BitCo CEO paves his own way at 25
Johannesburg – While many 25-year-olds may be on the cusp of a full-time job and completing their studies, businessman and innovator Jarryd Chatz heads up one of South Africa’s premier fixed broadband providers BitCo.
Chatz’s last name may recall the well-established Vodacom franchise stores Chatz Connect, but Chatz has moved out of the shadow of his father, Selwyn Chatz – the CEO of Chatz Connect. Days before his 25th birthday, Jarryd was appointed as the CEO of the national tier one internet and telephony provider.
The young CEO has created his own spark in the internet service provider (ISP) industry. Before his appointment he held different sales and managing directorial positions at BitCo, where he gained insight into how South Africa’s internet functioned.
BitCo is expected to have seen a 200% increase in turnover in only three years, by the end of this financial year.
“I joined BitCo after our family bought a 50% stake in the company and since then I realised that this is where my passion lies,” Chatz told Fin24.
After finishing school in 2009, Chatz began working at one of his father’s retail outlets in Cape Town. He immediately started scouting for business opportunities that his family could invest in. BitCo presented an ideal fit.
“The company has been doing extremely well and BitCo was on the up,” Chatz remembered. Established in 2006, Bitco was independent of any third party suppliers, and held a prime position to deliver electronic communications over its private Fibre optic and Wireless last mile network. Last mile networks, dubbed so because the technology that carries signals from the broad telecommunication backbone along the relatively short distance to and from the home or business, is critical technology in connecting homes and offices to the internet.
Chatz was drawn to this infrastructure and the fact that BitCo built and maintained their entire network, which spans across South Africa providing services directly to businesses, small and large. The company also allows resale and wholesale options. It has established points of presence throughout South Africa, with international breakout in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town.
Chatz said he received overwhelming support from his father, who serves as an advisor on the board for BitCo and also funded the expansion of the company.
“I have been lucky enough to be born with a silver spoon, but I rely on myself and want to prove to myself and my family that I can create my own path,” said Chatz.
BitCo has grown from 50 employees to over 115 in recent years, with Chatz now steering the company towards the future.
“I rely on my staff, they have good work ethic and I don’t like micromanaging – at BitCo I don’t have to, I have a great team,” Chatz said.