Meet the Boss: Brandon Bekker, MD for Africa and Middle East, Mimecast

Brandon Bekker

1. What part of your job keeps you awake at night?

The responsibility I feel for the team. As the MD I am ultimately responsible for the development, well-being and success of everyone within the organisation. So, every decision I ever make could somehow impact each individual in the company.

2. Name three traits required to survive in this role.

Positive energy, open-mindedness and readiness for change, and passion and perseverance.

3. What is the biggest misconception about your job?

Mimecast has offices all over the world. I look after the Middle East and Africa regions. So I spend large chunks of my life on a plane, travelling to Cape Town, Dubai, London or Boston every other month. Many people think this is glamorous, but this kind of extensive travel isn’t always fun and easy. There are no specified working hours in my role. It’s definitely not an eight-to-five gig.

4. Who has had the greatest impact on your career? And why?

I can’t think of any one person who I can single out. I am perpetually being mentored by various people from all walks of life. I also learn a lot from reading interesting books and articles. I continue to learn every day.

5. What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?

“You are responsible for your own career path.”

6. The top reason for your professional success?

My discipline and perseverance and the ability to connect well with different people.

7. How do you relax?

I don’t relax as much as I would like to. But when I’m flying I use the time to relax and reflect. And when I have spare time I love to travel, read and run.

8. By what time in the morning do you like to be at your desk?

I am at work at 7 am.

9. Your favourite job interview question?

I find various questions intriguing, but one that I’ve always enjoyed is: “Tell us something about yourself that not many people know.”

10. The biggest perk of your job?

Very few things make me happier than receiving compliments from customers about their experience dealing with Mimecast and its people.

11. In addition to your own industry, name one untapped business opportunity in Africa.

I feel access to low-cost banking and investment platforms on your cell phone would greatly benefit people across the continent. The compound effect of saving from a young age should always be encouraged and so it’s important to make this easy and accessible. Mobile is the perfect way to offer this in Africa.

Mimecast is an international company specialising in cloud-based email management for Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Office 365, including: security, archiving, and continuity services to protect business mail.