This week, we go behind the selfie with Gaynor MacArthur, co-founder and now managing director of Digicape.
MacArthur says you will be hard-pressed to find her in a selfie alone, as somebody is always photo bombing…
1. Where do you live, work and play?
I live in Pinelands, Cape Town and the Digicape head office is also in Pinelands – how lucky am I! But I also regularly work out of my Cape Town or Stellenbosch stores, and visit my Johannesburg office regularly.
Where do I play? That’s a tough question, as I’m blessed to live in Cape Town, but if I’m being totally honest, I’d have to say my home. I’m a regular homebody.
2. What’s your claim to fame?
Professionally, I’d say delivering great customer experiences.
Personally, it’s my butter chicken or pavlova that wins over my family and friends.
3. Describe your career so far.
A rollercoaster of change. Working in tech is an ever-changing, ever-evolving environment.
I began my career journey at print solutions specialist Hirt & Carter.
I started at the proverbial bottom, in an entry-level position and studied computer graphics after hours to expand my knowledge in the field.
I was also lucky enough to receive on-the-job coaching and mentorship, eventually working my way up to the role of training manager of Hirt & Carter’s in-house training school, where I was responsible for compiling the course material and overseeing a large team of trainers.
I still laugh about the fact that I’m now in sales – it’s serendipity in a sense, as I was exposed to the all-important sales function during my time in training, and fell in love with the fast-paced nature of this new challenge. I swiftly worked my way through the ranks to sales manager, eventually becoming sales director of Hirt & Carter Graphic.
Several years later, the business started a technical division called ‘Hirt & Carter Graphic’, which specialised in Apple technology and software, and I realised this was the opportunity I’d been waiting for. I started my own venture together with a couple of former colleagues, and Digicape was eventually born.
Today, I head one of only two Apple Premium resellers in South Africa. As a founding member and sales director of Digicape, I’m responsible for implementing an effective sales strategy and meeting the company’s sales targets.
My team works closely with the procurement and marketing departments, ensuring customer needs are met and that the highest service standards are maintained.
I’m also involved in the training and coaching of staff, acting as mentor to members of the sales team as my priority is to continue to upskill staff so they can better service customers, and create solutions that drive transformation in business.
Finally, in 2018 I was appointed as the new managing director at Digicape, succeeding co-founder and former MD, Robin Olivier.
4. Tell us a few of your favourite things.
Too many to mention, but I love candlelit bubble baths… can’t remember when last I had one of these, though.
Cookbooks, wine and bubbles, shoes, rainy days, summer days, my new iPhone 11 and Airpods.
5. What do you love about your industry?
Being able to learn and grow.
There’s always something new to learn, every single day.
6. Describe your average workday, if such a thing exists.
With the ease of remote working, there’s no such thing as an average work day. I take leave to catch up with email – pathetic, I know!
7. What are the tools of your trade?
I can’t do without my iPhone and Airpods, my Macbook Pro and my iPad.
8. Who is getting it right in your industry?
Of course, it’s Digicape! I work with some of the industry’s most talented people. What’s not to love?
9. List a few pain points the industry can improve on.
In my industry, it would be improved margins, control over grey products and suppliers, ROE and staff retention.
10. What are you working on right now?
The company’s mid- and long-term strategy, and investing in leadership development. It’s all about changing it up!
11. Tell us some of the buzzwords floating around in your industry at the moment, and some of the catchphrases you utter yourself.
MDM, DEP, zero-touch deployment, monetising services, it’s about the ecosystem. All things Mac and so much more.
12. Where and when do you have your best ideas?
When I’m lying awake at night, instead of sleeping.
13. What’s your secret talent/party trick?
The running man dance – I look hilarious, but I can’t stop myself.
14. Are you a technophobe or a technophile?
Technophile, of course. Who wouldn’t be, when you work with the world’s number one brand? Everything is sexy, you just have to have it. I get to play with the coolest gadgets, which feeds the nerd in me and makes me look cool.
15. What would we find if we scrolled through your phone?
Loads of apps, music and photos of my family, especially of my kids and dog.
16. What advice would you give to newbies hoping to crack into the industry?
You have to have a curious mind. It’s a never-ending, changing landscape so you have to embrace change and you have to have a love for technology.
Simple as that. Follow Digicape on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates.
*Interviewed by Leigh Andrews.