Marketing - Flagship Projects

 

Back-to-School Campaign


 

PROUDLY SOUTH-AFRICAN MEMBERS MAKING A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE IN EDUCATION
16 January 2012

As part of our Back to School campaign, Proudly South African will feature 3 member companies who are making a positive difference in education, the lives of our children and in job creation.

This week we spoke to Chanine Nel, owner of Rock Series, who specializes in supplying our schools with mathematics and reading programme software from Grade 0 to 10. 

Rock SeriRock was founded in 2004 by one software developer, Chanine Nel, who was inspired to make a difference in the lives of our youth and the future of our country.

What products do you supply to our schools?
We create Mathematics and Reading programs for the children in South Africa. All lessons are explained step by step in full colour with audio, allowing the children to work in a  work stres free environment and even in the comfort of their home. Often these programmes are used at schools in their computer labs.

What makes our product unique is the fact that we give parents the freedom to contact us and tell us what their childrens’s educational needs are and then we tailor make products to suit their children’s educational needs.

Our product range comprises of Mathematics, Reading and an Electronic Dictionary (with Zulu words included) and several educational games to stimulate growth and development. We also have self-marking tests which can assist parents with record keeping. We don’t know of any other program in the world that has all these three essential products packaged as one unit!

What is great about your programme and business?
The Rock Series program enables us to assist previously disadvantaged schools and orphanages with their schooling academic needs and this gives them the confidence to grow into self assured children and people.

 

What has been some of the highlights of your business?
We had the honour to help NOAH (an Aids Orpahange) along side ABB, an international company. ABB were so impressed with our products that they bought programs for another  school in Motherwell, Eastern Cape.

More recently we were asked to join the OLPC project where 100000 laptops will be handed over to children all over South Africa. This will be handed to previously disadvantaged schools and although the project is only in the beginning phase, we are very excited to be a part of it.

Why did we join the Proudly South African campaign?
As a small business it is very important to have the Proudly South African brand behind us.
People in South Africa want to know where the product has been made and want to support locally made high quality products. South African parents want to know that South African  developers understand the challenges that are facing our children in education. This also forces us to stay ahead with the latest trends abroad and in South Africa.

What are some of the challenges you face as business?

  1. Many of our agents earn commission only and their sales are based on pre-approved loans. Given the amount of bad debt in South Africa makes it very difficult for them to earn an income. We cannot drop the price of our product as then the agent will not earn an income, so it is a very diffucult position to be in currently.  
  2. Many of our agents need laptops to demonstrate our product to potential clients and many of them cannot afford a laptop. We have tried to supply laptops to agents, but we have also had a bad experience with this as some agents resigned and did not return the laptops.
  3. Securing government work is very challenging in South Africa today. While they like our product their turn around decisions take a long time and the children suffer unfortunately. Most of our school deals are sponsored by corporate companies but it is hard to get the attention of the decision makers in government.
  4. Advertsing on radio and TV is very expensive and parents will not buy if they have not seen our product.
  5. We need more agents, but to get people to work on a commission only bases is difficult as people need to earn money regularly, and we cannot guarentee this without a sale.
  6. Piracy has also affected our business. Sometimes people and even teachers copy of our product and give it to the childrn for free as this is a lose to our business. At this  stage all our programs have been protected with a coding sysyem, thus making it an officially licenced product.

What are your goals for 2012?
We would like to employ 10-20 more agents. If they each sell 10 units they can earn themselves an income of R10000 plus per month. If they sell 15 units, they can earn up to R18 500 per month. In this way we can make a positive impact on the job creation in South Africa. Job creation will also give our agents their dignity to work on creating a better standard of living for themselves and their families. Rock Series is also a part of the 93 000 jobs for Mandela Day Campaign and would like to create employment through education.

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