Meet the masterminds responsible for pioneering change using technology and inimitable imagination.
An electronic engineer-entrepreneur hybrid, Muhammad couldn’t find a job that fulfilled his passion for building gadgets and writing software, so he created one for himself. His role encompasses everything from making slides – his PowerPoint skills are on point – and guiding projects to meeting clients, keeping staff happy and ensuring that A2D24 grows in a sustainable manner. Muhammad delights in the process of seeing a concept come to fruition and have a positive impact on a broad audience. He is adept at build trusting relationships with clients and is permanently juggling a few technological balls in the air. A lover of travel and good food, he may or may not be an amateur spymaster and is thinking of buying a company go-kart.
“The hottest furnace makes the strongest steel.”
The Lean-Startup by Eric Ries.
As Employee 001, Sofia started at A2D24 the day the company was registered has seen it grow from a one-man business to its current iteration involving multi-million-rand project budgets. She draws satisfaction from her flexible and challenging role encompassing finance, office management, procurement and logistics (she hasn’t lost anyone yet). Sofia keeps her focus a few steps ahead to make sure the A2D24 team is always prepared for what’s around the corner and switches between high-level and day-to-day details. An enthusiastic book club member, the fantasy genre is her sanctuary. She believes everyone should read the Lord of the Rings and that Jaime Lannister’s sword would come in handy on occasion.
“Start off each day by jotting down your list of priorities. If it’s not on a list, it’s easily forgotten.”
Identifying with A2D24’s holistic vision of adding value to communities and lured by a comfortable environment in which to express herself, Rachana’s role as a project manager and implementation consultant sees her building relationships with stakeholders, solving problems and process mapping. A creative at heart with a background in strategic marketing, she is also tasked with the production of visual materials and is the office’s go-to person for presentations. As a teenager, she dreamed of being a pediatrician, but being too squeamish to persist with that route, she now derives great satisfaction from helping overworked nurses overcome their numerous challenges. A good thing too, because this lover of the great outdoors would never have given her young patients lollipops.
“If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”
Misha’s broad role encompasses relationship and change management and requires that she communicate effectively, displaying a high level of structured thinking and people skills to help clients implement processes, as well as to ensure buy-in and deal with administrative difficulties. As an intensely spiritual person who spends her time off mentoring young girls through a socio-religious organization (in-between spa days), she finds fulfillment in being able to mentor clients and positively impact marginalised communities. The former investment banker and business consultant is also thrilled at being able to achieve a work-life balance without compromising her career goals. Sadly, Misha found out early on in her journey with A2D24 that the office floor wasn’t conducive to wearing high heels.
“My biggest fear is leading a boring life. I try to steer clear of mediocrity.”
An electronic engineer with a masters in robotics, AQ is a member of the A2D24 “old guard” and has done everything from project management and coding to servicing and callouts, installations and financing. His primary focus is on hardware integration, operational management and the development of new projects. AQ is intent on using technology for social upliftment, seeing A2D24’s “crazy” ideas come to life and solving the fundamental challenge of creating solutions for people who are not technically minded. Curiously, the notoriously camera-shy father of a soccer-playing robot would not want to work alongside an android – unless, of course, it was Ironman. At home, you will often find AQ stripping toasters, old cellphones and other gadgets down for parts.
“Leave a legacy greater than yourself and the world in a better place than you found it.”
Tech Process Consultant
Masentle’s focus is on understanding the processes that take place with the client based on personal and professional interactions to ensure optimal implementation of digitisation. A consummate people’s person who has a talent for understanding client needs, she serves as the link between them and the A2D24 team’s expertise. Her only “script” is using her vivacious personality to overcome barriers and maintaining her composure in tricky situations. Having studied journalism and worked in HR, recruitment and office management, Masentle thrives on seeing the faces of delighted clients after she has put in the hours. The office livewire and future talk show host loves stand-up comedy, concerts and trying new things and finds Afrikaans knock-knock jokes hilarious for some unearthly reason.
“Doubt means don’t. I follow my intuition. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.”