients in discovering and engaging with Compuclinic.
What does the future hold for you?
Compuclinic continues to thrive while delivering excellent customer service. We plan to implement many more smart technology solutions that positively impact humanity, making everyday life better for all. This includes deploying more computer labs in schools, training more interns, hiring more resources, and donating refurbished computers to schools.
My journey over the past 12 years, building and growing Compuclinic, has been life-changing. SITA has made my dreams a reality to empower youth and make a positive diﬀerence in education while taking on exciting enterprise IT projects in the air transport industry. It has really inspired me to do more, and so my team and I have taken on the challenge to build an app to enable other companies like SITA to fund IT infrastructure in schools and hospitals in South Africa. I look forward to launching the AfriSky.org app soon, it's going to be a complete game-changer.
* B-BBEE is a government strategy in South Africa designed to address the past inequalities of apartheid by increasing opportunities for black citizens to participate in the economy. To do business successfully in South Africa, companies need to demonstrate compliance with B-BBEE.