Tanja Lategan

Tanja Lategan, the daughter of Sanlam Unit Trust chief executive Stephanus Lategan, has chief executive pedigree. Lesson number five from her father’s apparently infinite catalogue of teachings was “sharpen your axe” and Lategan honed hers by graduating from the University of Stellenbosch with a degree in Business and Information Science and following it up with two years of sales experience in the United Kingdom while on a working-holiday visa. She returned in 2006 and joined Touchline Media as a sales executive, soon being placed in charge of growing their online department from scratch. Her success brought her to the attention of Primedia Online, who enlisted her as commercial director in 2008 and made her chief executive less than four years later. Primedia consists of 365 Digital and iafrica.com, one of the largest and most established portals in the country. Since her appointment Lategan has launched two divisions within the company: Dash of Lime (DOL), the company’s sales house and South Africa’s largest premium publishing network, and Juice Content, its content syndication and strategy division. Under her leadership DOL has grown to become South Africa’s largest premium publisher network, with a combined reach of over five million unique users across web and mobile platforms. It represents more than 47 commercial channels nationally and internationally and recently acquired the exclusive South African representation of Mail Online, one of the world’s largest news sites. As part of the Primedia Bursary Programme Lategan is mentoring a young female UCT Business Science student, showing her that it’s possible to make it as a professional businesswoman in a male-dominated corporate world “without painting on a beard”. But how does one work nine-to-nine and still find time at weekends to go horse riding through the forests of Tokai? That, says Tanja, is lesson number 492. — Rudi Benadé