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Hiring spree at Liquid Telecom SA as restructuring concludes

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Deon Geyser, CEO of Liquid Telecom South Africa.
Deon Geyser, CEO of Liquid Telecom South Africa.

Liquid Telecom South Africa has concluded the restructuring process it started last year, with the company now upskilling staff and hiring new employees, as it follows a new strategy.

So said Deon Geyser, the newly-appointed CEO of the company, in a video interview with ITWeb yesterday.

Liquid Telecom South Africa appointed Geyser as new its CEO, effective from 1 January 2021, and this was his first interview with the media since taking charge.

Last year, the company embarked on a restructuring process as it looks to provide services beyond connectivity.

According to Geyser, Liquid Telecom will rebrand to Liquid Intelligent Technologies later this year, signifying the evolution the business is going through.

However, he did not disclose the number of employees that were impacted by the recently-concluded restructuring exercise.

Geyser noted the restructuring process was officially closed late last year and the Midrand-based company is now going into the phase of upskilling staff.

“We are also looking at our business processes and improving operational excellence. So the next phase of our journey is putting our customers at the heart of our business and to drive consultative engagement with them,” he said.

“As part of any restructuring, we have repositioned the skills or functions – whether be it sales or product management – from where it was to where we want it to be.”

New name, new focus

As the company takes new direction under Geyser’s leadership, he said the company will also embark on a hiring spree.

“We have quite a big list of open vacancies at Liquid Telecom South Africa between sales and technology.”

He did not divulge the number of vacancies within the company.

On his appointment, the Liquid Telecom Group said Geyser was tasked with overseeing the strategic repositioning of the company as Liquid Intelligent Technologies and the execution of the new strategic direction of providing an integrated technology capability that enables customers to transform their business through new intelligent technologies.

Last year, the company announced it had embarked on a journey to adapt its operating model in 2018, when it began the transition towards becoming Africa’s digital services provider. It added that with the transition, it is now offering new products and solutions in addition to connectivity offerings.

“If you look at the strategy that the Liquid Telecom team embarked on in the second half of last year – starting to reposition Liquid Telecoms South Africa to Liquid Intelligent Technologies that we will start to talk more about in the second quarter of this year – we have a large asset base of telecommunications infrastructure,” Geyser said.

He pointed out that the company is looking to bring more products into the market; for example, security and cloud products instead of being just a connectivity provider.

“We are reshaping the way we do business and we need to be more flexible as we are not a rigid machine just looking to put fibre in the ground. Some of our customers require managed services.

“Our cloud services business is doing extremely well and that has been our fastest-growing product during the past financial year. What is great for me is that these new services that we talk about are not only talk, as we can see our customers reacting to that and taking services from us.”

COVID gains

He also pointed out that in the last quarter of 2020, the company witnessed a strong uptake in unified communications services, driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw more people working and learning from home.

“So it’s good to see that the strategy that the team embarked on last year is gaining traction. If you look at the transformation that the company went through, some parts of our business are growing faster than the connectivity business. So we have to rethink the way we sell, the way we bill, the way we operationalise and the way we relate to our customers.

“I am coming in at a time where the strategy, at the group level, has been put in place over the last six months, and we have gone through transformation. We are now in the phase of building that capability.

“The fact that Liquid South Africa is a big part of the Liquid Group, which has got phenomenal assets across the African continent, provides a quite interesting value proposition to our customer base.”

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