Lukhanyiso Giba is a partner and director of Urworld Sim. She was in Lagos recently to attend Akwaaba African Market Travel Market where she spoke to ANDREW IRO OKUNGBOWA on the cost-saving benefits of Urworld SIM for travellers and her passion for travels among other issues.
Lukhanyiso Giba is a partner and director of Urworld Sim. She was in Lagos recently to attend Akwaaba African Market Travel Market where she spoke to ANDREW IRO OKUNGBOWA on the cost saving benefits of Urworld SIM for travellers and her passion for travels among other issues.
Lukhanyiso Giba, a South African, can’t easily disguise her passion for the travel industry, as her love for the industry shines through the moment she begins to make a pitch for her travel product, Urworld SIM, which according to her, is a product of her quest for offering solutions to challenges encountered by travellers. She started her career in the aviation industry, where she cut her teeth, with South African Express Airways, garnering experience in virtually all aspects of the industry, including; marketing, sales, business development and logistics.
With a management development background from the University of Stellenbosch, Cape Town, South Africa, and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in International Hospitality Management from AGSB- Switzerland. She escribes herself as a hotelier, with a deep passion for service, beautiful spaces, luxury travels, communications, events planning and media. Giba, in the course of her over three years studies in Switzerland, besides picking- up French as a foreign language, she travelled frequently between Switzerland, France, Italy and South Africa, where she engaged actively with some of the major players in the travel industry from both government and private operators.
On her return to her country in 2014, Giba worked with Four Seasons Hotel Group, as a result of a direct transfer from the group’s property in Geneva, Hotel De Bergues. However, this romance didn’t last long as her search for solutions to some of the challenges in the industry, especially in the area of communication, led her to Urworld Sim in 2017, where she became a partner and director.
She presently drives the marketing and sales strategy, as well as business development of the company in Africa. It was for this purpose that she was in Lagos recently for Akwaaba African Travel Market, taking advantage of the platform to pitch for her company and product.
Inspiration for the travel industry
Excited about travelling, which for her is a passion, Giba describes herself as a ‘nomad outside Africa;’ given her interest in travelling and background. Born and bred in East London, South Africa, but she had also spent time in Durban, Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg, Knysna and Cape Town.
‘‘I like to think of myself as a child of the world! I am pretty much from everywhere although originally from East London. I`ve lived in four different Provinces in South Africa, I lived in Europe, I’ve travelled to Asia, Africa, USA, South America and I have friends and family all around the globe.
‘‘So, I like to think of myself as a nomad outside Africa, I grew up pretty much everywhere,’’ she says. For her, the inspiration for travelling is the experience that one derives, especially when it comes to new discoveries and learning. Elements that she is not ready to trade-off for anything else.
‘‘I remembered the first time that I travelled and it was my first international travels and I was very excited. I think I was actually going to Florida, I felt like a new person. That I was about to get re-born and learn new things. And I find out that this is more prevalent to travelling. In all honesty, I am all about consuming new experiences and new people!
‘‘Because the more you get out, the more you get exposed. You are exposed to different people, you are exposed to different cultures and not only are you exposed to new things, you are also exposed to a new you. And you suddenly realise that your world is quite small. ‘‘And when you open up, life just gives you wonders and that is what is interesting for me about travelling. Getting to meet new people, and getting to know what other people are doing.’’
Turning her passion into business
Today, Giba is a partner and director of Urworld Sim, a company that vends sim cards, which is designed to ease communication and save cost for the international travellers across the various strata of the society. Meeting with her business partner, a Swiss national, was coincidental. ‘‘We got speaking about businesses and comparing beautiful spaces such as Switzerland and South Africa and talking about our passion for travelling. We got talking about the difficulties and challenges of travelling, and one of the challenges was cost saving.
That was how it all developed into partnership,’’ she recalls of her journey into the world of Urworld. Urworld is a Swiss SIM card technology that understands the need to navigate this digital age effortlessly. It understands the needs for mobile users who travel frequently and abroad: Need for instant connectivity, convenience, transparency on the price of data usage and cost savings, effectiveness as well as the necessity for instant connection without having to queue for a local sim card. First, of its kind on the African continent, the international Sim card is a one-stop mobile shop in the palm of your hand. With a presence in South Africa, Germany, and Nigeria. Now looking forward to expanding the offering in Kenya in the near future.