Meet Prejlin Naidoo, the new leader of the pack
Written by Ashanté Dlamini-Mthembu
Having built his career in digital business strategy working primarily with mobile operators and broadcasters, Prejlin Naidoo spent the first 10 years working with Mobile Operators on digital products design (although it wasn’t called “digital” back then). He worked with a talented team to launch Vodafone Live in South Africa – one of the first and most popular digital experiences on a mobile. It was also where he first encountered the production industry as part of the team negotiating with record labels and film studios.
Prejlin Naidoo’s last 10 years have been spent consulting on brand, strategy and digital. He has advised and worked with executives at South Africa’s largest and most successful organisations helping them to transform their businesses to succeed in an increasingly digital world. Much of this time was spent working with a pan-African broadcaster, giving him a front row seat to the changes that digital technologies are bringing to the industry.
Naidoo has a fundamental belief in the greatness of the human spirit – human creativity and ingenuity is the basis for everything we have achieved as a species. ‘I believe that business results are delivered by people – ensuring they feel safe to be their best is the job of every leader. I believe the lifeblood of any business is creativity and innovation – creating a culture that enables this is critical,’ says Naidoo.
When he’s not working, Prejlin enjoys time out with his wife, Vanesha, and their four dogs. Travel is their shared passion, often to a tropical island where they continue exploring their love of scuba diving.
We asked Prejlin Naidoo three questions about taking on his new role as Group Managing Executive at Okuhle Media. here’s what he had to say;
Coming from a consultancy, what enticed you to make a leap into the production industry?
I’ve been at my happiest when working in a creative environment. This was true of my time at a Brand Design Agency and during my work at Accenture. Working with talented, creative people is important to me. Moving into the production industry in general and Okuhle Media in particular gives me the opportunity to work with talented, creative people.
Working with a successful African broadcaster over the last 5 years has given me a front row view into the changes that digital technology is bringing to the industry. Consumers viewing habits are changing, creating countless opportunities for production companies across the continent.
Finally, television has had a deep influence on my life. My generation grew up with television the way Millennials have grown up with the internet. I’ve always harboured a secret desire to part of the industry and I am grateful for the opportunity to do that with the Okuhle team.
As a transformation expert, what are some of the strategies you find imperative to implement to growing businesses such as Okuhle Media?
During my work with some of SA’s largest and most successful companies I’ve come to learn that the keys to transformation are simple (but not easy).
Stay close to your customers, take the time to truly understand what they want and need and then build a product that gives it to them.
Listen to your people – they usually have the answers, creating a safe space for them to share their ideas and unleash their creativity is the primary job of leaders.
Start with purpose – knowing why we are doing what we do is the key to ensuring we do great work. Creating a shared purpose is a first step to a great culture.
Focus on excellent execution – doing things right is as important as doing the right things. Whether this is the way production finances are managed to the creative excellence of the production, a focus on craft is important.
Build an environment that helps people to learn from mistakes and celebrate successes together.
What can the Okuhle Media Group expect from you in the months to come?
I’m going to the use the next months to intensely learn everything I can about our business. I will be setting up one-on -ones, working team, and cross-functional group sessions with our people, our customers and our partners so I can hear from them first hand. I want to know what we’re doing well and what we could be improving.
We already have a successful and thriving business at Okuhle so I don’t foresee any drastic changes in the short term. I want to spend sufficient time with our leadership team and the people of Okuhle to define the next stage of our journey together. One that we can all get behind and be proud of.
I am honoured and privileged to lead and serve the team at Okuhle. I am sure that if we leverage all of the amazing talent we have, and work together, we can build the most creative, inspiring and successful production company on the continent.”
For enquiries, contact:
Prejlin Naidoo, Group Managing Executive
M: 021 486 2900
For more information contact;
Paula Brown, Director & Co-founder at Okuhle Media
T: 021 486 2900