Ciko Thomas - 50 Years of WBS
50 Years of Memories at Wits Business School
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Ciko Thomas

Current title
Group Managing Executive: Retail and Business Banking, Nedbank Limited

 

Course at Wits Business School
Master of Business Administration, 2000

 

A defining moment in my career

I had just started working for M-Net where I took my marketing knowledge to the entertainment and content-creation space. We had gone to the 1994 Promax International conference in New Orleans, which is an annual conference that brings together global leaders in creating, programming and marketing television and video content. The theme for the 1994 conference was “Reinventing the Rules” and TV maven Barry Diller was the keynote speaker, addressing us about the future of content. He called it “smart agenting” and spoke about how we would come to use data to help us make choices based on our interests and needs. It was ground-breaking. He was speaking about the future of digital entertainment before it was fashionable, before it even really seemed possible. And the way he was talking about the future opened my eyes to what grand visioning really was. It was shape-shifting visioning that was re-imagining how people could work and interact and it brought the idea to life for me.

 

It has shaped the way I approach my own businesses and the way I imagine futures for my businesses, my teams, and clients. Barry Diller became one of the most powerful people in the world, and the true power of his address is only really making itself clear now. The things he spoke about in 1994 are coming to disrupt a whole host of industries, and primarily the television industry, as we know them today.

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