Profiles of Purpose: “What About My People” | Summary and Q&A

December 18, 2019
Stanford Graduate School of Business
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Profiles of Purpose: “What About My People”


Lerang Selolwane, an electromechanical engineer from Botswana, started Lucien Engineering and Construction to provide maintenance and asset management services. He aims to bring essential infrastructure like water, power, roads, and rail to his country.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How did Lerang Selolwane's experience at De Beers shape his entrepreneurial journey?

Lerang Selolwane's time at De Beers, the diamond mining company, exposed him to various global cities and experiences, which made him realize the importance of building similar opportunities for his people in Botswana.

Q: How has Lucien Engineering and Construction brought professionalism to the industry?

Lucien Engineering and Construction has introduced long-term contracted employment, providing stability and pathways out of poverty for employees and smaller businesses in their supply chain. They focus on developing practical skills and offer an excellent education to their workforce.

Q: What role does SEED play in Lerang Selolwane's business growth?

SEED, sponsored by De Beers, has been instrumental in the growth of Lucien Engineering and Construction. It has expanded their operations to multiple locations and countries, increased their workforce, and boosted their sales revenue.

Q: How does Lerang Selolwane encourage other entrepreneurs in Botswana to seek opportunities in the continent?

Lerang Selolwane believes that aspiring entrepreneurs in Botswana should look beyond their country's small economy and explore opportunities in the rest of the continent. SEED helps entrepreneurs see the bigger picture and forces them to consider growth outside their immediate surroundings.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Lerang Selolwane, an engineer from Botswana, runs Lucien Engineering and Construction, offering maintenance and asset management services for companies.

  • He fell in love with the opportunities that engineering provided, rather than the technical aspects.

  • The lack of basic infrastructure has hindered development in Botswana, motivating Selolwane to find ways to improve the situation.

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