Jason English: Creating Resilient, Modern, and Scalable Organizations

Inspiring Techpreneurs

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Transformation. Innovation. Digitalization. These are just a few of many terms that businesses of today are either well-versed with or are getting to know fast. And why wouldn’t they? Technological advancements of the past decade hatched more avenues than ever before – avenues that have enabled businesses to scale greater heights, as well as avenues that have empowered the consumer to an unprecedented extent. There is no denying that the evolution in technology has engineered irreplaceable innovations and impactful changes that have made things seamless and profitable for people, organizations, and economies worldwide.

Digital transformation, however, is easier said than done. Even a mid-sized organization has multiple stakeholders involved in its day-to-day functioning. Thus, to elevate the digital positioning of a company, it becomes important to first integrate and then uplift all the verticals that unify to make an establishment. One could even say that to successfully transform an organization, it is paramount to empower its entire ecosystem – a task that is best left to the professionals.

Jason English – Co-founder & Chief Ecosystem Officer at CG Tech has been in the business of creating transformation pathways for companies all across the world. He shares – “In modern-day society, business leaders have a bigger responsibility than simply delivering the numbers. The entire ecosystem – clients, employees, suppliers, communities, and even competitors – is important, and managing a broader ecosystem is key to business success today.”

Re-enforcing the Small and Medium Business

An owner-managed holdings company, CG Tech was formally established in 2018, “but has been a culmination of years in the making which started in 2014 under the brand CG Africa Holdings,” shares Jason. The company, backed by its strategic management oversight is an investment service provider that adds value to its investments by deploying the latest innovations and technologies in business.

Their primary focus – empower the often underrepresented small and medium business owners. Jason feels that small businesses create the backbone of an economy. Unfortunately, in many places, these enterprises have been left behind in the race to digital superiority against bigger companies who have far more resources and assets at their disposal. To this effect, CG Tech offers investment opportunities in an array of industries that stakeholders can choose from. Industries such as – Sports, Media, Arts and Films, Industrial Power and Infrastructure, Technology, Innovation, and more.

The core of the business is aimed at investing in traditional, non-digitized companies, and then supporting them by deploying CG Tech’s strategic expertise and their portfolio of advanced technological solutions. “Many businesses lack innovation and structure. At CG Tech we infuse structure and innovation in a way that creates value through enhancing the effectiveness of a business,” shares Jason. Within CG Tech, the software development arm is made up of highly skilled developers and software engineers who design tailor-made solutions that enhance the efficiency and productivity of the overall structure and service of that company.

On the mission to Serve their stakeholders by adding genuine value, Solve complex problems in unique and efficient ways, Uplift communities, and have a positive impact on society, today CG Tech has emerged as a crucial player in creating innovative pathways that help small businesses, startups and young innovators succeed.

Jason English
Jason English

“Our focus is to deliver content that speaks to our values which are safety, people first, agile and responsible”

The Worldwide Effect

Consisting of over 4000 employees, 13 operating locations, and 8 companies under their wing, the CG Tech footprint is prominent in Africa, The Middle East, and the United Kingdom. Right from The Virtulab, a 2016 established UK-based software and APP development firm, to Prommac, a 2005 established South Africa-based company that is an established construction services business specializing in commissioning, plant maintenance, plant shutdowns, and capital projects, the CG Tech effect has become their powerhouse to success.

Another one of their prominent investments includes Al Laith, a design, engineering, and project management solutions provider specializing in the execution of technical temporary infrastructure projects in and around the Middle East as well as the rental and sales of plant and equipment. Initially established in 1995 as a scaffolding business, today this organization is recognized as the leading one-stop provider of engineering and constructing temporary structures all across the Middle East. Not to mention, another South African CG Tech client – New Age Engineering Solutions, is now recognized as one of the top structural and piping construction consultancies in the country, thanks to the people and innovations brought in to the businesses.

“All our businesses have evolved into the digital era over the past few years. Services we offer across each underlying company have transitioned with the times and we have found ourselves exploring many segments to try to find opportunities. As a result, we have developed drone operations, software development, engineering services, and our industry verticals have expanded,” states Jason. CG Tech’s strengths, a combination of finance management, project management systems, and the application of modern-day innovations have remained the driver for long-term value creation for all of their partners and stakeholders.

From Engineer to Techpreneur

English graduated with a mechanical engineering qualification in 1999 whilst working for the South African Police Force as a paramedic. He says that at the SAPS, “I learned the value of trust, systems, and teamwork.” After he graduated, Jason joined Kentz Engineers & Constructors – a global oil and gas services business where he served for 15 years. Here Jason would travel the world, serving from the US to Australia, managing or being involved in projects for some of the biggest oil giants in the world.

In 2012, Jason decided to leave his corporate life behind and begin his entrepreneurial journey. His intention – to build a business that would lead the digital transformation race. Soon enough, a group of investors reached out to him which sparked the beginning of a journey to build a larger, international group. “In 2015 we hired a COO and soon after bought 50% of a company in Dubai aimed at expanding our horizon into the middle east oil and gas space. In 2016, we started a drone company based out of London and South Africa, acquired an electrical company in South Africa and later in the same year acquired Al Laith in the Middle East. In 2020 we established Serious International in the United Kingdom together with Serious Stages and pivoted our UK drone business into a fully-fledged software company specialising in all things Metaverse related,” states Jason.

With more than 20 years of experience in project management & project services, in 2018 Jason and his business partners officially launched CG Tech, where he took on the role of Chief Ecosystem Officer. In January 2020 however, the CEO of Al Laith retired. Due to this Jason decided to go to Dubai for some time to assist the board of the organization in finding a replacement. Just 4 weeks later, the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world in full force, “and so myself, together with my family just never went home,” smiles English. As for the empty CEO spot, that was quickly filled by Jason himself.

As CEO of Al Laith, English leads the charge in creating modern, innovative ways to make the company even more efficient. Apart from CG Tech and Al Laith, he also holds the post of Director of The Virtulab, Prommac, as well as New Age Engineering Solutions.

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A Life of Innovation and Excitement

Over the years, Jason has been recognized by many as one of the most forward-thinking thought leaders on technology, culture and brand-building. He continues to be a prominent figure in digital transformation seminars all across the world.  “I also sit on several international boards and attend and speak at several conferences where I get to hear and learn what trends are happening.”

To begin with, English currently serves on multiple boards of the world’s premier leadership organisation (YPO). In 2017, Jason was elected as one of only 250 global leaders to be part of a group of technology creators who focus on the most futuristic and advanced technology developments globally. He has also been featured on numerous media platforms including Entrepreneur SA, Legacy project, CNBC, Entrepreneurial Edge, Tech Crunch, Business Times, Yahoo Finance, Silicon Review and CEO Review to name a few.

Jason maintains that digital media will forever remain a key contributor to the overall success of their organization, as well as the businesses they serve. “Our focus is to deliver content that speaks to our values which are safety, people first, agile and responsible,” shares he. A disruptive and progressive marketing team that always remains in tune with the latest trends creates breakthrough campaigns and strategies, enhancing the digital visibility of the CG Tech brands. 

In his free time, Jason can be spotted looking for his next adrenaline dose at the F1 race track or the airfield. A qualified helicopter pilot, drone pilot, avid race car driver, and motorcycle racer, Jason says, “I love to do anything that’s dangerous enough to get me killed.” Danger aside, he is also about to release his authored book –The Oros Effect, which talks about how the leaders of today can effectively scale and transfer their vision, beliefs and values and communicate them in a way that will never stop developing and remain everlasting.

Giving Back

Community involvement and upliftment are one of the primary focuses of the CG Tech group of companies. Whether it is by acquiring small businesses and scaling up their operations through careful project management and technology, or by contributing to local schools and government institutions, the corporate-social arm of the company is deeply rooted within the South African community. 

Social initiatives at CG Tech range from funding the South African robotics team (The Springbots), eye care for disadvantaged children, and school upgrades, all the way to wildlife conservation, the development of local professional athletes, and more. Jason says, “We invest in our communities in a way that enhances them. Projects we support must add value at a local community level, or must be of national or international interest, or should have a 75% chance of saving a life.”

Into the Future

In today’s business era, emergent technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data gathering have become a part of our daily lives. Not only have these empowered the consumer but have also become a necessity for organizations to function and perform at the highest standards. With organizations becoming increasingly complex and competition becoming stiffer than ever, regardless of the industry, technology deployment, digitalization, and organizational transformation have become predominant for companies to survive.

At CG Tech, Jason and his team of thinkers and innovators continue to pave new paths via their strategic management expertise, enforced by new-age innovations. The organization continues to expand its global footprint, onboarding and training new teams, as well as continually scouting for like-minded innovators to join the company and be a part of a legacy of serving, solving, and uplifting.

“For me, it’s to create businesses that we can look back on and be proud of. Proud of in the sense that we made a positive impact on the communities within which we operated, the people that worked for us, the clients we served, and the supply chains that supported us,” says Jason. Needless to say, for Jason English, his partners and CG Tech, the best is yet to come.

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