Abey Mokgwatsane is CEO of Ogilvy & Mather South Africa (www.ogilvy.co.za; @OgilvySA). Apart from being one of South Africa's Mail & Guardian top 200 young leaders in 2011, he was voted one of the country's top 25 "game-changers" in The Annual 2012. Mokgwatsane also founding of Young Business for South Africa, Think Tank Initiative and Experiential Industry Association of South Africa. Tel +27 (0)11 709 6600, email and follow @Abeyphonogenic on Twitter.
John Buchan once said, "The task of leadership is not to put greatness into people, but to elicit it, for the greatness is there already." These are words to which Abey Mokgwatsane, CEO of Ogilvy & Mather South Africa, subscribes.
A graduate of the AAA School of Advertising, Mokgwatsane set off to change and influence the marketing world.
Abey began his journey as a marketing trainee at the VWV Group (www.vwv.com), the global brand experience agency which specialises in creating experiences that change perceptions and inspire action. Founded in 1981, VWV is a hub of specialist business units focusing on video and film production, event management, Internet and multimedia applications, and corporate and direct theatre.
He went on to join South African Breweries (SAB) as brand manager for the epic Castle Loud Programme, a young adult trans-media property for Castle Lager that went on to win the 2002 super budget Raptor Award for sponsorship excellence.
It wasn't long until he was appointed senior brand manager of Miller Genuine Draft and tasked with launching the brand into the South African market in June 2003. He also received three Managing Directors Award for marketing excellence at SAB.
Fast-forward five years later to 2005: Abey found himself back where he started, but this time as a majority stakeholder (46%) in the VWV Group business with partners Wanda Shuenyane and Jameson Hlongwane. Abey served as group marketing and sales director until December 2005, when he was appointed group CEO.
With Abey at the helm, VWV's bottom-line performance increased 10-fold in five years and also successfully executed the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The group is best known for its creative track record both here and abroad. It is also the most-awarded experiential agency in Loeries' history.