Jose dos Santos has steered Cell C through difficult times and has successfully implemented the company’s turnaround strategy.
Cell C’s latest results showed 7% revenue growth, to R15.7 billion, and a 660% increase in net profit, to R4.1 billion.
This strong performance was partly thanks to Cell C’s recapitalisation deal, which provided the company with a great platform to improve.
Speaking to MyBroadband, dos Santos admitted that driving a business like Cell C can be challenging – but very rewarding.
“There is so much potential in this business. I think that being able to shape that potential into something real is one of the best parts about being CEO,” said dos Santos.
To grow a company like Cell C takes hard work, and as CEO there are no shortcuts to putting in many hours.
“Your family definitely sees much less of you and taking time out can feel like you may let things slide. This is why it’s essential to put an excellent leadership team in place.”
Reaching the top
Dos Santos started his telecoms career as an apprentice technician with Alcatel STC (Standard Telephones and Cables).
He has spent his full working career in telecommunications, and through hard work and perseverance has reached the top.
Dos Santos credits his rise to CEO to hard work and making the most of the opportunities which were afforded to him.
“I have always worked hard, but I will never discount the relationships along the way that assisted me to find and take opportunities that were presented to me,” he said.
His advice to young professionals looking to advance their career is simple: “Wake up every morning with the aim to do better than you did the day before. And never, ever give up”.
Jose dos Santos – Tech and business choices
Which smartphone do you use?
Which laptop do you use?
What is the best gadget you have ever bought?
I am not gadget junkie. I only buy tools/equipment that are functional, have a purpose, and enhance my everyday life.
What is the worst gadget you have ever bought?
As above, I am not into gadgets.
What Internet connection (fixed broadband) do you have at home?
Cell C-Fibre 100Mbps symmetrical line as a fixed connection, and Cell C’s LTE-A as a mobile service.
What is the best investment you have ever made?
It is not monetary. It is People. Human Capital. Without fail, the time and effort I have invested in people has always delivered the best results, whether it is my family, close friends, or those I work with.
What is the worst investment you have ever made?
I don’t believe in bad investments – every investment, whether it is failed or successful, is about taking a risk, and ultimately you will learn something from each and every one.
What is the best business book you have ever read?
There are too many to mention, but the most recent book I have read – that really challenged and inspired me – was by Professor Dan Ariely called Predictably Irrational.