The sales team at DotModus has undergone some major changes recently. We welcomed Emil and Mike and today, we’re introducing Suzaan Rossouw who is joining us as an Enterprise Account Manager. Like many of us at DotModus, Suzaan’s career path has been very unconventional.
After completing her LLM, she started her career providing legal advice to multinational companies in the environmental and mining industry. However, she realised this wasn’t the exact path for her. Suzaan embarked on a journey of self-development which included obtaining a post-graduate diploma in business administration from the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS).
Her passion for making the world a better place led her to volunteer for Brightest Young Minds (BYM), a non-profit company. She was elected as BYM’s first-ever Board Secretary and served two consecutive terms. Impressively, her impact within the gender disparity space was recognised by McKinsey & Co when she was shortlisted (Top 40) for the Next Generation Women Leaders Award in 2018. She was also a part of the McKinsey & Co Young Leaders’ cohort in 2016.
When she’s not changing the world for the better, Suzaan likes to work on her fitness and enjoys running. She also likes to experiment in the kitchen baking up a storm! She also enjoys good white wine and champagne and travelling across Asia. As always, I decided to ask Suzaan some questions to get to know her.
“Our growth strategy at DotModus is to double the revenue within the next 3 years. We have already achieved this twice over the years. We can only afford to have the best players on the team to achieve this. The recruitment process was rigorous, methodical and data-driven using custom software and specialist skills. Well done, Suzaan and welcome to my team!”
Matt Chittenden - Sales Director
Angelique: Welcome to the team, Suzaan! First question: what was your very first job and what did you learn from it that has stuck with you?
Suzaan: My first jobs were all connected to Varsity. I was involved pretty much everywhere; name a committee I was on it! Some highlights; I was a newsreader at our campus radio, editor of our faculty law journal and a student facilitator, tutor and exam marker. Looking back now, this is a reflection of how I’ve built my CV today; a jack of all trades!
I’ve learned that I love getting involved in a mixed bag of things, I’m also always game to learn! So if you have something exciting in the pipeline, I’ll most likely put my hand up to learn more!
A: Never a dull moment, it seems! What are some things you've done outside of work that you are proud of?
S: In 2014, I was selected as one of South Africa’s 100 Brightest Young Minds. The Brightest Young Minds (BYM) is a 20-year old, youth-run non-profit company that identifies and creates opportunities for talented young people in Africa with an interest in social improvements. BYM aims to connect Africa's youngest and brightest entrepreneurs and to create a space where they can meet like-minded individuals.
BYM has been one of my proudest passion projects for the last seven years. After being part of the 2014 cohort, I served on the selection committee to select the new 100 BYMs and the leadership task force in 2016 and 2017. In October 2016, I was elected to serve on the Board of Directors, where I was part of the executive team for 3 years.
As an executive member of the Board of Directors, I was responsible for administration and driving decision-making through accountable leadership. This detail-oriented approach led to my election as BYMs first Board Secretary and I served for two consecutive terms.
A: That’s really cool and very impressive. You said you enjoy reading. Do you have any recommendations for me?
S: I love reading fiction by James Patterson, John Grisham or Lee Child. I’m currently finishing Murder Games from James Patterson. Non-fiction; I’m a huge Malcolm Gladwell fan and I finished his book Outliers in two days!
A: James Patterson is an all-time favourite of mine, too! Since DotModus is in the business of technology, what upcoming technological innovation will dramatically impact the industry in the next five years, in your opinion?
S: I’m going to answer this from the perspective of walking into this industry literally knowing nothing…
In my opinion – I think something that will disrupt or perhaps rather, impact the tech, design and development industry is how we will manage development/design to ensure our own personal biases are not impacting the design of our work. How will we ensure that design is a reflection of a world that is all-inclusive and representative of many and not a select few who happen to get access to more opportunities?
A: Lady after my own heart! Last question - how do you define success?
S: Sho…this is a deep and difficult question, hey, you have officially initiated the philosopher in me!
I think success is hugely personal and will look different to each individual based on our intrinsic value system. You could say that success would match the rhythm of your soul – and thus by its nature, you yourself will determine whether you’ve been successful.
In a sense, the term success, to me, is quite abstract and therefore quite difficult to describe. Sometimes I think success is also more like a feeling than a particular metric like you would know if you’ve accomplished something and when you have not.
However, if I had to describe what that feeling means to me personally – my definition of success would be related to leaving a legacy or at the very minimum having an impact. My metric of measuring whether I’ve been successful in life or any task I’ve taken on is whether I have created an impact. Have I left a legacy I can be proud of, have my contributions had a lasting impact, would I be missed? I would often use this definition as a yardstick on the opportunity to ask myself if I have truly achieved all I can and am I ready to move on.
We’re very excited to welcome Suzaan to the team and are looking forward to working with her.