There is always a debate about the ideal period of time that one should be at the helm of the business before they are seen to cause damage.
I joined the Dicomm Group on the 1st of August 2008 and shortly after, took over TotalMedia in 2009. This effectively means that it has been 11 years since I began leading one of the most reputable agencies in Zimbabwe, working on listed and global brands in Zimbabwe and beyond its borders.
How do you feel?
By looking at the number of years that I have sat in this chair, it makes me feel very old but the assignments and opportunities ahead make me feel very young. Hope I am not beginning to sound like a politician…lol however, I find that there is still a lot to be done, especially on the digital space.
What have been the highlights of your career at Dicomm McCann and TotalMedia UM?
Looking back on the past 11 years I would say that baring witness to the growth of our team members has been a highlight, many of them who joined as “kids” are now parents with kids in school!
Another highlight is witnessing the brands that we have worked on become global, gaining international recognition and winning top awards in Europe etc. I would like to touch on the EcoCash brand, one that was birthed inhouse. Sometime in 2011 we were invited to a briefing by client, the brief introduced what they considered to be the next big thing…mobile money. To be honest, the adage that if you don’t know, keep quiet is so true. When we were first briefed about EcoCash, and asked to come up with communication material it all didn’t make sense however we believed in our client, in their innovation and went to work on building the brand without realizing that in 2019 it would be the most used form of payment in Zimbabwe… used more than cash and cards put together even in the most remote parts of the country. 8 years later we have yet again launched Sasai, a social payment platform, and this time around I quickly caught onto the idea. It will be massive and its impact will be felt across Africa.
Along the way we became part of McCann Worldgroup which opened up massive opportunities. Jerome Styer, Fraser Lamb and team have been amazing
Being able to retain the Econet Group, attract new listed and global brands has been fulfilling. At this point we are servicing Nestle, Unilever, Schweppes, Johnson and Johnson, Zimplats and many more. At the beginning in 2008 it may have looked impossible but with patience, careful planning, creativity and hard work it’s all been possible.
Refocusing the business to be a leading digital agency with software engineers, mobile app developers just to name a few.
I am fortunate enough to have an amazing team on the ground. They are hungry for results and work tirelessly to get things done correctly, the first-time round.
We wouldn’t be able to create waves without our wonderful clients who have been with us through thick and thin. Namely Econet, Mr. Nyangari and the team, Mel, Emma & KP. The Cassava team OT, GP, Elder, Fa & Tich. Delta, Patricia. SeedCo, Charity. Nestle, Patricia and Zimplats, Chiedza. Along with many others, to whom I am very grateful, for entrusting Agency with their brands.
Lastly it would not be possible for me to be in this position without the amazing support from the board… it hasn’t been profits throughout… there have been some hard times, especially just before we embarked on the digital journey. Mudhara HKM (Mr. Marowa) as we affectionately call him and the Chairman is Hwande is amazing because of the things he knows. He just knows a lot.
I would like to thank the team that continues to work exceptionally well, resulting in us creating magic these past 11 years. Lastly, technology plays a huge and increasing role in all our lives. For us, that means that we have a responsibility to act in a way that benefits people and the brands we serve. Not just through our services but through our values.
These values have allowed us to be more ethical, trusted and transparent than ever before. We should all be proud of that – I certainly am, but we will also push forward to be even better.
Disruption will continue.