Cura Risk Management Software

Cura Risk Management Software, winner of the Management of Systems Award in the small enterprise category

Business objectives are the golden thread

Yes, Cura Risk Management is a software company but when it talks about integrating and linking systems, it isn’t speaking from a software perspective. It means business – the governance, risk and compliance (GRC business).

“Our focus is on making sure that our business objectives link throughout the entire organisation, and to our vision, mission and overall purpose,” says Jessica Knight, head of Strategy. “Without that systemic integration, you will have misalignment, duplicated work effort and inefficiencies. Those are things we try to overcome by making sure our objectives are the golden thread running through the business.”

Every activity and function of the company is linked to its objectives, of which it has two types: strategic objectives and Big Hairy Audacious Goals, or BHAGs.

The difference between them is that strategic objectives are specific, relatively attainable business goals, which then roll up into BHAGs, which are “slightly unattainable” so that the company never gets to the point where it has nowhere to go and nothing to strive for.

“BHAGs keep you moving forward and can catapult growth into a disruptive space,” says Jessica. One of its BHAGs, for instance, is to have a significant presence on each continent across the globe.

This might seem slightly unattainable for a small South African company but not impossible since Cura, founded in 2002, is already in Australia, India, Malaysia and the United States. That means there are only two continents still to go.

The company has several strategic tools that it uses to maintain that golden thread between what it does and the business objectives it strives for.

One is a stakeholder ecosystem analysis, where Cura breaks up its ecosystem into all stakeholders affecting and affected by its business, now and in the future. It has 27 to 30 stakeholder relationships and it has linked every one of them to its business objectives and assigned a level of importance to each stakeholder role.

“In this way, we can assess what each stakeholder would like from us now and in the future, and how we can serve each stakeholder, now and in the future,” says Jessica. Another key tool for keeping that golden thread going is Cura’s strategy document, which is constantly being reviewed and refined, and now runs into over 80 pages. “It never stops,” she says. “We are now in a very dynamic time and we are a small business but very complex. We need a detailed, dynamic tool to manage that.”


Aizatron, winner of the Innovation Concepts Award in the medium enterprise category

Let’s face it, crime should not pay

When the City of Cape Town started replacing electricity meters in households in 2020, criminals were quick to spot an opportunity. Posing as employees of the CoCT, opportunists gained access to many residents’ homes and committed a spate of daylight robberies.
This is exactly the kind of social problem that artificial intelligence can help solve, says Ansu Sooful, managing director of technology fusion company Aizatron.
Not only was Aizatron willing to provide a solution, but it was also willing to do so at no cost to the City.

“At that stage, we were building a facial recognition doorbell and we thought, Let’s make this technology available for free,” says Ansu.
Aizatron promptly designed an app that anyone with a smartphone can use. All the authorities had to do was upload the faces of the employees who were officially representing it on the meter replacement drive. Then, when anyone knocked on a resident’s door claiming to be from the CoCT, the resident concerned could open the app, which would then verify whether or not the person was indeed who they said they were.
Making smart technology available free of charge in this way fits Aizatron’s profile as social entrepreneurs who use technology to solve societal problems.
It is not entirely altruistic, however, says Ansu.
“The more faces we have on our system, the better artificial intelligence becomes at identifying people,” he says. “South Africa is an awesome country to build a facial recognition system because we have such a heterogeneous, mixed pot of facial types.”
This is in contrast to less-diverse countries such as the United States and China, where facial recognition programs have shown racial bias in their inability to identify black people in particular. South Africa, with its abundant diversity, could potentially be far more effective in making facial recognition technology work.
Meanwhile, another solution that Aizatron has developed to combat crime, especially sexual and gender-based violence, is its Awêh Guardian App and Awêh Panic Button. (Note to reader: Awêh is pronounced “aware”.)
Community members who download the Guardian app (free from Google Playstore or iOS AppStore) become part of a community-wide network of Guardians willing and able to assist victims of crime within two minutes of an incident.
Guardians are alerted to a call for help when a member of the network presses their Awêh Panic Button, a keyring-sized device (for sale from Aizatron) that can be set to send an alert within a radius of between 50 meters and 500 meters.
Ansu describes Awêh as a safety system that mobilises entire communities to keep people safe. “When pushed, South Africans stand together,” he says.

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Ogutu Okudo – Oil and Energy Specialist, A member of the 2020 Forbes Africa, 30 Under 30 Class.

Ogutu holds near a decade of experience in the oil and energy industries. Serving on numerous international boards and advisories, Ogutu is an energy expert with a career overseeing projects in Sub-Saharan Africa in multiple business domains.

Nureshka Viranna – Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 Technology, Director and Co-Founder of ShopLi

Nureshka Viranna is a female Technology Entrepreneur based in South Africa. She is the director and co-founder of Shopli, a specialist eCommerce company that helps people sell their products and services online. She is recognized as an innovator in the industry and has helped many businesses start online stores, marketplaces, eLearning platforms, online malls and drop shipping stores.

Professor Ben Anderson (Keynote Speaker) – CEO, Davinci Institute

Ben enrolled for his undergraduate studies at the beginning of 1979, at the University of the Free State. After completing his Bachelors degrees in Philosophy, Psychology and Theology he continued with post graduate studies in both Theology and Psychology, concluding a Masters degree in Psychology during 1989. During this period he worked part time to sustain his academic development journey. He formally started his career as a registered Psychologist during 1990 and became involved in student and academic development matters at the University of the Free State.During the mid-ninety’s he became involved in community related activities in the Free State region, involving the development of working adults in a post-apartheid system. These engagements with both public and private sector organisations as well as labour unions resulted in him registering for a PhD focusing on the learning development needs of working adults in South Africa. One of the outcomes of his PhD was the development of a Bachelors degree in Managerial Leadership for working adult learners. As a result of this development, the University of the Free State agreed to establish a Business School which would offer, amongst other, a Bachelors degree in Managerial Leadership (BML) and a Masters degree in Business Administration (MBA). Ben joined the Business School as one of the founding members in 1999. He was appointed as an Associate Professor at the University of the Free State at beginning of 2000 and awarded his PhD soon thereafter.He joined the FirstRand Group during 2000 as the Chief Learning Officer for FNB, tasked to establish a for profit learning entity within the FirstRand group of companies, based on the work done at the University of the Free State. For the next 5 years he had extensive exposure to business related activities as experienced within a corporative context. Amongst other milestones, FNB Learning was registered as an accredited education and training provider.During 2005 Ben joined forces with Prof Roy Marcus to establish the Da Vinci Institute, a registered private higher education provider. He was accountable for the design, development and registration of a Certificate in the Management of Technology and Innovation, a Diploma in the Management of Technology and Innovation, a Bachelors of Commerce (Business Management), a Masters in the Management of Technology and Innovation and a PhD in the Management of Technology and Innovation. Ben has delivered several conference papers on managerial leadership development, at both international and national conferences. He has been involved as Chief Executive officer for the Da Vinci Institute since its formal registration and accreditation in 2005.

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