Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans – 2018 Edition
Science & Technology

Neo Hutiri (30)

Founder, Technovera

“Coming from engineering background and having worked in an automation space has definitely influenced the kind of technologies that Technovera has developed,” says Neo Hutiri. “We are constantly asking questions on the role of technology and how it can help us shape some of the most challenging issues in healthcare.”

The company’s constant questioning led to it developing Pelebox Smart Lockers, a smart locker system that enables patients to collect their repeat chronic medication in under two minutes. It’s a welcome respite for patients usually burdened with having to wait hours in queues at public health facilities.

A University of Cape Town electrical engineering graduate, Hutiri worked as an automation engineer at ArcelorMittal SA before taking up an operations management role as a technical assistant to the company’s COO while simultaneously completing a master’s in engineering at Wits University. He later ventured into the technology startup ecosystem in Johannesburg and founded Technovera, a technology start-up developing smart solutions. He has a passion for nurturing the entrepreneurial culture, is always up for a challenge and is heavily invested in the development and adoption of smart technologies in the African healthcare space.

“My career has been great, from engineer to operations to social entrepreneurship. I feel that I have been able to walk a path that leverages my strengths to achieve social impact for my communities. The fact that we have used all the technical knowledge developed over years to come up with a solution that is simple and easy to use has been rewarding,” says the 30-year-old.

As to what his most rewarding moment thus far has been, Hutiri says, “When we finished installing the first locker in Mamelodi and we had the first patient using our invention. That look in the patient’s eyes when using the Pelebox Smart locker for the first time was one of the most rewarding moments of my journey.”

It is moments such as these that continue to drive Hutiri to excel and make a difference. “I am driven by my desire to contribute to shaping a future that I know is possible for Africans. I am driven by my curiosity and the power that lives within people to shape and create.” — Carl Collison

Twitter: @Pelebox_SA