#CareerFocus With Colett Naidu Managing Director At Wunderman Thompson SA

Colett Naidu
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1. Tell us a bit about yourself?

I was born in KZN. I have two beautiful kids, a seven-year-old and a two-year-old. I am a yoga and meditation enthusiast, more so since the start of the pandemic. And I have a career that I absolutely love.

2. What work do you do?

I am a Managing Director looking after integrated Client portfolios at Wunderman Thompson SA. Wunderman Thompson South Africa is born out of the country’s oldest digital, social media, technology, and advertising agencies.

Voted 2019 SA Agency Newsmaker of the Year, the company offers Level 1 BBBEE credentials and full-service through-the-line capabilities. We put the customer at the heart of integration, and everything we do is in pursuit of growth for our clients.

Strong strategic approaches, backed by data insights, drive service delivery across four centres of excellence: advertising, digital, technology, and consulting.

3. How long have you been in the industry?

About 14 years. I got into advertising fresh out of college back in 2007.

4. Has your work always been your passion? Tell us why?

It has. I was first exposed to this industry as a child, thanks to my late father. He moved us up to Joburg to take on an opportunity in the ad industry at Paton Tupper back in 1989. I would spend weekends at that agency watching him work with the most fascinating people. He then proceeded to open up his very own packaging and distribution business servicing FMCG Clients & below the line agencies. His unwavering passion and love for what he did, and his drive and commitment steered me in the direction I chose as a career path, and I have never looked back since.

5. Being a women in the industry – what does it take?

It takes a great deal of confidence, humility, courage, and ambition. The industry has definitely made strides in supporting gender equality, and more and more women are getting into senior leadership roles, but we still have a long way to go. The platform now exists, but we really have to put in the work to rise above the rest and earn a seat at the table.  

6. What has been the most difficult challenge of your career?

I am what many colleagues over the years have called “cheeky” or “bossy.” I think that my biggest challenge has been mastering the art of being assertive yet empathetic. We work in such a high pressured environment and emotions often run wild. Learning how to deal with different types of people and understanding the importance effective communication & collaboration plays in getting the results you need is critical.

7. What advice do you have for other women in your industry?

Speak up, trust your intuition and always be open to change and learning. You have to constantly evolve, upskill and break barriers in order to stay relevant and make an impact in an ever-changing environment.  

8. Plans for the future?

To keep doing what I love, growing and nurturing younger talented women, and challenging myself to reach greater heights, whatever that may be.

LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/colett-naidu-43294a125

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