Charlene Munilall, Huawei Consumer Business Group SA general manager

Charlene Munilall brings a wealth of experience in the mobile and computing space to her new position as General Manager for the Huawei Consumer Business Group SA.

Appointed at the beginning of May 2015, Charlene has honed her skills over the past eight years in the ICT industry, driven by the possibilities she sees in this field.

“The technology sector is the most interesting and progressive of all industries,” she says. “I see mobile devices as a key driver, especially in education and health.”

This vision for the opportunities that technology can unlock is based on her personal convictions and backed by her experience working for multinational ICT brands across Africa. These positions include managing and directing sales for Nokia in sub-Sahara Africa, as well as variously heading Samsung’s African telecommunications and product management teams.

Prior to joining Huawei’s Consumer Business Group, Charlene was Sales Director for Lenovo’s Africa operations.

Managing the expansion of brands, channels and sales across the continent is something that comes naturally to Charlene. Her grounding in sound accounting and financial management through her accounting degree (Cum Laude) from the University of Durban Westville has been supplemented by her years in the industry.

Under her leadership she has overseen strong growth of some of the world’s leading brands in Africa’s rapidly expanding, technology-hungry consumer market. This growth is being driven by unprecedented expansion of a middle class with disposable income that is feeding an appetite for technology solutions. As many as 97% of the continent’s population are expected to have a mobile subscription by 2017, of which 30% will have a smartphone.

Charlene has shown her ability to capitalise on these trends to drive double-digit sales growth through a keen understanding of consumer demands and execution of clear, insightful growth strategies.

She has managed to achieve this in the face of a market dominated by male counterparts.

“I believe there is a huge gap in the industry with the lack of women. There are far too few women currently, and I saw this as a great opportunity to grow and showcase my capabilities. There is a space for corporate companies to create programmes that will assist in the growth and career development of women within the technology space,” she says.

“Women bring a different dimension to the workplace and are more detailed when it comes to planning and implementing within a business environment. There are lots of opportunities to fuse this with our male counterparts and create a better work and business environment that ensures growth.”

Charlene is determined to bring this thinking into her new role at Huawei, while using that position of influence to help women across the continent realise the opportunities that technology presents.

“Previously, 70% of women in South Africa didn’t have access to a formal education and I believe mobile devices will play a huge role in assisting with educating women on this platform,” Charlene says.

She is equally committed to instilling her desire to be and do the best she can within the Huawei Consumer Business Group. This attitude is bound to deliver results that will see the Huawei brand build on its already strong position in the African consumer market.