Founded not even three years, Digital Fanta was amongst other honoured start-ups in South Africa to receive an accolade from Fast Company South Africa. The team was nominated as one of the top 50 most innovative start-ups in the country.
“Be Fantastic. We inspire you to be fantastic at what you do!” This is Digital Fanta’s tag line and encompasses what the team has set out to achieve. This dynamic platform offers field experts a variety of initiatives to empower and build their careers through a network, or a virtual room full of like-minded professionals.
“At Digital Fanta, we strive to inspire different people from all life paths, and of all races and ages, with insights that are purposeful with the ability to build strong and meaningful industry relationships,” says CEO Nkateko Mongwe.
Digital Fanta is a marketing and media industry brand and is known as a community for professionals to connect and engage with one another to share industry insights, information and intelligence.
Digital Fanta manages three WhatsApp groups. Alpha and Beta focus on sharing marketing and media industry-related content, while PlaceMe serves as a hub for sharing jobs within the market. Professional members – of which there are currently about 600 – range from juniors to C-level executives.
The Media Shark and #KnowMyHustle
Last year, the team also hosted an event called The Media Shark, the purpose of which was to provide small media owners the opportunity to pitch and sell their media offerings to a panel of seasoned and upcoming industry gurus framed as Sharks and Baby Sharks. The event also aimed to be a business and media strategy coaching session from the experts to the participants.
In addition, Digital Fanta runs a weekly feature every Friday called #KnowMyHustle, where small business owners are profiled and given a platform to engage with other professionals and the public in general about their business and their journey as entrepreneurs.
A quirky name, inspiration and successes
A word with Digital Fanta CEO, Nkateko Mongwe
Digital Fanta is such a catchy name, is there a cool story behind that?
The actual full name is Digital Fantastic and we inspire industry professionals to be fantastic at what they do. The company is built on sharing insights, information and making meaningful connections.
Also, I am Tsonga and my people are known for Fanta being our favourite drink…
What inspired you to start Digital Fanta?
I wanted to create a platform where industry professionals can share industry insights, information and gain industry intelligence from fellow industry peers.
I realised that industry people learn from their friends or industry colleagues quicker, and that industry experience is leveraged through having professionals of different levels of experience and skills.
You've successfully created a platform which sees industry professionals at all different levels sharing and collaborating. Was it challenging getting C-level executives to join?
I had a plan and a strategy on how to build the network. To put it in motion, the beginning was essentially the most difficult part. You can imagine asking people to join a WhatsApp group…
My strategy was to ask industry friends that are close to me to join an industry WhatsApp group. It began with a few data and digital media people. The plan was expanded through the first circle base of close industry friends that are not C-level.
The second phase was to ask my former managers and seniors to join, and the third
phase was to ask C-level industry executives who I knew but who didn’t know me. I approached them with an angle saying other seniors and managers are sharing and engaging in an exciting platform. The condition was that I only approach C-level executives when the network had over 200 members.
Many members referred other members. I could say the split between organic and earned growth is at 60/40%. On average, one member referred three members.
What is your advice to other young entrepreneurs who see a gap to innovate in their industry?
Be like Nike and “just do it”. Just start and everything will formulate as things gather momentum. Remember that passion is the core ingredient!