Tag Archives: business development

Darlene Menzies

Darlene Menzies, TDH/SMEasy

Darlene Menzies, TDH/SMEasy

Name: Darlene Menzies

Companies and Designation: The Development House (TDH) – Founder and Chairman, SMEasy Business Software Pty Ltd – Founder and CEO

What do you do every day? Team role – leader and innovator. I run a business that develops simple scalable software solutions that address gaps in the small business market. I enjoy the risk and challenge involved in taking an idea from concept to commercialisation – going from initial ideation and market research to product design, the development of a minimal viable product, market piloting to demonstrate early user traction and then raising venture capital to fund product commercialisation. In terms of my role in the team I am the ideas person, the team leader as well as the product evangelist. I love my job.

How did you get into the tech space? I started work as a bank teller and got involved in the bank’s IT division through my interest in helping test new IT systems that were being implemented in the bank at the time. I was moved to the regional IT division in KZN in the late eighties, there were no ladies in the division at the time. I worked in corporate IT for 15 years before starting my own software development business in 2004.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? If you don’t totally love what you’re doing stop doing it, immediately…then do everything you can to get started doing what you are passionate about. This one decision will change your whole life.

What advice would you given someone wanting to get into the tech sector? I encourage them to do it, it’s the future, the opportunities are endless. I tell them they have to be prepared to work hard, very hard. If they are starting a tech business I usually tell them to be prepared to make big sacrifices and take massive risks, the rewards down the road will far outweigh the sacrifices in the early years. Also that the key to success and growth is your team. If you focus on building your team, your team will build your business.

For people who ask me if I have any particular advice for women wanting to get in tech – I tell them to forget about gender and just do what they are gifted to do and passionate about, that is what will ensure their success. It’s not about gender, it’s about ability, timing, hard work and a bit of luck!

What motivates you to get out of bed every day? I totally LOVE what I do; I would do it even if I didn’t get paid. I wake up on a Saturday and Monday feeling equally excited about the day ahead.

Who do you want to be when you grow up? A mix of Melinda Gates, Hillary Clinton, Meryl Streep and Katy Perry… LOL. I think all these ladies are incredible in their own fields! Seriously, I want to be me but with loads more money; I would like to be able to make the kind of social and economic impact that someone like Melinda Gates is making. It’s a privilege to be able to change people’s lives.

LinkedIn: https://za.linkedin.com/in/darlenemenzies
Twitter: https://twitter.com/darlenemenzies / https://twitter.com/thedevhouse

Anna Puzone

Anna Puzone, Zetta Business Solutions

Anna Puzone, Zetta Business Solutions

Name: Anna Puzone

Designation: Head of Enterprise Performance Management

Company: Zetta Business Solutions

What do you do every day? Being part of a new company my function spans all areas. I’m responsible for new business development in BI, CPM and MDM, which has me make calls, meet a lot of people and talk to them about the value of information management.

I’m also responsible for existing accounts management, project and in client delivery management, solutions design etc etc. No day is the same, and it’s never boring!

How did you get into the tech space? It was a natural choice for me, I started in finance and was soon more fascinated by automating the processes using tools than actually balancing the ledgers. I moved to a technology enablement role and never looked back.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? Count to 10 before you answer anyone, anything. If it scares you, try it, it will make you grow in ways you never thought possible.

What advice would you given someone wanting to get into the tech sector? Don’t get discouraged, and persevere – it’s not that scary.

What motivates you to get out of bed every day? My family, they make me see the world though a better lens.

Where do you want to be when you grow up? Enjoying the sunshine on an exotic island.

Find me on:
Twitter: @AnnaPuz1
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=7609876&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile

Joana Picq

Joana Picq, Jampp

Joana Picq, Jampp

Name: Joana Picq

Designation: Head of International and Biz Dev, entrepreneur

Company: Jampp

What do you do every day? I try and keep my mornings free to catch up on email and exercise, then have all my calls and meetings in the afternoon. In the best of times, when there are no fires to put out or flights to catch, I’ll have to fit quit a bit in a day: 5 to 8 calls or meetings, email and follow-up with over 40 clients, and synch with our internal virtual teams in LATAM, US and Europe, so I really need high levels of energy. Exercise is a religion to me, and an absolute priority: I take 5 minute for deep breaths (breathing in my tummy) and 45min to an hour for exercise 6 times a week. My travel schedule tends to be a bit manic – I’m only home 3 weeks every 2 months, so I end up running and doing push-ups/squats while I’m on the go, and make sure I find time for surfing, kiting, and mountain biking when I’m back home in Cape Town.

How did you get into the tech space? I was always a maths lover, and ended up studying civil engineering. I always dreamt of an international career so I joined IBM for as an intern at age 22. I gave L’Oréal a quick try in 2004, which made me realise I had no passion for shampoo and should be in tech.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? Pick your battles.

What advice would you given someone wanting to get into the tech sector?
I’d give them 2 pieces of advice:
1 – Be flexible – technology is the fastest growing and fastest and most ever changing space to be in. Be ready to pivot, change your mind and be adaptable to the change that will constantly be going on around you.
2 – Learn the basics of coding, even if you want to be in sales or marketing. There are various online platforms you can try for free – get your hands dirty and make sure you understand how technology gets built.

What motivates you to get out of bed everyday? My appetite – I wake up craving berries and yoghurt…

Who do you want to be when you grow up? My true self, not trying in any way to be someone I am not.

Find me on:
Twitter: @jopicq
LinkedIn: http://za.linkedin.com/in/joanapicq