July 2016 - Maverick Mind

A passion for digital birthed Maverick Mind

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Maverick Mind is the brainchild of Philani Mdingi, who has an extensive background in copywriting; marketing and digital strategy. A passionate writer Mdingi is building his business and his army of skilled team members to satisfy the needs of their clients.

It’s no secret that the advent of the digital age has revolutionised the way in which the business environment operates, changing the way marketers and consumers engage. Today’s consumers have more access to information than ever before making the exchange between marketers and consumers a more interactive and spontaneous one. Maverick Mind is a digital agency at the cutting edge of providing world-class services to its clients while bearing in mind that different clients have unique needs and budgets.

At the wheel of this fast growing digital agency is Philani Mdingi, a maverick in his own right, whose vision for Maverick Mind is to help their clients connect and engage with their customers through dynamic and strategic marketing and digital solutions that are innovative and customised to suit their client’s needs.

With an extensive background in copywriting and digital marketing, the vision for Maverick Mind is growth and with Mdingi at the helm the business is growing exponentially with no signs of slowing down any time soon. We spoke to Philani Mdingi to look at his journey to becoming a sought after digital agency, some of the challenges they have faced as a business and looking at what sets them apart from their competitors in this space.

Q: How did you get into the space of digital solutions & software development?
A: I’ve always had a passion for literature and by the time I was in Standard 7 (Grade 9 to millennials) I had read all the prescribed literature books for my standard up until matric level. So Copywriting seemed be the logical career path for me to take. After completing my Marketing studies, I joined an agency in Johannesburg as a Copywriter for an e-commerce company – this is where I got my first taste of the digital marketing realm. I quickly realised that I enjoyed working in the online space and made a conscious decision to pursue a career in digital.

Q: Since those early days how has your career developed in the digital space?
A: After my short stint as an online copywriter, I moved on to work for a digital agency as a Digital Strategist, looking after brands such as Vodacom Colour, Microsoft, and eBucks to name a few. It was there that I developed an interest in not just how software is used, but how it is developed. I moved from the agency to work for a technology company as the head of their Digital Marketing team. It was a very ambitious South African tech company that wanted to expand globally to emerging markets. They brought me in to strengthen their marketing team and help them rebrand their anchor to what is now known as Everlytic. There was also a small matter of expanding the brand globally. After achieving most of the goals that we had set out to do at Everlytic I decided to move on to one of the biggest projects of my life – bringing Maverick Mind to life.

Q: What is the big idea behind the brand Maverick Mind?
A: Maverick Mind actually started out in my head in 2001 …when I was still an idealistic student studying Marketing in Durban. I was a young chap who believed he could somehow change the world. I knew then, that I wanted to start my own marketing agency in the future. I eventually registered the company in 2009 as a Digital Agency. The premise of starting Maverick Mind was to establish a progressive, solutions driven digital agency that would have technology at its core.

Q: What are some of the key drivers of the business?
A: The key driver is people, second to that is our ability to harness new technologies and processes in our quest to bring the best solutions to our clients.

Q: Tell us about some of your key successes as a business to date?
A: This is always a difficult question to answer, but I think one of the successes that is important to note is that Maverick Mind has managed to acquire more than 45 clients in a space of two years between our services and product businesses. That is remarkable considering the current economic climate if I do say so myself.

Q: What are some of the challenges you are faced with as a business?
A: The biggest challenge is finding and retaining highly skilled people in a competitive industry where software developers’ skills come at a premium.

Q: Who are some of your key clients that you have provided with unique/custom solutions?
A: We work with all sorts of clients both big and small, it’s always a challenge singling out certain clients but to give you an idea, here are some of our clients:

  • Legal Aid South Africa
  • Standard Bank Incubator
  • Sotheby’s International
  • Engel & Volkers
  • Sekela Xabiso
  • Innovator Trust
  • Southern Africa Trust
  • SAMRO

Q: What do you think gives your business the competitive edge in this space?
A: I believe that our software development studio and our ability to code bespoke software and applications for our clients gives us an edge over other digital agencies that simply focus on creative work and offering proprietary apps to clients.

Q: What is your vision for the future for Maverick Mind?
A: Growth! We have always had ambitions of growing our software business by expanding to the rest of Africa. We are eyeing countries like Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda for Growth.

For more information on Maverick Mind please contact: Penny Mathebula:penny@maverickmind.co.za (@MaverickMind1)