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Rising from the ashes: Mike’s journey to IT success

Mike Tlhoaele: From IT start-up founder to inspirational leader, defying limits and building bridges. Photo: Supplied
Mike Tlhoaele: From IT start-up founder to inspirational leader, defying limits and building bridges. Photo: Supplied

In the ever-evolving landscape of the IT industry, one entrepreneur stands out as a symbol of resilience and determination. Meet Mike Tlhoaele (38), the visionary behind Impeco IT, a flourishing IT solutions company in South Africa that has defied the odds and overcome numerous challenges to reach remarkable heights.

Tlhoaele’s story is not just about building a business; it’s a testament to the indomitable human spirit and the power of unwavering passion.

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The journey of Impeco IT began in 2014, when Tlhoaele, then a young and ambitious 29-year-old, took a leap of faith and ventured into the world of technology. Starting with the humble tasks of racking and cabling, he had a grand vision in mind – to solve real-world business problems and connect people in ways never seen before. Little did he know that his entrepreneurial odyssey would be fraught with obstacles and steep challenges.

Tlhoaele’s passion for his business was evident from the very beginning. His unwavering commitment and love for what he did permeated every aspect of his work. Impeco IT quickly gained recognition for its professionalism, integrity, and unwavering dedication to quality delivery.

These qualities caught the attention of the Altron Group, a leading technology solutions provider, which saw the immense potential in Tlhoaele’s venture and decided to collaborate.

The partnership with Altron was a game-changer for Impeco IT. It not only provided crucial mentorship and market access but also opened doors to new opportunities and exponential growth. Through this collaboration, Tlhoaele’s company expanded its workforce from a mere seven employees to over 22, a testament to their collective determination and hard work.

But his success story is not just about numbers and business acumen. It’s a story of personal growth, resilience, and the willingness to persevere against all odds. He recognised the importance of continuous learning and development, and in pursuit of excellence, he completed a management advancement programme through the esteemed Wits Business School. Armed with newfound insights, he honed his entrepreneurial skills, ensuring that the foundations of his business were strong and future-proof.

However, Tlhoaele’s journey was not without its share of hardships. He faced numerous challenges and setbacks along the way. But instead of succumbing to defeat, he chose to view these obstacles as stepping stones to success. Tlhoaele’s mantra became “Keep knocking, even if it means knocking numerous times.”

He embraced perseverance as his guiding principle, refusing to give up on his dreams, no matter the difficulties he encountered.

From a young age, Tlhoaele knew that he was destined for something greater. His entrepreneurial spirit was ignited when he sold fruits and vegetables on a street corner near his home as a child. Each job he took, from being a call centre operator to becoming a network specialist, served as a stepping stone toward his ultimate goal – creating and growing his own business.

Tlhoaele’s passion for uplifting others and making a difference is deeply ingrained in his core. Born and raised in a township in Pretoria, he understands the transformative power of changing someone’s circumstances. In 2018, he was selected as a National Development Plan ambassador, aiming to promote youth entrepreneurship and drive economic growth while reducing poverty and inequality.

Beyond personal success, Tlhoaele has a grand vision of taking technology to underserved areas in South Africa, connecting everyone and bridging the digital divide. He believes that companies like Impeco IT have a vital role to play in servicing smaller businesses and empowering them with connectivity and IT solutions. The recent work-from-home revolution, catalysed by the pandemic, has underscored the importance of accessible technology for all.

Looking ahead, Tlhoaele envisions developing his own IP solutions and forging direct relationships with customers, further expanding his customer base. He aims to continue partnering with major players in the South African IT sector, leveraging collaborations to fuel his company’s growth. Furthermore, he plans to create internships within his business, paying it forward and nurturing the next generation of techpreneurs.

Mike Tlhoaele’s journey is a testament to the human spirit’s ability to rise from the ashes and achieve greatness. His unwavering passion, indomitable perseverance, and commitment to empowering others have propelled him to incredible heights. Impeco IT is not just a success story. It’s a narrative of hope, inspiration, and the unyielding belief that anything is possible when you keep knocking on doors until they open wide.

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