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Get To Know: Darryn Botha, CIO, Ukheshe Technologies

Get To Know: Darryn Botha, CIO, Ukheshe Technologies

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What would you describe as your most memorable achievement?

Darryn Botha, CIO, Ukheshe Technologies.

When I was a child, I played the piano and I was invited to attend an eisteddfod where I played in front of over 100 people and won a prize for playing the best piece.

What first made you think of a career in technology?

My first job was an internship at a large life insurer as a business analyst, where I worked through all operational issues. I built my business knowledge here and learnt how important technology was for finding solutions.

What style of management philosophy do you employ with your current position?

I am responsible for setting goals for the team. I believe it is important to guide and monitor the team and give them the freedom to achieve these outcomes that are set in a flexible approach. I also think it is important to celebrate both the successes and failures and outline how to learn from these.

What do you think is the current hot technology talking point?

Possibly not the most common technology at the moment, but one I find fascinating is digital livestock farming. It is all about digitising animal agriculture using biometrics to monitor an animal’s health in real-time. It helps by marrying the farmers with engineers and this feeds into Big Data analytics and statistical algorithms, which facilitates decision making and has changed farming as we know it. It is interesting how farmers then approach their stock as it incorporates Blockchain technology. This allows the farmer to trace what the animal does, even done to what they ate, and this can assist to determine what could be the cause of a problem.

How do you deal with stress and unwind outside the office?

I enjoy exercising and mountain biking. There is a great Mai Thai HIIT training class I attend that I really enjoy.

If you could go back and change one career decision, what would it be?

I don’t really have a career decision that I would have changed, however, when I was younger, I wish I would have worked in a world centre, like London. I did eventually do this, but I think it’s important to work in a big city outside of where you live when you are younger.

What do you currently identify as the major areas of investment in your industry?

Cross border enablement is where the biggest investment is currently.

What are the region-specific challenges when implementing new technologies in Africa?

Understanding the compliance landscape and building a solid relationship with a local provider that accelerates the adoption and implementation of technology is vital.

What changes to your job role have you seen in the last year and how do you see these developing in the next 12 months?

Over the last three years, I have learnt about the flexibility you need to give people in order to work, and to ensure that they do their work well. Providing flexibility and providing measurement in how and what they do is important. It is also important to buy into and find better ways to create flexibility.

What advice would you offer somebody aspiring to obtain C-level position in your industry?

You will need to be an advocate for change, be innovative and need to have business sense. You should form a partnership and attract the right people to deliver on it. And lastly, it will take lots of hard work.

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