Malvina received an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a BA from Princeton University in Public and International Affairs with a diploma in Latin American Studies. She loves foreign languages, and is fluent in English, Hebrew, Russian, Spanish and Portuguese, with good knowledge of Arabic, Japanese and French. She is a member of the Global Leadership Council for Seeds of Peace, the Advisory Board of the Eastern Mediterranean International School (EMIS) and the Israeli National Selection Committee for the United World Colleges.
Luke Mckend is currently the Country Director for Google South Africa. After growing up in SA, he went to University at Stellenbosch. He left South Africa for the UK in 1998, where he worked for TMP Worldwide/Monster in their new digital dept. He joined HR software start up I-Grasp in 2003 as Commercial Director. I-Grasp was recognised as one of the top 50 fastest growing tech companies in the UK in 2005 and subsequently acquired by Stepstone. After travelling extensively in Europe and the US supporting I-Grasp’s integration, in 2007 he joined Google in the UK as an Industry Head responsible for growing Google’s clients in the Classifieds sector. He returned to SA as Country Manager in January 2011.
He is married and has a daughter. He enjoys cycling and has been an avid Mountain Biker since 1990, although has spent more time on the road recently.
Nikki graduated from UCT with a business degree in Information Systems and a post graduate in Marketing. After starting her career as IT Manager at Acceleration she soon realized her passion for online marketing and thereafter moved into the position of Campaign Manager. In 2003 Nikki joined 365 Digital as Business Development Manager, progressing through the ranks to become CEO. As CEO she successfully introduced additional business areas including that of web development, ad operations and content syndication. After building 365 Digital into a profitable business, Nikki oversaw a successful Management Buyout of the business and subsequent sale to Primedia.
Nikki was appointed as CEO of Primedia Online (iafrica.com and 365 Digital) a year later in September 2007 and in 2010 I added to her role through the appointment as CEO of Prezence Digital.
In July 2011 Nikki moved to retail giant Woolworths as Group Head of Online, with the task of leading a omni-channel retail strategy.
Nikki has been a member of the DMMA (Digital Media and Marketing Association) for the past ten years, and has sat on the DMMA EXCO for the past seven of these, initially in the capacity as Head of Marketing and then in the combined capacity as Deputy Chair and Head of Marketing. In 2010 Nikki was appointed as Chair of the Bookmarks Awards and in 2011 – 2013 Chairwoman of both the DMMA and the Bookmarks awards.
Paul Galatis is a director at Yuppiechef.com where he obsesses about customer experience. He believes deeply that design, user experience and customer service are deeply intertwined and that, together with some good old hard work and good manners, they can change the world.
Renowned for their customer service, Yuppiechef have won Best E-Commere Site in South Africa in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 at the South African E-Commerce Awards and numerous Bookmark Awards as well as a Gold Loerie which they won for their hi-jacking of the Woolworths Lovebirds Campaign 2010.
Paul is a UCT graduate where he studied a Bachelor of Business Science Degree. In his past he has: project managed the launch of 20-Over cricket in South Africa; won a South African Music Award for best album design; his passion for South Africa and its future saw him selected for the DA’s Young Leaders’ Programme in 2010 – a year long political education programme; and in 2011 Mail & Guardian listed him as one the Top 200 Young South Africans to take to lunch.
Before joining Yuppiechef in 2008 he spent his time between South Africa and the UK working as an independent design and brand consultant. He is passionate about e-commerce, intelligent design and the humanisation of business – particularly in the online space.
Warrick leads partnerships for Facebook’s products and advertising solutions across the Sub-Saharan Africa region. Bringing a focus on ecommerce, retail and travel, Warrick has specialized in emerging markets over his 10-year career working in ecommerce and marketing.
In 2010 Warrick cofounded Cobone.com in Dubai, the Middle East’s largest local discount ecommerce and travel website. As CMO Warrick lead marketing, PR, platform, CRM and brand strategy, making Cobone.com one of the fastest-growing ecommerce ventures in MENA.
Colin Fleming is a retailer at Massmart, currently serving as group ecommerce executive. Colin is responsible for leading group thinking in omni-channel retail strategy and direction, and identifying and closing the competency gaps required to excel in an omni-channel retail paradigm. Colin has been able to draw on the collective experience of Walmart’s global ecommerce teams in North and South America, Europe and Asia. Prior to his current role, Colin held executive roles at Game Stores in Merchandise, Business Development and IT.
Prior to joining Massmart, Colin spent 10 years as sales director at a digital agency – epages.net – which he co-founded in 1993.
Colin holds a postgraduate degree in Economics from UND.
Brennan Loh is Head of Business Development at Shopify.
In his role, Brennan manages Shopify’s strategic channel partners as well as the company’s network of global resellers. While studying at the University of Ottawa, Brennan co-founded Avitu, an online advertising platform with two software engineering classmates. In late 2010, Brennan and his co-founders left Avitu and joined Shopify full time.
Brennan has a Bachelor’s of Commerce from the University of Ottawa and has remained active in the local entrepreneurial community, speaking to and mentoring student entrepreneurs across Canada.
She is a Privacy & Data Protection Legal Specialist and has 3 years’ experience. She currently heads up the Privacy and Technology Service Offering at Deloitte.
She has been a guest lecturer at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa within the Postgraduate Diploma of Cyber Law since 2007. She is a member of ICTLA (Information Communication Law Association of South Africa) and is the author of various articles published in South African periodicals including the following article in De Rebus: Information Security – A time for change.
Justin Drennan is the CEO and co-founder of WantItAll.co.za.
Justin is originally a programmer who moved away from IT into merchant banking. Being involved in the internet from the days of Archie/Gopher, and running a BBS, his true passion is IT and business. He has worked at BoE Merchant Bank, TransUnion ITC, RMB bank, as well as in the online casino industry.
He has consulted with a variety of the largest e-commerce players in SA, most notably wantitall.co.za as well as Makro.co.za. He is widely regarded as one of the most knowledgeable individuals in e-commerce. Running one of the most profitable online retailers in SA.
Justin has been selected as one of the 200 young South Africans to take to lunch by the Mail&Guardian in 2009, has won the EO Entrepreneur of the year award in 2010, is a mentor at the Brandson School of entrepreneurship, and is involved in a variety of social responsibility initiatives.
Justin enjoys pina coladas. And getting caught in the rain.
Nicholas Haralambous is the founder of the online fashion company, NicSocks.com.
Nic was the CEO and co-founder of Motribe, the mobile community platform, before the company was successfully acquired by Africa’s largest social network, Mxit in October, 2012. He also founded ForeFront Africa consulting firm before exiting to Imperial Holdings.
He was selected as one of the 200 young South Africans to take to lunch by the Mail&Guardian, he featured on GQ’s list of top 30 men in media and was also a finalist in the Men’s Health Best Men Awards. The company he co-founded, Motribe, was named by Forbes as one of the top 20 startups in Africa.
Nic’s new media experience includes working as the head of the mobile division at Mail & Guardian and Product Manager of Vodacom SA’s mobile social networking division.
Kim founded takealot.com through the purchase of take2.co.za in October 2010 together with Tiger Global Management.
Kim has served as Financial Manager of The Gary Player Group and Financial Director at Sony Music before starting a decade long relationship with the Naspers owned MIH Group.Kim started with Naspers as CFO of Multichoice in January 2000. By 2003 Kim was Chief Executive Officer of MWEB and moved on to expand MIH’s Mobile Television aspirations on an international scale. Kim ended his period at Naspers as head of MIH Internet Africa.
Kim is a Chartered Accountant having completed his articles at KPMG.
Daniel Guasco, serial entrepreneur and CEO of Groupon South Africa – a multibillion-dollar global operation, in 48 countries with over 2000 deals advertised internationally every day. An eternal optimist driven to make dreams a reality, Daniel has built Groupon up to become one of the leading South African based e-commerce companies. Daniel has always been an entrepreneur at heart, starting his first business at the age of 12. Daniel went into corporate for several years, working both locally and internationally in the UK and Eastern Europe. After completing his MBA in 2008, he went on to start various businesses including Twangoo which is now known as Groupon South Africa.
A fiery tweeter and digital native, Michelle Atagana has been hanging around the internet since she was eleven, back in the days of Netscape. Later on, her interest lead to her graduating with a Masters Degree in New Media and Journalism, and her position as Managing Editor at Burn Media. She was named one of Mail & Guardian’s top young South Africans in 2012, writes a column about technology in Africa for CNN, judges occasional startup competitions and spends her free time working on the final draft of her PHD. But Michelle says she’s just a girl, standing in front of a startup, asking them what their business plan is.
Gary Hadfield joined the team at Loot.co.za as CEO in January 2011. Hadfield has been in the one-to-one industry for the duration of his career, nine years of which he spent in the mail order industry, and 13 years in the e-Commerce environment.
His extensive exposure to both the local and global industry has formed the basis of a well-rounded and rich career to date, which has involved working with a number of global players to build and launch various ventures in Africa
Hadfield is a sought-after key note speaker at local and international conferences alike. He also regularly contributes to research papers in South Africa.
He brings his considerable experience in e-Commerce to Loot.co.za and continues to transform the online retailer, positioning it at the forefront of the industry.
Hilton Eachus joined DPD Laser in 2013. Prior to this, he spent eight years in the UK with retailers at the forefront of eCommerce development, initially with www.JohnLewis.com, and then as head of logistics & distribution for the global fashion site www.asos.com. During this time, Hilton developed an intimate knowledge of shipper and recipient requirements in both domestic & international eCommerce logistics.
Hilton is now building South Africa’s foremost eCommerce logistics offering, eSolutions by DPD Laser. By constantly evolving the offering of DPD Laser’s operating brands, Dawn Wing & Time Freight, the intention is to be at the forefront of eCommerce developments. The ultimate aim is simple, to meet the needs of shippers and perfect the art of delivery convenience for the end consumer.
Louna Lohann is the General Manager of Spree.co.za, South Africa’s leading online fashion retailer.
After completing her schooling at Girls High in Paarl, she completed her Honours Degree in Political Science and started her 8 year career in politics and government. As the private secretary to the then deputy minister of Finance, she shaped her ability to converse with people across a wide spectrum. She joined the department of Home Affairs and her position as Administrative Manager flamed her belief in effective and efficient management. She obtained her MBA through the University of Stellenbosch and joined one of South Africa’s biggest textiles companies, Colibri Toweling in 2000. Through sheer drive and determination she managed to excel as human resources manager, national sales and marketing manager, strategic manager, planning manager and served on the executive board during her ten years of service.
Her intense passion for retail and business led her to the position of buying manager at Ackerman’s before joining the Media24 Group almost three years ago to start the first e-commerce venture for Media24 – SARIE.com. Its success lead to the birth of Spree.co.za, South Africa’s first online shop to offer a “shoppable magazine” experience.
As general manager of Spree.co.za, Louna leads and manage this business to delight the customer by ensuring an on-trend and balanced merchandise assortment is presented to the customer in a content-rich and visually inspiring way. Through continuous innovation, Louna ensures that Spree is on the forefront of technology, always striving for operational excellence and taking an exciting brand promise to the customer.
Andy Higgins is the Managing Director of uAfrica.com. Andy founded bidorbuy.co.za, Africa’s largest online marketplace, and prior to his role at uAfrica.com was the company’s Managing Director. He serves on a number of boards including bidorbuy.co.za and payfast.co.za, a company specialising in online payments for South Africa.
Andy has over 14 years experience in the Internet industry having been involved in Internet start-ups on 5 continents. He has a BSc in Electronic Engineering from the University of Natal and an MBA from Wits Business School.
Andy has a passion for all things Internet but in particular for eCommerce. When not in front of a computer, he can often be found playing squash, training for a triathlon, kite surfing or wishing he was on a beach some where kite surfing.