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THE MEDIA NOV_2018 - TMOL

With: Prejlin Naidoo THE HOTSEAT Prejlin Naidoo, group managing executive of Okuhle Media, has built a career in digital business strategy, working primarily with mobile operators and broadcasters. He has always been at his happiest when working in a creative environment. I am 45 years old and so far in my career… I’ve been fortunate to have had a wide range of experience, from seeing the birth of mobile in South Africa, to launching South Africa’s most popular mobile content platform (at the time), to working with amazing creative talent at a leading brand agency and having a front-row seat to the digital revolution with Accenture. What excites you most about your new position at Okuhle? At Okuhle, we make content that touches millions of people in South Africa and around the world – being part of the creative process of making high-quality content and working with talented creatives is super exciting. What’s the worst job you’ve ever had? I’m very fortunate in believing that I’ve never had one. Every job I’ve worked in has been a learning experience. What do you think will be your key challenges in this role? Coming from outside the industry, my first challenge is to learn as much as I can, as quickly as possible about what we do. Finding funding and distribution for South African content is an industry-wide challenge and one that we have some interesting ideas around. We want to produce great things (it’s what our name means) but to do that we need to fund it – which is a challenge, but one we believe we can overcome. Our business success is ultimately tied to our people. Creative talent is the lifeblood of what we do. My greatest and most exciting challenge is to help build a place where creatives can do their best work and focus on their craft. What are some of the most important lessons you’ve learned on your media journey? The customer is the most crucial part of the equation – understanding customers, what they want and need is critical. Only then can we make content that resonates. The quality I most respect in people is… There are two that I believe go hand in hand – integrity and caring. If we can all be honest with each other in a caring way and make sure we keep our word, the world would be a better place. Without integrity and honesty, it’s almost impossible to build trust and without trust, all relationships break down. We all need to care for each other and have empathy – it’s what defines us as humans. My pet hate is… People putting pineapple on their pizza – ugh! What scares you most? Standing still and not developing – I need to keep moving forward and keep learning. My best qualities are… Patience, caring and critical thinking. My worst qualities are… Messiness when I cook and sometimes I can be pedantic My personal motto is… “We are optimists and makers, experimenters and learners; we empathise and iterate; and we look for inspiration in unexpected places. We believe that a solution is out there and that by keeping focused on the people we’re designing for and asking the right questions, we’ll get there together.” A perfect day would be… A sunny African day under the shade of an old tree with my wife, our dogs, friends, good food and wine, stimulating conversation, and laughter. If I could have dinner with someone living or dead it would be… Socrates – I studied philosophy and I’m still fascinated by it. The gadget/s I can’t live without and why… My mobile – it’s crazy how important they’ve become in our lives. My Kindle – I’ve stopped buying paper books because we’ve run out of space. My iPad – it’s my primary YouTube consumption device. My addiction is… YouTube and television. My death row meal would be… Something with Truffles. I think the rest of 2018 will be… Exhilarating. P 40 The Media | wagthedog.co.za


THE MEDIA NOV_2018 - TMOL
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