Advertising Interview South Africa

#BehindtheSelfie: Grant Pleming, managing director of The Racket Club

This week we catch up with Grant Pleming who is the managing director of creative agency The Racket Club. The agency recently started dipping its toes into the UK market.
Grant Pleming is the managing director of The Racket Club.
Grant Pleming is the managing director of The Racket Club.

What do you do on a daily basis?

My days are so varied, one day I am stuck in countless meetings and presentations with current and prospective clients, the next I find myself chirping in on creative and working with the team on conceptual work. One thing I can guarantee is a debate over our office playlist as we all have such varied music taste (lol). The rest of my time is generally spent running the business, seeking opportunities, meeting with prospects and talent and of course our recent(ish) launch into the UK market.

I Just got back into fitness and exercise at the start of this year, which has drastically improved my mental health and well being. So before I get home, I can usually be found exercising or at the gym, which is usually my time to reflect and problem solve anything coming up that needs attention without any outside distractions.

Describe yourself in one word.


What inspires you lately?

So many things- I am obsessed with technology and innovation, and how fast its moving. We are living in an inspiring age when it comes to this, and I am constantly learning new ways to streamline my life, the business and our clients lives through the use of new technology and innovation.

Music is something else that inspires me, from the creative process, which involves so much more than just music from concepts to art, the campaigns and right through to events and productions. I am lucky to still have music as a focus in my life through consulting and performing to running record labels and festivals. It’s a slight addiction. 

How do you deal with conflict in the workplace?

I don’t think conflict can ever be avoided in our creative space- especially with so many different personalities. I think the most important point is to always maintain respect between those involved- Identifying the problem and/or root of the conflict would come first.

We are all entitled to our views and different stances, it’s best to listen to both sides and do what’s best for the situation/project/client. The end goal must always be in sight. When its solved, we move on- I don’t believe in harvesting grudges or animosity. With conflict comes growth, learning and increased awareness around certain aspects, and I don’t think we would be where we are today without us constantly challenging each other.

What did you want to be when you were a child?

I am an animal lover, and wanted to be a vet. I very quickly learnt that I wouldn’t be able to put an animal down or deal with mistreated or hurt animals, and decided that wasn’t for me. So I chose advertising, jokes- I am not sure how I actually ended up here.

What would you have done differently in your career?

I spent my 20’s travelling and following a passion project that in hind sight set my career back a few years- I would never take that time back, but if I could go back in time, I would have balanced that out more and given more time to investing in my future and in The Racket Club. 

Any advice for young people who are starting out?

Don’t be scared to take risks and make mistakes. More often than not it's these mistakes and risks that eventually lead to success or at least set you on the path for success. Try get involved in as much as possible- The advertising space has so many avenues to explore, and often where you start out, is completely different to where you end up or enjoy doing.

About Karabo Ledwaba

Karabo Ledwaba is a Marketing and Media Editor at Bizcommunity and award-winning journalist. Before joining the publication she worked at Sowetan as a content producer and reporter. She was also responsible for the leadership page at SMag, Sowetan's lifestyle magazine. Contact her at
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