‘Meet the Boss’ is a How we made it in Africa interview series, where we pose the same 10 questions to business leaders across the continent.
Louisa van Beek, CEO, Vodacom Business
1. What was your first job?
Electrical engineer at Globalstar
2. Who has had the biggest impact on your career and why?
Most probably Shameel Joosub, who was the MD of Vodacom South Africa. Purely because of his charisma, the way he does business, and his business acumen.
3. What parts of your job keep you awake at night?
Everything! I think mainly our strategy into Africa, not because I’m worried about it, purely because it is exciting.
4. What are the top reasons why you have been successful in business?
I’ve got an absolute passion for providing our ICT services into Africa.
5. What are the best things about South Africa?
We live in a first world country with a third world energy.
6. And the worst?
Crime is a big issue.
7. Your future career plans?
At the moment my focus is on taking Vodacom Business into Africa as aggressively and as passionately as I can.
8. How do you relax?
I play golf – very badly, but I play.
9. What is your message to Africa’s young aspiring business people and entrepreneurs?
Africa is alive with possibility. If you think a little bit, if you strategise properly, if you are innovative – there are more than enough opportunities.
10. How can Africa realise its full potential?
To really focus on infrastructure development.