Managing Director of T-Systems in South Africa, Mardia van der Walt-Korsten has been appointed Regional Head of the company’s newly formed Africa region. Gert Schoonbee, Vice President Sales, will take over the helm in April. Schoonbee, who has been with the company for more than a decade and who has been a key architect in the growth of the South African based operations, was a natural choice as successor for the Managing Director position.
Says Dietmar Wendt, Head of Sales and Member of the T-Systems International Board of Management: “South Africa has achieved tremendous success under Mardia’s leadership. The company’s growth can also be attributed to Gert’s personal involvement and leadership, making him an obvious choice as successor. I’m proud to have both Mardia and Gert in the team managing a key region and believe this move confirms the importance of South Africa and its focused expansion into Africa.”
The African Region will now function as a separate entity from the previous Europe Middle East Africa (EMEA) operations. The change will enable T-Systems more focused growth in the respective regions, and confirms its commitment to delivering internationally-benchmarked and renowned methodologies, services and solutions to its current partner and customer base.
Van der Walt-Korsten features a wealth of experience in developing the South African marketplace and will prove to be invaluable to grow T-Systems’ business in the larger region.
Based in Midrand, Johannesburg, van der Walt-Korsten will be predominately responsible for exploring opportunities for growth in Africa. Her appointment is also a natural evolution of T-Systems business which sees, for example, many local customers expanding their operations into the rest of the African continent.
Comments van der Walt-Korsten: “I look forward to my strategic role in order to proactively and effectively grow T-Systems’ business in targeted countries in Africa. We will follow a very controlled expansion approach, leveraging on many of the successes and lessons learnt in South Africa. The need for active involvement in skills development within each country will, we believe, be key to ensuring our long term sustainability.”
Since taking over the helm of T-Systems in South Africa in 2005, van der Walt-Korsten has grown the business exponentially, from a staff complement of around 600 (in 2005) to the current 2500, solidifying the company’s position as the country’s foremost ICT outsourcing service provider.
This is also confirmed by research authority, BM-TechKnowledge (BMI-T) which currently ranks T-Systems as the leading provider of outsourced services in the South Africa with 26 percent market share. Van der Walt-Korsten and Schoonbee also successfully steered the acquisition of parastatal arivia.kom in 2009, which was a complex conclusion of both an acquisition and two new outsourcing contracts simultaneously.
As an executive accountable for all sales and customer relationships, Schoonbee is ideally suited to take over the reins from van der Walt-Korsten, securing new business and maintaining close and fruitful relationships with the company’s current South African customer-base. Since joining T-Systems in August 2000, he has been responsible for driving large and complex solution designs (Convergence solutions) across multiple delivery units (Service Lines), while guiding company Engagement and Innovation models. Recently, Schoonbee, was instrumental in securing a massive R2,58 billion rand outsourcing deal with Old Mutual.
Schoonbee also has valuable experience in the delivery of ICT services. He played a vital role in the turnaround of the Systems Integration division for T-Systems in South Africa, laying the foundation for the development of what is today the largest SAP partner in Africa.
“The success achieved by T-Systems in South Africa over the past years creates the platform and confidence for T-Systems to strive to be even more significant to its key stakeholders, in a way that is right for South Africa and Africa. I am privileged to lead and steer this ambition into the future,” comments Schoonbee.