Mteto Nyati, a former CEO of MTN South Africa and Altron, has paid an unknown sum for a controlling stake in the local technology and consultancy firm Business Systems Group (BSG). In the South African and African consulting industries, the locally based BSG faces off against multinationals like Deloitte, Accenture, and KPMG.
For more than 20 years, Business Systems Group has been conducting business throughout South Africa and the greater African continent, with a particular professional emphasis on offering clients tech-based consulting services and solutions. The BSG employees, who hold 15% of the company, and two other shareholders, who hold the remaining shares, are the other shareholders, according to Nyati. “There are two other distinct stockholders that hold the remaining shares, but I don’t want to name them”,
“I’ve bought 40% of the company, which is a significant shareholding. The rationale behind it is that I wanted to be involved in a local and home-grown company that is making a difference in South Africa.
“Some of the challenges that we are facing in South Africa is our inability to translate strategy into reality. Implementation is a big problem in South Africa – whether you are talking about private sector or public sector,” Nyati said.
“Here we’ve got an entity that has a proven track record of helping very large enterprises, particularly in the financial services space, and it’s really doing a great job in helping them to realise value across their strategies.”
Nyati believes with his experience gained at Microsoft, MTN and Altron, he will be able to assist the company to diversify to other industry verticals beyond financial services.
“I felt that they [BSG] can do much more than they are currently doing in financial services by also operating in other industries. That’s where I see the potential for growth. But right now, they have a great track record in financial services, and they are doing what many South African companies are unable to do to implement and drive execution.
“They are using data insights to guide their interventions. So, the combination of all of these factors made me feel this is a good candidate to be associated with.”
Describing how he juggles the multiple board roles, as well as his new venture, Nyati explained that he has always told himself that he needs to balance himself and spend at least 70% of his time on investment entity, which is BSG, and spend the remainder of the time trying to help organisations that are struggling.
“In fact, at the end of this financial year, it’s going to be back to three roles because Walmart has decided to buy the minority shareholding in Massmart, so that company is going to be de-listed and the board is going to be dissolved.
“So, I have told myself that I only need to sit on three boards and the bulk of my time will be used on my investment company.”
Nyati serves on the boards of Eskom, Nedbank, Telkom, and Massmart, and as BSG’s principal stakeholder, he has been appointed executive chairman of the Houghton-based business.