Learning the business of business

February 2014 News

Hosea Malope, chief executive officer at Zonke Monitoring Systems, studied Information Technology (IT). “I come from an IT background and have worked as a systems operator, systems developer and IT manager before joining Zonke Monitoring Systems as the operations manager in 2001. I am a hard-working visionary who strives for growth and success at all times,” says Malope.

Hosea Malope, CEO at Zonke Monitoring Systems.
Hosea Malope, CEO at Zonke Monitoring Systems.

Malope’s first job came in client support. “My career started in 1982 with a company called Computer Basics in Bez Valley. My role at the time of starting was client support.”

Malope says he did not have his current position in mind when he started though. “My highest career aspiration at the time was to be an IT manager, which I reached in 1999 when I was appointed head of department, information technology at the CCMA.”

During his career, Malope had to make big decisions that would later change the direction of his career in a positive way. These came as a result of certain events in his career path.

“There have been significant events during my career. In 1990 I was a programmer with Tiger Management Services (today called Tiger Brands) working in what was then referred to as Group Information Systems. The team was responsible for developing software for the entire Tiger Oats Group. We then had a change in IT management.

“The new manager dissolved Group IS and sent us to the subsidiaries. I ended up at Festive Farms in Olifantsfontein and immediately looked for another job, which I got. My then IT manager talked me into staying and matched the offer of the new company. I there and then changed my attitude and decided to rather focus on learning the business.

“In no time I was spending time in the factory, visiting farms and started to add value to the business. This was a great learning curve for me as I suddenly realised that being an IT guru with no business knowledge meant absolutely zero. That is what put me on the road to my current position.”

As to his new position as CEO, he says, “I will focus less on operations and focus on growing and diversifying the business. There are a number of opportunities to the north of our borders that can be exploited.”

When asked what advice he would have for up-and-coming security professionals on how to kick-start their careers, Malope advises: “The industry we are in is highly technical. So, any person with an IT or engineering qualification who is prepared to learn and understand the business, and of course, with the right attitude and determination will succeed.

“The problem with some young people today is that they get bored very quickly and do not put enough effort in their work. They need to focus and set themselves milestones. One should realise growth by continuously developing one’s skills. Work smart and consistently, deliver on your tasks and projects. There is always someone in the company who will realise your potential and will definitely see to it that you are rewarded for your efforts.”

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