Lindiwe Matlali

CEO, Prompt Research Insights

Lindiwe Matlali is the 35 year old chief executive of Prompt Research Insights, a company that she founded because she wanted to create the freedom to make her life more meaningful by touching other people’s lives.

“Being an employee would mean that I would have limited time and resources, and that I would be confined to doing one thing – a notion I find very boring.”

Speaking plainly is a mantra for this BCom graduate, as is one of her guiding principles from Myra Drucker: “One of the most important skills to have in business is the ability to translate complex concepts into plain English”. Matlali counts this as being key to her ability to communicate her vision to her team, and her service offering to potential customers.

Using her majors in economics and statistics, Matlali loves playing with numbers, and gets a thrill from interpreting data and articulating what it means for business, and how to use it to formulate strategies for the future.

She was recently invited to be a member of The Initiative for Global Development, a non-profit organisation that drives poverty reduction by catalysing business growth and investment in the developing world, by bringing together an influential network of senior executives to stimulate investment  in high-need, high-potential areas in Africa.

“I am passionate about Africa and I thank God I was born here and my dream is to, in my small way, be a part of the movement that will help Africa rise,” she says.

Matlali’s advice for young South African women who want to launch their own businesses is: “Go for it. Don’t procrastinate – there’s no such thing as the perfect time to follow your dreams,” she says. “The future is not guaranteed – the only time we have is now. Find what you love and do it. You must do what you love because business is tough.You need to love what you do so that you hang in there when the going gets tough. Do what you love and be willing to persevere because when success comes, it will be even sweeter.” — Kerry Haggard