Kobus Louw is the Founder and Managing Director of Digemy. He explains that it is a unique adaptive e-learning platform aimed to disrupt the conventional e-learning model that focusses on completion and “passery”, and transform it into a model focussing on knowledge and mastery.
He says that the Digemy knowledge partner is a multiple award-winning adaptive learning platform that measures the knowledge of a learner on a specific topic, and then tailors the repetition of content and questions to that knowledge in a fun, gamified way. When compared to other e-learning offerings, this increases knowledge and engagement significantly while decreasing the time spent learning. By using their platform, organisations can now train their employees much more efficiently, build e-learning academies to solve real-world problems and educate their consumers in a way proven to create a change in behaviour. They not only offer the platform as a service, but also have a team of designers, content writers and animators that can assist with any content creation need.
Kobus started Digemy because he has always been passionate about education, and more specifically personal development and financial education. He continuously looked for ways to improve this, for himself as well as those around him. While working in the banking sector in South Africa, UAE and Saudi Arabia, he realised how people were suffering because of their lack of financial education, and wanted to create a financial literacy solution that actually changed the behaviour of a learner to increase their savings rate and decrease their credit default rate.
He says that the current e-learning models just focus on completion rates and point in time test scores, and yield retention rates as low as 10% after just 1 month of learning due to a lack of engagement and reinforcement of content. He noticed that this was not just an issue in financial education, but that their school, university and adult education models were yielding the same inefficient results. He realised that, by creating an e-learning model that adapted the repetition of content to the knowledge of each learner, they could create an extremely scalable model to solve the education crisis faced worldwide. He then created a pitch deck, raised funds from investors that trusted him, and Digemy.com was born.
Kobus loves running his business, because he finds it very rewarding for many reasons. They took the risk to run with an idea and convert it into a product that not only changes people’s lives, but has become a business that contributes to the economy, creates jobs and a safe space where they as a team can grow, learn, and become the best versions of themselves. Knowing he is helping, both on a macro and on a micro scale, in a tangible, measurable way, gives him so much joy and contributes to his purpose and conviction of changing education in the world.
Two of the biggest lessons Kobus has learnt on his business journey, and that continue to shape his business every day, are to:
Listen to your customers with an open heart and mind. You can have the best idea on this planet, proven to solve the biggest issue in the world, but if your customers (or clients or users) don’t enjoy the experience or don’t find value in the product or a reason to use it, it will be game over.
Always seek to add value, and the money will follow. If you chase money without adding value, the market will react to that, and you will probably also be very unhappy and unfulfilled. The amount of value you add is usually directly proportionate to the amount of revenue your business can generate.
Kobus says it’s his passion, purpose and conviction to help people from all walks of life by using their technology to give them access to new skills that will shape and change their lives forever. Whether they are creating a financial literacy academy for a bank, an online high school, or an online cricket academy, he knows that they are creating a new world for those learners with access to education that they would never have had access to, if it was not for their technology and the initiatives they pursue.
He explains that when things get tough, it’s easy to get so overwhelmed by that little voice in our heads that sows doubt and confusion, telling us that we will not make it, that our products are not good enough, that we don’t have what it takes. In those moments, Kobus takes authority over that voice and imagines what the ideal outcome is that he wants to achieve, prays and meditates on that, and replaces it with a voice of truth and hope. As Henry Ford once said,’ Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you are always right”. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and it all starts in our minds.
Kobus believes that small business is what keeps our nation going. Not only does it stimulate our economy, but it also serves as an inspiration to new entrepreneurs and business owners dreaming of making a success out of their aspirations and potential ventures. To him, it is amazing to watch South Africans excel on the global stage, to watch the company that had 5 employees 5 years ago to now burst out of its seams with 100 employees.
He says that by supporting small business, we are also supporting the dreams of the generations after us, to show them we are a country that backs the brains and bravado of those who dare to take risks, those who fight for their livelihoods, those who dream of a better future and those who risk everything to create redemptive change. Small business adds so much to our nation’s character and forms such a big part of the fabric of South Africa.
Digemy was a proud recipient of the Top 20 Awards at the 2020 South African Small Business Awards, brought to you by the NSBC (National Small Business Chamber).
When asked about his experience as a Member of the NSBC Kobus commented, “The NSBC creates the right environment for small businesses to connect with each other and bigger corporates who are looking to support small businesses. Their events are world-class, and with every event we have been to we have built good relationships that have resulted in great opportunities for us. We are also very thankful for winning the Top 20 award in the 2020 South African Small Business Awards, which gave us that extra market validation and credibility that always goes a long way.”