Founders Spotlight: Monti Kgengwenyane (Founder, GreyTechno Industries)

As a firm believer in putting in the work to make one's vision a reality, Monti works more than 15 hours a day, weekends included, to ensure that his startup GreyTechno Industries gets to the heights he envisions for it. In this interview, he takes us through how he built his work ethic, his opinion on building a formidable business, his other ventures apart from GreyTechno and much more!

In your own words, please tell us who Monti Kgengwenyane is

I am a 22-year-old from Botswana. I grew up in Botswana. I have always had the drive to be a producer. I have never been comfortable being a consumer growing up.

I have always been an ambitious person. I remember reading when I was a child. Take all your goals and multiple them by 10. That is what you should strive for. I have always had that mindset.

So I sat down and started thinking about what direction will Africa and the world be heading in and I started coming up with solutions for the coming problems. 

Your background is in Economics. Briefly take us through your journey to a career as a tech entrepreneur

Well, I started my company in my first year of University. I have always had an inclination to produce solutions to problems and when I did not act on the solution I had thought of I felt like I betrayed myself. So while in school I decided to get my life in order. I started slowly making lifestyle changes and it took two years but I have finally got the lifestyle I want. I work a minimum of every day15 hours a day everyday including weekends. That took two years to make this happen on a consistent basis. Small incremental improvements lead to exponential growth. I have always loved technology and physical so it was really inevitable for me to be doing what I am doing, the question was only when.

Please tell us more about your startup, GreyTechno Industries

GreyTechno is passionate about the positive impact technology can have in creating sustainable worldwide production and consumption. We create strategic partnerships around the world to develop and provide green technology. We believe adopting such technology will help us leapfrog old technology and shoot us into a sustainable future. We have offices in Botswana, the UK and the US.

Our Vision is to have a cultural change in the production Industry. We want to accelerate the growth of green technology usage globally. To inspire young people to live and think in the future, in order for them to have the mindset of long-term thinking.

In the next decade, when people think of GreyTechno, we want them to think we are known for thought leadership in green technology and inspiring innovative minds. We want GreyTechno to be known for quality across all industries. In achieving this vision, GreyTechno Industries wants to play a role in stimulating a technological revolution in all industries by offering products and services that will enable us to leapfrog old technology and utilize environmentally friendly practices.

We love to encourage people to think Bold and have a passion for invention, as we believe this is an important mindset in today's world and tomorrow's world.

What was the motivation for starting GreyTechno Industries?

The motivation behind it is I set out with the goal of having a positive impact on a billion lives in 5 years. It is quite ambitious but I do not see any real reason why it can not be done.

As an agritech startup specializing in relatively new concepts like Deep Learning & Machine Learning in a field like agriculture which is mostly occupied by senior citizens who are not well-versed in technology and its benefits, what challenges have you faced?

So our initial solution is a crop monitoring solution. Hardware and software.

Funny enough I have not done so good in the Botswana market. We are doing really well in the UK, US and Dubai markets than where we started. Botswana is afraid of change. A revolutionary technological solution can be introduced to the market however people are not willing to take the risk to be the first to adopt that solution. That is what I have come across. That is what my biggest challenge has been. That is why we have moved to expand other solutions we provide. 

How have you been trying to overcome those challenges?

I am at the moment trying to overcome the challenge by looking internally at the way we are packaging the product to customers. The product itself is excellent. Highly affordable and very easy to use. 

On the other hand, what have been some of the upsides of being a trailblazer and early adopter of incorporating such technologies into a traditionally non-technological field?

The upside is that you become the place where people come for knowledge and that helps with spreading the company brand by mouth. As people purchase and experience the value of the product, the market will know where it came from.

In Botswana, agricultural activities take place in mostly remote and rural areas and your products are very high-tech,. How have you managed to ensure these factors are not a hindrance to the overall effectiveness of GreyTechno Industries work?

Oh yes, we have. The hardware itself is easy to install and takes 30 seconds to install. The software side is easy also. The sensor has a QR code, so you scan the QR code with your phone and with our App which is available in the app store, links the phone to the sensor. You can then view all the data collected by the sensor and that helps farmers make informed decisions.

The rate of adoption of technologies such as Deep Learning & Machine Learning, which form a core part of GreyTechno Industries, seems to be low and slow in Botswana. What has been your experience in terms of the adoption of your product offering in agriculture?

It has been relatively very slow compared to our other offices. I have seen that businesses have adopted our solutions more than individuals even though our initial target market was actual individual farmers. I think that tells a story. The mindset difference between organisations and customers.

Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers regarding what GreyTechno Industries is up to,project-wise, currently and in the near future?

We have launched our new web services company GreyTechno Web Services. This company was set out to carry out our mission of having a positive impact on a billion lives in 5 years. It currently offers corporate cloud storage, professional training using virtual reality for hard services such as mining, construction etc, and an e-health software that fully digitizes clinics from accounting to HR to reception to the doctors. 

,We have also recently launched our marketing company DotBlog which is there for content creators. It helps creators take their brand to the next stage by giving them a .blog domain ending. The most exciting one is that DotBlog is going to offer banking services specialized for content creators. We have launched our waitlist and creators out there can join the waitlist on our website.

GreyTechno Industries is determined to provide affordable housing for Batswana. We have been working on this project for over a year now and is almost complete and ready to launch. We will be able to provide housing at up to 30% less than current market prices.

What advice can you give to business founders i.e. aspiring disruptors like yourself, who are looking to also incorporate a technology product into a traditionally non-tech field like agriculture?

1st: Whenever I talk to people they are always telling me their plans and what they want to do and the companies they want to start. However when I see what they do, they do not do what they say they want to do. Someone once told me that character is, you say you are going to do something and you do it, that is all that character is. So people say they want to start a business and disrupt the market but they go out every Friday and Saturday. So if they would just start to do what they say they want to do because I am sure they are capable of doing it so if they do what they say they are going to do then they will be successful in whatever they want to do. 

2nd: It takes sacrifice to start a business, you will receive a lot of resistance from people close to you and they will try to talk you out of it. What I would say is, if they are not where you want to be, do not listing to them.

3rd: Know what sacrifice is. If it hurts, then you know it is sacrifice. So if you are used to going out every day and seeing friends all the time. If you want to be successful you will have to sacrifice that. And people always tell me, "Monti but balance" and I tell them, while I am chilling my competitor is working. It is so competitive out there. There is no time for rest in the beginning. That is the reality of it. I work a minimum of 15 hours a day every day including weekends. I do not have days off and that is what it takes to get to the level I want to be at. It takes sacrifice, I don’t see friends, I don’t go out, I don’t watch tv, I don’t rest and that takes sacrifice.

My final advice is, do not to let people make you feel bad for ambition. It is good to be ambitious because it means you have imagined a future where you are much better of than the present and when you work on yourself it is inevitable that your community benefits greatly from that.

Lastly, please share with our readers your contact details in case they want to get in touch with you

GreyTechno Industries:

GreyTechno Web Services:


My contact details are:

+44 7949713307

+267 72224340 (Whatsapp Only)

NB: Interview has been slightly edited for clarity

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