Tami Sussman (40), Chief Marketing Officer and founding member of Integr8 IT, on her impressive career.
How did you get to where you are today?
After qualifying with a business management certification and DTP qualification, I started my working career as a DTP operator and marketing administrator for a leading national real estate company.
Thereafter, I moved on to working in a more corporate environment and joined Ernst & Young as the company’s in-house DTP and presentation administrator. During this time, my now husband, Robert Sussman, decided he had gained sufficient knowledge to resign from his full-time IT job and start his dream of building a leading global ICT enterprise, which resulted in the establishment of Cyber Warehouse.
A short time after the successful sale of Cyber Warehouse and with no financial backing, mentorship or assistance of any nature, Rob used his personal savings of R150 000 to fund the successful start-up of the Integr8 Group.
I managed all aspects of the business during its growth from marketing and finance to operations and HR. As the company scaled, we employed lots of new people, where today the company employs 550 people across multiple offices on the African continent.
What challenges have you faced in your career and how have you overcome them?
My personal philosophy is that “people make the world go round” and one of the main challenges within any corporate environment today is for people to achieve a balance between their personal and professional lives. I feel like I have achieved this balance and I am fortunate to have done so in a company that has truly embraced the family-type environment.
How have you managed to become so successful in such a male-dominated industry?
If you can perform and deliver, it does not really matter any more if you are male or female. Although IT is a more male-dominated industry, it certainly is not a boys’ club. Everyone has an equal chance. It’s about skill, delivery and hard work.
What accomplishments are you most proud of?
I am humbled by the huge success of the companies I have founded, worked in and grown. I am still active in all the companies, including the one group company we just sold for R126 million.
It has all been a group effort. Working with the smartest people in the industry and committing my time to success has allowed me to have a wonderful journey so far. I really feel that this is just the beginning of even greater things.