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Paratus Africa Group

Shawn Bruwer

When an entrepreneur enters the fray at Paratus, the Pan-African telecommunications group celebrates the fact, relishing that its culture of innovation, growth and excellence will be further advanced.  True to the group’s faith, and seven years on, Shawn Bruwer has taken Paratus to new heights in Botswana.

Shawn Bruwer’s journey took an interesting turn about eight years ago when he crossed paths with Barney Harmse, the Executive Chairman of Paratus Group. Back then, Paratus Namibia was in the midst of constructing their new HQ building, and Shawn, who had known Barney for some time before relocating to Botswana and joining Letshego, saw the potential synergy between his aspirations and Paratus’s vision. This encounter led to the birth of Paratus Botswana, as Barney recognized that Shawn was the ideal person to drive forward the company’s expansion in Botswana.     

With his unerring focus and entrepreneurial spirit, Shawn Bruwer embarked on his career in financial services, initially championing expansion initiatives across Africa for various services. His journey eventually led him to the role of Deputy MD at Letshego Group Holdings. However, it was his realization that reliable communication and a robust network were the bedrock of all transactions that set the stage for his entrepreneurial emergence. 

Recognizing an opportunity in Botswana, Shawn approached Paratus with his proposition. The Group swiftly grasped the potential and decided to establish a new subsidiary in Botswana, with Shawn at the helm as the Country MD and a major shareholder. Over the next seven years, Shawn, with his sheer determination and unwavering belief in the company’s vision, transformed Paratus Botswana into a thriving business with approximately 80 employees and a stellar reputation for its services. “We all appreciate nowadays that communication is essential to everything”, he says, “but the quality and reliability of the service and how that service is delivered into Botswana is what differentiates Paratus from its competitors.  We have invested significantly in our own infrastructure and local assets and this gives us control of our services end to end. Our independent international connections ensure we can offer enterprise-quality uptime to businesses and consumers alike. We are growing aggressively, and this, I believe, is a testimony to the fact that our service was needed, and I am glad that Paratus also recognised the vision for Botswana.”    

A proud Namibian, Shawn is South African-born and educated. He spent the early years of his career in Banking in Namibia before moving to Botswana, which he now considers home.  He loves the challenge of charting new territories in Botswana and is busy making sure that Paratus becomes the de facto service provider in the country – and the benchmark against which its competitors will measure their progress.   

Shawn was also instrumental in bringing about the acquisition of BBi in 2022 to further strengthen the Paratus Botswana offering.  “This has allowed us to enter the consumer and SME market instantly with a national branch presence and a diverse offering. We have surpassed our growth expectations and we have become far more than a network service provider.”   

The big challenge that Shawn is spearheading currently is to connect more of the country through fiber.  “We are immensely proud of the fiber ring in and around Gaborone that we have built to provide businesses with an independent, resilient network for their connectivity requirements.  Our next step, regulator licenses allowing, is to provide fast, secure connectivity across Botswana, leveraging our three independent and wholly owned international gateways.”          

Believing full-heartedly in developing the best skills pool in the country, Shawn says: “We take care of our employees, and we invest in them. We provide opportunities for self-development and training, and we attract and retain the best talent in our industry.  That’s something I’m particularly proud of.  We want to be the employer of choice in the industry and have the best people to deliver amazing service and solutions.   

“Essentially, our vision is to transform Africa through exceptional digital infrastructure and customer service – and of course, high-quality connectivity is the key to unlocking potential.”   

With 20 years in Africa – and seven in Botswana – the Paratus Group is a major telco player with an impressive footprint on the continent.   Owning its own infrastructure, building expert teams in seven Southern African countries, and serving customers across the continent with a seamless quality network service – these are the cornerstones of the Paratus Group’s success so far. Paratus also has points of presence (PoPs) in the USA, UK and Europe and provides services in over 35 more African countries via its satellite network; it landed the Equiano subsea cable in Namibia as the appointed landing partner; and has already built four of its own Data Center facilities in Angola, Zambia, and Namibia (with a fifth one already in construction).    

Shawn is a keen observer of the business world, but he also loves to explore the natural one.  He’s passionate about mountain biking and is out five times a week improving his performance before he ventures out with his family on the weekends.  He takes this as seriously as he does his business life and has participated in many big races including the Cape Epic and Trans Alps.   

Although many would describe him as a mover and shaker, Shawn Bruwer shies away from crowing about his achievements.  When he’s not busy turning opportunities into concrete and enduring business channels, he’s out competing with other cyclists. 

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