He is extremely accomplished, well travelled and an industry leader when it comes to the world of Information Technology. Meet Kudzai Dana, the dynamic and powerful Head of Public Sector for SAP South Africa, the worldwide leading provider of enterprise software and services.
Kudzai’s list of achievements are many and at just 43, the married father of three has held notable positions at Microsoft and remembers his time developing the Kululu.com reservation system from scratch as the lead architect on the project as one of his most exciting and memorable achievements as it was arguably the most successful e-commerce platform in South Africa at that time.
His position at SAP sees Kudzai as the driver for innovative collaboration between public, private, and non-profit sectors to deliver services efficiently. His main function is to grow SAP’s talent for sales in government. Kudzai, leads a team of highly skilled professionals whose task it is, is to help their customers solve most of their pressing business problems.
Having originally trained and worked as an Electrical Engineer, Kudzai found himself developing industrial control systems which broadened into IT. He was involved in some exciting system development projects and finally moved into sales, some 12 years ago.
We got the opportunity to chat to this industry pioneer about life, travel and Christmas.
What is the one achievement in your life that stands out from the rest?
Undoubtedly, the development of the very first Kulula.com reservation system. That was a real fun project. It was ground breaking how we simplified the reservation system at that stage.
In your industry, you do a lot of travel, what has been the most fascinating country to visit?
I would say the island of Malta has been the most fascinating with its simplicity, beauty and very friendly people. It’s also rich in history, there is so much to see there including World War II bunkers …the Mediterranean is absolutely beautiful and clear blue. It’s just such an interesting place to visit
How do you find juggling your responsibilities in your career with being a family man?
Not easy. I try and leave work stresses at work …mostly. I enjoy my time with my family and fool around with my two boys a lot. I don’t take myself too seriously all the time.
What do you do to relax and unwind?
Going out with friends and family. Golf but not too much. I enjoy a good relaxed evening with good food and wine and talking all sorts of meaningless stuff to just get my mind off things
Do you read? If so, your most memorable book
I read a lot…too much sometimes. Whenever I travel I can tuck myself into a Robert Ludlum book…I am a fan of action thrillers and have a whole bunch of them on my kindle and paperbacks. I am the kind that won’t sleep until I finish the book. Currently I am doing some extra studying so I have kind of stopped reading fiction.
Is there someone in your life that inspires you and why?
My late father who was an extremely generous man and way ahead of his time! He taught me kindness and concern for others
If you were to choose a single word to describe yourself, what would it be and why?
Optimist. I think I am really optimistic about life and usually take on tasks that others would run away from
What kind of music do you enjoy?
I listen to everything ,it just depends on my mood. Mostly pop coz it’s everywhere really. If I am trying to concentrate on something I can listen to classical music and it works for me. I’m also a fan of the Jazz/R&B scene.
Describe your ideal holiday…?
Anything with a bit of adventure seeing something new. I enjoy history and scenery so a Swiss or Italian trip would do it for me (for now). I think once done I would really like to experience South East Asia
You, yourself can be seen by many aspiring young people as a role model…if there were a word of advice you could offer them in terms of choosing this industry as a profession, what would it be?
IT is a fun career. You just need a keen mind and be open to rapid change! Oh and you can study anything really and end up in IT. Besides it looks like IT skills will be needed for a very long time so its not a bad choice to make.