In February this year, Habari Media officially celebrates a decade of business success; ten years in which the company has grown from a one-man band operating out of a bedroom in Cape Town, to the foremost digital sales house in Africa, providing access to the continent's largest portfolio of leading web properties and mobile advertising platforms.
The company officially came into being in 2004, the brainchild of Adrian Hewlett who believed fervently in the potential of the digital world, despite the prevailing cynicism about what was skeptically dubbed "New Media". At the time, Facebook was not even a month into operation, LinkedIn had been open for just a year, Wikipedia had only been around for three years, and even Google only had six years under its belt.
"It seems like a lifetime away," says Hewlett. And indeed it is.
Today, Habari Media counts LinkedIn, bbc.com and All4Women among its digital partners, alongside prominent brands such as Auto Trader, MTV, Justmoney, 2go and The Hub (among others). Habari Media also enjoyed the privilege of representing Facebook in South Africa since 2008, firmly establishing social in the market and helping to grow the brands prominence.
In ten years of operation, from a time when digital sales were too small a percentage of the pie to even warrant measurement, Habari Media has become one of the biggest players in a sector that's just crossed the R2 billion mark in advertising spend online. Under the able leadership of Wayne Bischoff, who was appointed MD in 2011, the company has grown from strength to strength, in some years counting percentage growth rates over 100%!
Over the years, it has also developed a reputation for innovative leadership, which it puts into action every year at the annual Habari Media Tuongee where the best digital minds in the media get together to discuss challenges and opportunities in the industry at large. And ever in search of ways to improve the service it offers clients, the company has also recently launched Storyteller, a data insights tool that facilitates client understanding of their target audiences.
Says Bischoff: "The past two-and-a-half years have seen the business mature and grow beyond my expectations, cementing our reputation for growing partner brands as well as positioning Habari as a thought leader with a brilliant team." His comment is borne out by the number of awards, both international and local, that have been bestowed upon the company over the past couple of years, including Bookmarks Best Media Sales Team (2010), MOST Award Best Digital Sales Team (2012), BBC Representative Award (2013) and LinkedIn Champion (2013).
Looking forward, the company's prospects appear just as good. Says Hewlett: "As Habari Media celebrates this milestone, it is only fitting that we not only look back into the past to see how far we have come, but also forward into the future, to see how much further we can go. The recent acquisition by publishing and printing giant, Caxton Media, heralds an exciting new era, bringing with it powerful new synergies and business opportunities."
According to Bischoff this deal brings with it huge scalability for Habari Media, as well as opportunities to exploit interactions across a diverse range of companies and media assets in the group. From an operational point-of-view the powerhouse that is Caxton will further enhance and underpin Habari's financial and back-end systems, while Habari will bring with it digital expertise in terms of creativity, up to the minute know-how and innovation.
With a new set of owners, but still under the same capable management team, the Habari Media team is perfectly poised to head into the next decade of business success.
Please click here to view Habari Media's 10-year celebratory timeline.
More on Habari Media
Established in 2004, Habari Media is a dynamic and award-winning multi-media sales company with a core focus in digital, offering advertisers exclusive access to a wide selection of premium brands throughout the continent. For the last 10 years Habari Media has provided their partner platforms with local presence and up-to the-minute market insights, whilst providing advertisers with superior service and support.
Habari Media has won the following prestigious awards: Bookmarks Best Media Sales Team - 2010 MOST AWARD Best Digital Sales Team - 2012 BBC Representative Award - 2013 LinkedIn Champion - 2013
For more information please contact Sue Glennie at Habari Media on or 011 286 0300.
Established in 2004, Habari Media is a dynamic and award-winning multi-media sales company with a core focus in digital, offering advertisers exclusive access to a wide selection of premium brands throughout the continent.
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