Angus MacRobert — From top telecoms CEO to successful tech investor

Angus MacRobert is one of South Africa’s most successful telecommunications leaders and tech investors who have made a tremendous mark on the ICT industry.

MacRobert started his career as an article clerk at Deloitte, after which he joined Brait as a deal executive.

He then moved to Dimension Data as a director of the company’s venture capital and business development fund.

He quickly caught the eye of executive chairman Jeremy Ord for his exceptional business acumen and deal-making capabilities.

At only 33, MacRobert was appointed as the CEO of Internet Solutions (IS), South Africa’s largest provider of corporate Internet connections and services.

MacRobert took over from two industry heavyweights, former Dimension Data CEO Brett Dawson and Discovery CIO Derek Wilcocks.

As the youngest CEO of a large South African telecommunications company, the industry was keen to see if he could fill the shoes of Dawson and Wilcocks.

MacRobert excelled in his new role. Under his leadership, IS rapidly grew its customer base and strengthened its position in the market.

While many industry experts credit MacRobert for Internet Solutions’ excellent performance in the 2000s, he downplays his role.

“I cannot take the credit. The timing was good in that IS was built and previously managed on a fantastic business model and great values, and then the market boomed,” he told MyBroadband.

He added that IS had a great management team, ranging from directors to all management lines.

“IS also had a superb client service ethos and a very strong sales culture, which was inherent across the whole Dimension Data group,” MacRobert said.

He also credited Internet Solutions founder Ronnie Apteker for his positive influence when he took over the reins.

“At the time of joining IS, Ronnie assisted greatly in educating me about IS and its culture and values,” he said.

Ronnie Apteker
Ronnie Apteker, Internet Solutions founder

MacRobert, the tech investor

MacRobert left IS in 2009 and started the next phase in his ICT journey – this time as an investor, director, and mentor to numerous tech companies.

He is currently invested in many of South Africa’s top ISPs and tech brands, including:

  • Afrihost — and then indirectly in Axxess and Cool ideas
  • Echo Service Provider
  • Three6Five
  • Silicon Sky — and indirectly in Blue Hat Cyber
  • Iris Network Systems
  • AdColony – Africa
  • SignApps
  • Taurus Capital
  • Redvine Networks

MacRobert told MyBroadband that his current portfolio represents all his best investments over the years.

“It’s the ones I have exited which have been challenging, and the less said about those, the better,” he said.

He currently spends most of his time between Afrihost and Echo, assisting the other investments as and when required.

“For example, Silicon Sky has just made a US acquisition, Blue Hat Cyber, and then I help where necessary,” he said.

MacRobert has a hands-off approach for most of the companies he is invested in.

“The businesses have great management teams, and they are much smarter than me, so it’s best I don’t get too involved,” he said.

Angus MacRobert’s tech and business choices

Which smartphone do you currently use?

iPhone 13 Pro Max

Which laptop do you currently use?

MacBook Pro

What Internet connection do you have at home?

Afrihost Fibre 500 Mbps over Openserve

What is the best investment you have ever made?

The investment in my family.

The investment in the colleagues I have worked with and continue to work with. Without them, as an accountant, I would not have been able to get involved in the ICT industry.

What is the worst investment you have ever made?

Investing time and money in untrustworthy individuals.

What are you currently reading?

No Rules Rules by Reed Hastings and Erin Meyer

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Angus MacRobert — From top telecoms CEO to successful tech investor