Velani Mboweni is the co-founder of LULA, a ride-share shuttle service.
But now businesses have shut their doors, people have lost their jobs and others have taken salary cuts as a result of Covid-19 regulations to prevent the spread of the disease. Keeping his company afloat during this time, without having to lay off staff, and adding a new product line during these trying times is something that Mboweni is most proud of.
Mboweni, who has a BCom from the University of Cape Town, a BA Honours from the University of Witwatersrand
and a postgraduate diploma in business administration from Wits Business School, says he’s surprised himself with the fact that his business is still standing successfully.
In the time of the Covid-19, LULA has been transporting essential service workers and delivering and collecting goods for those people isolating at home.
His company offers something unique in the transport services businesses: it groups riders who live in one area and are travelling to a similar destination at the same time, saving people time and reducing the number of cars on the road during peak hours.
The business model led to Harvard Business School writing a three-part study on LULA. Last year the company won the Startup of the Year in Africa at the The Global Startup Awards.
LULA might be reaching greater heights today but it has not always been like this. Mboweni says at the start he learned tough lessons from struggles that he now attributes to wanting to be everything to everyone.
The urgency of addressing the many societal problems keeps Mboweni going.
“God has given me life and the tools to address them, and so for as long as I am alive and well, I will continue using every morning to solve problems and serve people.”