Accounting, the age-old practice of recording, classifying, and reporting on business transactions, is not typically associated with the passion-driven and notoriously risky realm of entrepreneurship. But there is a growing trend of accounting graduates who are breaking the mould and making their entrepreneurial mark.
One such local “accountpreneur” is Lyle Malander, the trailblazing founder and director of the Malander Group, who says he was driven by his passion to create employment opportunities and contribute to the struggling local economy. “There is an abundance of talent in South Africa, and we have the ability to compete with businesses on a global level – it is just a matter of getting out there and making it happen,” says Malander, who is only 33 years young.
Hailing from Cape Town originally, Malander relocated to Johannesburg to complete his articles at Deloitte after studying chartered accountancy. He then went to Chicago on secondment for three months, before returning back to Joburg to join Deloitte South Africa full-time. It was during this time that he made the decision to spread his wings and take a leap of entrepreneurial faith, establishing Malander Advisory, a chartered accounting and financial advisory firm, in 2015.
“At this point, it was just myself and my now co-Director, who I managed to recruit very early on. Our two-man team was very much focused on financial advisory to begin with, but the business grew organically after we managed to land our first major listed client. This led to hiring our first employee in 2016, and things just took off from there.”
The Malander Group has since expanded to comprise Malander Placements, a recruitment firm, and Malander Digital, an IT firm. Today, the business directly employs 22 people, including those in the recently-opened London office. With clients across various sectors and industries, Malander Advisory has also created employment opportunities for over 90 chartered accountants and financial professionals.
In 2018, the business expanded further by entering into the Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprise (SMME) space with the establishment of M-inent – a new Malander business offering a cloud-based solution to facilitate the growth of SMME businesses based both locally and abroad. “Originally, our focus was only larger, listed companies, but we’ve recently gotten involved in the SMME sector by providing cost-effective solutions to less established businesses,” he explains.
Throughout the expansion of the Malander Group, Lyle says an emphasis has been kept on professionalism and maintaining a strong corporate image and brand. “I believe that this, coupled with our consistent focus on service delivery, has been at the heart of the business’ growth strategy. Ensuring that deliverables are consistent and of the highest quality is ultimately the best form of marketing.”
Malander was named the overall winner of the prestigious top 35-under-35 award by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) in 2018, and Malander Advisory was a finalist in the South African Professional Services Awards (SAPSA) for the firm of the year in 2018.
Adding to these achievements, Lyle Malander is a finalist in the 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year® competition sponsored by BUSINESS/PARTNERS. For more information on his business, please visit the Malander Group website: https://www.malander.co.za/.