SA skills retention behind Entelect's Fixx iT buy

Read time 2min 40sec
Shashi Hansjee, CEO of Entelect.
Shashi Hansjee, CEO of Entelect.

South African software engineering and solutions company Entelect intends to purchase a majority stake (87.5%) in Netherlands-based software engineering services company Fixx iT to reinforce expansion plans, and broaden its skills and service offering.

Entelect says the deal materialised after several members of its staff left the company for Fixx iT, along with a steady outflow of South African software professional skills to international markets like Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the US, UK and the Netherlands.

"Our talent pool in SA is world-class, although relatively small," says Shashi Hansjee, CEO of Entelect.

"There is a worldwide skills shortage, so our talent is in high demand. Ensuring South African talent can explore other countries, without having to necessarily leave a South African business, was a driving factor behind the deal, as well as a driving factor behind us opening up a division in New Zealand too."

Hansjee adds that Fixx iT is an attractive proposition for Entelect because it has already proven South African skills fit, and are hugely valued in the Dutch and European markets.

"So it made sense to attempt to build on and accelerate that with the knowledge and brand we have created here."

According to Entelect, Fixx iT will be rebranded to Entelect Europe, sharing the values and vision of Entelect South Africa, while combining the best of what has made both parties successful.

Ronald Kuyper, current owner of Fixx iT, will continue to assist in building the business in a part-time capacity.

Entelect believes the deal creates an opportunity to attract more foreign income into SA by connecting customers in Europe to the core team.

"Our team at Fixx iT is extremely proud of what we've achieved since we launched in 2005, and we are excited to see what the future holds with Entelect," says Kuyper.

"Their values completely align with ours and we look forward to embracing the Entelect mission, working together to serve our customers' needs, and opening up growth opportunities for all our people across our office locations."

While the deal is focused on global expansion by cementing ties with Europe, Hansjee says the company currently serves African customers via its South African offices and it has performing projects from Botswana.

It engages emerging markets mainly through local in-country partners and requests for proposals. The strategy is to procure sufficient business in a specific location and then build further capacity with in-country talent.

"We will be exploring the opportunity to open software development and testing service divisions within other African countries over the next few years, as we believe many of the skills found in places like Zimbabwe and Kenya, for example, are very strong.

"The rate of adoption of technology, particularly in the telco, banking and payments spaces, is high in Africa, and there are plenty of opportunities to add value throughout the continent, as well as opportunities to create powerful partnerships," Hansjee adds.

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