Prior to working in information technology, Michael (Mike) Steyn worked as a design and project management engineer in South Africa, Namibia and England. He has a BSc in civil engineering and a number of years of experience in the engineering sphere. From this background, he learned the key problem-solving and solution engineering skills that he needed to excel in the areas of business analysis and the applied use of business systems that he finds himself in today.
In 2004, Mike braved the tough South African market and founded Aspire Solutions, an information technology company that, at the time, specialised in geospatial technology. Over a period of fourteen years, Mike led the development and implementation of many complex enterprise information technology projects.
He worked resolutely to keep the company relevant and focused through clearly distinguishing the Aspire brand and the company’s areas of expertise and specialisation and its unique business approach. He also developed a solid understanding of Aspire’s competitors and how to set the company apart and above. With dogged determination, a strong vision and the synergy of good partnerships, Mike lead Aspire Solutions to emerge in the market as a specialist solution technology company.
In 2016, Mike recognised that it was time to take further strides forward. Knowing that Aspire was strong in both its technical work and its adaptability to work with partners within the industry who shared Aspire’s niche approach, he moved to partner with Mushfiqoh Samodien’s business, Evolve Management; a consultancy that advanced business practice, profit and people, utilizing evidence-based practice and technology adoption. The two companies’ founders and visions were perfectly aligned, and the partnership resulted in Aspire Solutions becoming the powerhouse that is today.
Mike is currently the operations director of Aspire Solutions and, alongside Mushfiqoh, continues to drive Aspire Solutions forward into a confident future.
Mushfiqoh Samodien’s comprehensive work experience in business process management and communication includes working within the vast corporate environments of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and oil and gas. It was here that she forged a solid track record within finance; project management and business analysis; and change and transition management; with a particular focus on business relationship management that has proven to be invaluable to her success. During this time, Mushfiqoh developed the key skills of problem solving and solution design.
From here Mushfiqoh’s drive took her to the information technology sector where she has been exposed to both local and international markets and where she has worked in analysis, strategy, implementation and management across a range of enterprise information technology projects.
In 2014, she took the bold step of starting a consultancy called Evolve Management that advanced businesses in the areas of practice, profit and people. Here she faced and overcame the many challenges that entrepreneurs in the IT industry are confronted with. Her next step of strength was made when she partnered Evolve Management with Aspire Solutions in 2016, where as a director and shareholder she helped to shape the energetic and influential company that is Aspire Solutions today.
Mushfiqoh will be the first to admit that is not only synergy between and shared vision of the Aspire partners that has resulted in Aspire’s success but also the tough and demanding roads walked by both herself and Mike, as founders of businesses that have dug in, survived and then flourished.
As the business director of Aspire Solutions, Mushfiqoh’s energy proves vital to the wellbeing of the company. She works closely with Mike who shares her passion for South African business, as they strive to inspire, educate and empower; the three strategic pillars to Aspire’s ongoing success.