Entrepreneur at heart, bean counter by day, and musician at night − Frans Joubert’s journey isn’t one you’d find in your typical ledger. After finishing his accounting degree, he took an interlude to study music. From singing in a choir at Carnegie Hall in New York and strumming the electric guitar in a band on live television to a stint as a gargoyle (yes, you read that right) in a local production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, his career’s footnotes read more like backstage passes.
After fine-tuning his skills with a BAcc Hons at Stellenbosch University and articles at PwC, Frans swapped the stage lights for spreadsheets and added companies such as Top Billing, Snapscan, JourneyApps (Silicon Valley venture-backed) and OCFO to his roster. Along the way, Frans co-founded ventures like the web development agency thewebsiteengineer.com, a boutique cloud accounting firm Viso Solutions, and property investment company Vinici Investments, all of which still feature as a part of his repertoire.
In December 2020, amidst strict lockdowns and travel bans, Frans once again opted for a bold key change. While many steered clear of the hard-hit travel industry, he embraced the challenge, later becoming CFO of Tripco, a leading South African travel technology firm.
Tripco was built by South Africans for South Africans. It owns various local online travel platforms such as LekkeSlaap (South Africa’s largest local accommodation platform), Travelground and, more recently, Mzansi’s one-of-a-kind accommodation booking app, Viya.
These brands have been the ‘lekke’ choice for over 6,6 million guests travelling locally. Tripco’s platforms actively host more than 27 000 properties, with over 80% representing small businesses such as guest houses, B&Bs, self-catering units and boutique hotels. With this wide reach, the company’s impact extends way beyond its immediate industry, stimulating growth in multiple sectors and ultimately fostering job opportunities nationwide.
Under Frans’s financial leadership, the company supports 145 direct jobs. He championed comprehensive employee wellness programmes, ensuring access to healthcare, life insurance, and retirement savings for all team members. Frans expertly conducts both internal collaboration and pivotal external relationships, such as their LekkeSlaap Rewards, Sanlam Reality and Edgars Club reward partner programmes.
Focused on challenging foreign online travel agency dominance, Frans aims to keep the R2 billion commission which leaves our shores annually on home soil. Beyond numbers, he is committed to making travel accessible for all South Africans and inspiring professionals to give back and reinvest in our economy. Frans believes that just as a single note plays its crucial part in a symphony, every single reinvested rand goes a long way to drive economic progress.