Abey Mokgwatsane | The Innovator 25 Asia Pacific 2018
Charting the future of public relations
Innovator 25 EMEA Abey Mokgwatsane

Abey Mokgwatsane

Managing executive of brand

Vodacom
Johannesburg

“Always start with the idea”

Before joining Vodacom last year to oversee the brand across South Africa, Lesotho, Mozambique, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Abey Mokgwatsane was CEO of Ogilvy & Mather South Africa for five years, where he drove the agency’s digital integration, including acquiring Gloo Digital. Known as a transformative leader, he is already helping to enhance Vodacom’s digital positioning. It’s not the first time Mokgwatsane has been in-house: he was also a brand manager at South African Breweries (SAB) and brand group manager for Miller Genuine Draft, widely credited with the successful launch of the brand into the South African market.

How do you define innovation?
Making the complex simple and the simple exciting.

What is the most innovative comms/marketing initiative you've seen in the last 12 months?
The Old Spice 48-Hour Challenge.

What brands and/or agencies are most innovative around PR and marketing?
Nike, Apple, Trump

Describe a moment in your career that you would consider 'innovative.'
The launch of Miller Genuine Draft in South Africa.

Who do you admire for his/her approach to innovation? 
Adam Morgan, founder of marketing consultancy Eat Big Fish and author of "Eating The Big Fish".

How do you get out of a creativity rut?
I read every chance I get.

What advice would you give to the PR industry around embracing innovation?
Always start with the idea.

What would you be doing if you weren't doing your current job?
Playing deep house around the world.