Celebrating two years of building Daemon South Africa, with Hendri Lategan

At Daemon South Africa, we recently celebrated our second anniversary. The team commemorated this milestone alongside our founders, Steve Bennett and Calum Fitzgerald, our Head of People Jenny Locke, our Chief of Markets Peter Ironside and Head of Delivery Excellence Jimmy Headdon, who all made the trip to South Africa from the UK. We looked back on the incredible journey we've been on, marked by growth and pivotal achievements. 

We caught up with our Country Manager and Head of Operations Hendri Lategan, to tell us more about the journey so far and the future of Daemon South Africa. 


Hi Hendri! How are things going with the Daemon South Africa team? You just celebrated your second anniversary, how did that feel?


Celebrating our second anniversary was a mix of excitement and reflection. It's amazing how far we’ve come in just two years. It was a moment of pride for all of us and it gave us a chance to look back on our achievements and plan for the future.

Our team is going from strength to strength. As with any fast-growing business we continue to embrace the lessons learnt to solidify our foundations for continued growth in the region. We welcomed new people to the team, including a few senior foundational roles in South Africa and the UK. We are now poised to scale our growth considerably, have a solid team and a great foundation for moving forward.


How has the team grown and developed over the last year? How has this shaped your role?

The team has grown significantly, in numbers, diversity and expertise. We’ve faced the challenges that come with meeting the ever-growing demands from our clients, which has led to a lot of personal and professional growth among the team members. As for my role, it’s evolved to focus more on strategic oversight and fostering a culture of adaptability and resilience. It’s an interesting balance toeing the line between our operational needs and our long-term goals.

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How are the latest projects shaping up? What exciting things have you all been working on, and what’s on the horizon?

Our latest projects are some of the most ambitious undertakings we’ve ever embarked on. We're delving into new technologies and exploring innovative solutions to complex problems.  Looking ahead, we plan to expand our reach into the local market and double our footprint in the SA territory. There’s a lot on the horizon, and the excitement within the team is palpable.

In South Africa, we have some of the best minds across the global tech industry, particularly in data, machine learning and artificial intelligence. The strength of the team we can build here allows us to offer huge value for our clients, particularly when it comes to some of the more interesting problems. As a growing business, our agility is one of our main strengths. We are resilient to change and can adapt quickly.


What is your vision for the Daemon South Africa team in 2024? What would you like to see more of?

Our vision for the Daemon South Africa team is to consolidate our achievements and set new benchmarks for excellence and innovation. I'd like to see us taking on even more challenging projects that have a tangible impact on our industry and beyond. It’s about amplifying our contribution to the tech ecosystem and becoming a household name in the South African market. We want to be recognised as market leaders and thought leaders, particularly with more cutting-edge technologies.  We’ve been finding many opportunities to get our SA-based principles into face-to-face engagements with our clients internationally. I’d like to expand on these to allow our clients to capitalise on the value our team can bring to the table.  

Having exceptional people in our team means we can achieve much more for our clients and 10x our impact. We are constantly looking for new ways to innocate within the technological landscape, especially with AI and machine learning. We want to understand how to best leverage these technologies for our clients. We recently worked on a project for a startup affiliated with AWS, building a chatbot aligned to a specialist area with the bot acting as an expert in that niche. 

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How has the team stayed connected with the community in South Africa, in what ways have you taken your values outside of the group to external charity projects?

Giving back to the community is a cornerstone of our North Star Ambitions. We’re actively engaged in various charity projects and initiatives, from educational programs to environmental conservation efforts. It's important to us to promote social good while driving technological advancement.

We collaborate with local organisations like Breadline Africa, which provides education infrastructure to underprivileged areas. By partnering with these charities, we’ve positively impacted the day-to-day lives of real people. It's this connection that grounds us and reminds us of the broader purpose of our work.


What have you learned in the past two years about scaling the business that will help you for your next growth phase?

There has been a big change now that we've found our feet. We know who we are and where we are going. We have reached an inflection point for the scale-up phase we are moving into. Over the past two years, there have been many lessons we’ve embraced as we’ve grown. These experiences helped us to build a solid foundation. We have also benefited from the positive evolution of the UK business. A more robust executive branch has been established and has helped support our work. We can focus on doing the best possible job for our clients.


How can people get in touch with you?

To get in touch with Daemon, feel free to reach out via our contact form. We’re always open to conversations, collaborations, or a casual chat about technology and innovation. Connect with us on LinkedIn for updates on what we’re up to and opportunities to engage with us. 

You can also reach out to me directly on Linkedin. I’m always eager to discuss how Daemon can get involved. 

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