Daemon South Africa turned one! We spoke to Country Manager and Head of Operations, Hendri Lategan, to find out more




How time flies! A few months ago, Daemon South Africa celebrated its one year anniversary in South Africa. We marked the event in true local style with our inaugural  Mzansi Fest. As we ate and drank to our heart’s content with Table Mountain above us, we reflected on how far we’ve come. 


We’ve achieved a lot in just over a year, and nobody knows this better than Hendri Lategan. As our Country Manager in South Africa, he has been instrumental in turning our rapidly growing team into a force to be reckoned with. We caught up with Hendri to get his take on the journey so far, and to find out what the future holds for Daemon in South Africa. 


Hi Hendri, congratulations on the anniversary! How does it feel to be one year old? 


It feels great, although we’re actually a bit older than that. We started life as a handful of SA-based employees working on international contracts, but it soon became clear that there was a need to officially set up shop in South Africa, so we took the leap to formally incorporate the local subsidiary in March of last year.  


And you were there from the start?


Not quite. We had a couple of brave pioneers blazing the trail. They proved to be such valuable additions that the founders decided to double down on the strategy and create a permanent office. They needed someone with local knowledge to give them the lay of the land, and our Head of Engineering at the time suggested that I get in touch.  


I had helped a number of SMEs scale up in the past, and I’d also started a company or two of my own. I was working as the CEO of a digital agency in Cape Town, but we had just been acquired by a media conglomerate. This left me looking for a new challenge, so the timing was perfect! 


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It’s safe to say the experiment worked! What’s the secret to your success?


It really comes down to the team. It's tempting to try and scale up a new territory as quickly as possible, but we knew it was important to take a measured approach. It was incredibly important to us from the start that we maintain Daemon's world-class standard, and this was reflected in our hiring process. Whichever Daemonite our clients work with, they know they will be working with the best regardless of location. 


We’ve tended to hire people who are self-starters. The entrepreneurial mindset is clear at every level of the company. Everyone is keen to make an impact, and team members are always ready to take the initiative.


We also employ people from a diverse range of backgrounds. This gives us access to multiple viewpoints, allowing us to look at problems from more than one angle. This is a recipe for innovation. 


Daemon South Africa does a lot for the local community. Can you tell us a bit more about this?


We support a number of charitable initiatives in and around South Africa. A lot of these are focused on education, since this is the best way to improve the prospects of young people in the area. Recently, we’ve supported Breadline Africa in their mission to turn old shipping containers into classrooms within rural communities. Another initiative involved supporting computer science programs at local universities. 


The great thing about these initiatives is that they’re suggested by members of the team. We don’t get a memo from head office telling us which charities to support. We use our local knowledge to judge where we can make the biggest difference. We have personal relationships with the people and the communities we’re helping, and that makes it all the more rewarding. 


What does the future hold for you and your team?


The sky's the limit! Personally, I am most inspired when working in an organisation that has obvious scope for growth, and that’s certainly the case here. There’s so much potential for us to make a real difference. The next step is broadening our activities. Our goal is to continue expanding our footprint in the region and make Daemon a household name in the local industry.


South Africa is eager to prove itself on the world stage, and this desire is reflected in our team. The office is full of highly motivated individuals who are eager to make their mark. By channelling this energy, we’ve achieved amazing things, and we’ll continue to do so in the years to come.


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