Walking away from a promising career at the world’s largest diamond company is a risky move. But after coordinating a review to help De Beers redefine its role in the diamond industry for the next decade, Botswana native and engineer Lerang Selolwane chose to do just that.
Returning home from London, Selolwane cofounded Lucient, an engineering services company that maintains and manages heavy equipment used in Africa’s mines and construction industry. He wanted to build his own legacy and provide middle-income jobs to his native Botswanans.
Lucient’s growth has been steady and promising. Selolwane credits the Stanford Seed Transformation Program with helping to unite his management team around a shared vision and a plan to execute it. The company recently entered the much larger South African market, which now accounts for two-thirds of its revenues, and boosted its profits significantly. “We’ve now got an aligned, energized group of people who know what they are doing and where they are going,” Selolwane says. The company’s new ambition is to employ 1,000 by the year 2025.
Lerang Selolwane is the cofounder of The Lucient Group, a Pan African engineering services group that provides management and maintenance of heavy-duty transportation, mining, and earth moving machinery as well as construction machinery and equipment. Selolwane started the company after working as a high-level assistant to a CEO with the De Beers Group in London, a position for which he was selected from 16,000 employees. In 2012, he coordinated De Beers’ strategic review of its role in the diamond industry for the next decade. Selolwane had previously worked as a trainee engineer with Debswana Diamond Company in Jwaneng in 2004, overseeing a department with 90 specialist maintenance personnel.
Selolwane earned a bachelor of science in engineering, electro-mechanical, from the University of Cape Town and an executive MBA from London Business School.
Selolwane participated in the Seed Transformation Program in West Africa in 2018.