South Africa is a vital hub and motor in the rapid development of the huge African continent. And, with its 17 specialized subsidiaries, the C2 Technologies Group is a future-oriented motor in the automotive industry. We managed to get an informal chat with Rian Van Jaarsveld, General Manager of LOR Technologies, one of C2 Technologies companies.
Hi Rian. How would you summarize your business concept and principal approach?
Most of the business in the group provides either technology or products to the automotive sector, both here in South Africa and abroad. All our products are designed to add value to the motor industry. Whether it is management of stock in the dealership environment, digital sales or advertising, all of these products are value add products aimed at selling more cars better.
I personally look after two of the businesses in the group. GameON Mobile which is a Micro Learning LMS aimed at breaking training content down to bite size chunks for faster and more effective learning. LOR Technologies is a technology business with our prime product being Live Online Retail, a super live chat aimed at the customer engagement to sell big ticket items online. Our patented live tracking replicates a physical world behaviour in the digital realm.
How do you operate?
It will depend on the product within the group – some of them make use of sales teams, some we go with a direct reference approach, others are relationship based, and some even word of mouth. Each company within the group operates independently and drives their own strategies to the market.
In LOR Technologies, we have a sales team that hunts the right type of customer for each of the products we house. In this way we can dish up a tailored solution fit for purpose.
Where is your main growth potential?
South Africa is our main target market due to its growing market and stable economy – most of the time. Furthermore, South Africa is often used as a base to work from into the rest of Africa. So we have to concentrate on this market first and foremost.
The rest of Africa will always remain in our sights as there are opportunities around every corner. As for digital products I believe that Kenya, Ethiopia, and Nigeria are most ripe due to the Economic growth those countries have shown in recent years. the SADC countries in the south will always be popular with South African business due to the proximity and easy access to those countries but further north has great potential.
How does Phyron fit into your business strategy?
LOR Technologies develops its own innovative technologies aimed at enhancing the online sales experience of the users. We offer and specialize in Real Time Live Chat, Digital Listing Platforms, and Robotic Processing Automation (RPA). So it was a natural fit for us to add Phyron.
The Phyron solution does not only generate more attractive and engaging car advertisements, it also simplifies the entire process of creating , handling, and publishing the ads. As the focus of the automotive providers turns to the online or e-commerce sales strategies, I believe that the technology will become increasingly relevant in the next 2 to 3 years.
South Africa is sometimes slow to react to technology in industries where the resistance to change is high – we generally work on the premise that "if it's not broke don't fix it", but in cases that holds us back slightly. For us it's rather a case of bringing new technology, taking aim at the early adopters and preparing for when the tech becomes relevant in this market.
You are now beginning to introduce the Phyron solution to South African dealers. How far are you in that process, and what kind of reactions have you met so far?
It is still very early into the process, and we are now building up brand awareness through social media advertisements and editorial articles in relevant publications. It takes time to introduce a new and disruptive technology. But we have a defined marketing strategy and aim at ramping up activity and getting customers onboarded later this year. To this end we have identified a few dealership groups that we will kick off pilot projects with to get a real sense of the Phyron Video+AI influence on listings.
I believe that Video will become more and more relevant to the younger buyers and the emerging new middle class. Platforms like TikTok and YouTube have paved the way for companies to target these groups in a trendy manner, and with Phyron we can bring a short clip of the vehicle to the online audience much cheaper and faster than traditional video productions. For me the most exciting part is that you can bring life back to a preowned vehicle and give it an advertisement that makes it pop better than the standard static image and even a 360 image.
Where can business get hold of you for more information about Phyron’s car video solution?
Also give us a follow on LinkedIN https://www.linkedin.com/company/lortechnologies
For general information about the solution and user experience in other parts of the world, they can also visit phyron.com