Hustling in Joburg

For all intents and purposes, we arrived in Johannesburg as the first boots on the ground in South Africa for our client. TA Telecom is based in Egypt and engaged us to develop the strategy to launch a new product in the South African market. It’s an unusual situation for a G-Lab team as most groups spend the first week meeting with employees at the host company, sharing their remote research, and refining the plan of how they will spend the remainder of their visit.  However, having a remote client has given us a strong sense of ownership over our project and allowed us to dive right into creating new business opportunities for TA Telecom.

Since we set up camp in our rented office space in Sandton, the big business hub of Johannesburg, we have been hustling. We have reached out to potential customers through references from classmates, our personal networks, Endeavor South Africa, LinkedIn contacts, and MIT alumni. We have been blown away by the response and have been fortunate enough to meet with some of the largest banks, retailers, telecommunications companies, and insurers in the country.

The highlight of our work so far has been our meeting with one of the largest retailers in South Africa, which is based in Cape Town. The meeting not only provided us with a great reason to visit this beautiful city – it also allowed us to secure to a pilot of TA Telecom’s product, which was just launched today! We are extremely excited to see the results of the trial, which should be available before the end of our trip – a shockingly fast turnaround.

On a personal level, we have had ups and downs. Unfortunately, one of our team members got sick just before we went to Cape Town and has had to spend a lot of time resting and recovering. He’s a trooper and never complains, but it has obviously been tough on him. We missed him during our hike up Table Mountain, but fortunately he managed to join us for some quality snoozing on Clifton Beach, a little wine education in Constantia, and a brief trip to Robben Island to see the site where Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years. We’re hoping for a speedy recovery and more adventures in the coming weeks!


Our office in Cape Town


Wine tasting class in Constantia

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