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Director and the Chief Operating Officer (COO), IBM Southern Africa
Ziaad Suleman is a Director and the Chief Operating Officer (COO) for IBM Southern
Africa. He joined the company 11 years ago and has been integral to the growth and development of the IBM business in the region.
In his role as COO, Ziaad is responsible for the overall business operations of the company. His main focus areas include strategy, transformation, operations; special projects and investments.
He also serves on the IBM South Africa Board of Directors, EXCO, as well as important
governing councils such the Social & Ethics Committee and the Disciplinary Board.
Prior to his role as COO, Ziaad was the head lawyer for IBM in Sub-Saharan Africa — a
territory which is challenging, both in geography and complexity.
Ziaad represents South Africa as the SA Chair of 4IR on BRICS. He is a member of the ICT 4IR Public Private Growth Initiative (PPGI), is a Member of the FNB Islamic Advisory Council, and is part of the Business Advisory Group to the president, amongst other roles.
WeWork South Africa
Celebrity innovator and head of WeWork in South Africa, Stafford Masie, will be the keynote speaker of Fast Company’s inaugural Most Innovative Companies conference and awards ceremony taking place on 5 March 2020 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
Masie is no stranger to the South African innovation community. He spent 7 years in the US where he played a significant role in the global open source software arena and was responsible for international partnerships and corporate technology strategy for a number of international territories including Latin America, the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Europe.
He returned to South Africa in 2004 as the country manager for Novell and in 2007, developed and launched Google’s initial local presence in South Africa. Shortly thereafter, he was appointed as Google’s regional Africa director and together with his team, established the local office and launched the Google business ecosystem. He was also responsible for the launch of google.co.za, as well as localised versions of Google AdWords, YouTube, Google Maps Street View, and more.
After a successful career at Google, he launched his own company called Thumbzup before developing mobile payment app, Payment Pebble which allows merchants and ordinary people to make easy card payments online.
Now, he heads up WeWork South Africa with a wealth of experience in the tech and innovation space under his belt.
Managing Director, SqwidNet
As the Managing Director of SqwidNet, Phathizwe Malinga is responsible for building an IoT connectivity business in South Africa in partnership with International IoT giant SIGFOX.
In addition to his Managing Director role, he will continue overlooking the solutions division for SqwidNet, a fully owned subsidiary of Dark Fibre Africa. Malinga has made a natural transition into the role of leading SqwidNet because of the various leadership roles he has fulfilled over the years.
He is no stranger to the role of a strategist, as he consulted with both Max Healthcare and Life Healthcare Group in his previous position with the organisation. He has been involved in the information technology and telecommunication industry for over two decades, having held senior management level positions.
Before joining SqwidNet, Malinga was the Head of Application Strategy at Life Healthcare Group, where he was in charge of the IT Application strategy and Software Development for the group. Phathizwe completed his Executive MBA from the Graduate School of Business in Cape Town. He continues to guest lecture with the university and he sits on the board of Bizmod Consulting. Malinga is a Singularity University Faculty Candidate.
Known for her position as a thought leader on innovation and entrepreneurship, Jayshree Naidoo is the CEO of YIEDI, a founding member and ex-chairperson of the Southern African Innovation Network and a member of the National Advisory Council on Innovation for South Africa (NACI).
Naidoo was previously a recipient of Fast Company South Africa’s Most Creative People in Business 2018 for “Putting Entrepreneurs First” and has held several leadership roles at large South African corporates, including Standard Bank, Discovery, Absa, Internet Solutions and Da Vinci.
Currently, Naidoo delivers the IBM Techscale, PROPreneurX anf the YIEDI Business in a Box programme that helps grow, develop and provide access to market linkages for entrepreneurs. In 2019, Naidoo was identified as one of South Africa’s Inspiring 50 winners. Inspiring 50 is a global initiative supported by the governments of the Netherlands and South Africa that recognizes the top 50 women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
An innovation and emerging technology expert with years of experience growing and leading multi-disciplinary teams, Rory Moore aims to bring new ideas and technologies to life.
He is the lead for Africa and Asia Pacific of 10 Liquid Studios, the rapid application development teams of Accenture that works on projects in the experimental and emerging technologies space.
With his keen focus on conceptual development and proof of value through high-fidelity prototypes around artificial intelligence, virtual reality and blockchain, his role as adjunct faculty at top business schools across the country is no reach. Moore is also an inventor and patent holder of a collaborative innovation platform and has an MBA in innovation from the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business.
Reshaad Sha is the CEO of Liquid Telecom South Africa, a pan-African connectivity and digital service provider that offers services to telecom operators, governments and businesses across the African continent.
Before joining Liquid Telecom, Sha was the founder and CEO of SqwidNet, where he led the team entrusted to build an IoT connectivity business in South Africa in partnership with the world’s largest IoT operator, Sigfox.
Concurrently, Sha served as the chief strategy officer at DFA, where he led the company’s strategy to transform the business from infrastructure to telecommunications. In addition to holding various director-level positions in the telecommunications industry at LogicaCMG, Protek, Lifetree and Cisco, Sha has had the opportunity to work closely with many leading telecommunications operators in the United States, the Middle East, Africa, Russia, Turkey and South-East Asia.
Sha holds a national diploma in information technology from the Durban university of Technology and Technikon South Africa, an executive MBA from the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business and is a recent advanced management graduate of Harvard Business School.