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SAMRA Annual Conference is Upon Us!

SAMRA Annual Conference 2017 is all about research that gives the competitive edge needed for future-proof decision-making, to be ahead of the pack. Whether you are selling something, making something, managing something or making a difference in the world, research becomes breaking news when tomorrow is presented today. Don’t miss the exciting line-up of speakers and topics, in an all-new format that includes presentations that cut to the chase and deliver a punch!


Meet the Guest Speakers

Sheila Akinnusi is Senior Manager: Group Market Research at Nedbank and SAMRA Chairman 2016/2017. She joined Nedbank in 2010 as Manager- Insights and Research Practices. Sheila started her research career at Standard Bank as a graduate management trainee in 2005 and became Consumer Insights Manager there, before moving to supplier-side as Project Director with Kaufman Levin Associates in 2008. Sheila was awarded a Master of Strategic Marketing by the Edinburgh Business School (Heriot – Watt University, Scotland) and a passed her Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration from Gordon Institute of Business Science with four distinctions.

Rishal Hurbans is currently fulfilling the role of a solutions architect at Entelect. He is involved in designing and developing solutions for various national and international blue chip clients whilst actively growing thought​ leadership capabilities within the company and tech community. He has a passion for software engineering, digital architecture, mobile development, design thinking methodologies, and artificial intelligence. Rishal founded Prolific Idea in 2015 where innovation is cultivated through research and technology. Prolific Idea has released a collaborative productivity platform, Hivemind. Rishal has a keen interest in community involvement and development. He runs the Artificial Intelligence South Africa (AI ZA) monthly hackathons and is an active speaker at user groups and conferences.

Kopo Lehobye is Deputy Director: Research at Government Communications (GCIS) and is project manager of the Government Segmentation Model, a segmentation model going beyond the traditional marketing LSM groups and considers variables that are relevant to government communications. She has a Bachelor of Psychology degree from the University of Pretoria. In 2002, she started working at Serithi Project, a NGO under University of Pretoria conducting research in the field of HIV & AIDS. Ms Lehobye co-authored an article published in The Social Work Practitioner-Researcher in 2003 and one in the Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology in 2006. Her passion for research motivated her to pursue studies towards a Masters degree in Research Psychology.
Kyle Findlay heads up Kantar Innovations’ global data science team and knowledge management at the Kantar TNS Global Brand Equity Centre (GBEC) in Cape Town, South Africa. Kyle has a passion for understanding complex systems such as the human mind, society, business and nature, and loves sharing this understanding with others through writing and presenting. He has a strong desire to bring the hard sciences to bear on the question of why people do what they do. Kyle is published in several journals and industry magazines and has presented papers and hosted expert Q&As at conferences around the world. He is also the recipient of multiple awards, including a WPP Atticus Award and the MRS Silver Medal Award, and twice has won both the Gold and Silver Awards for Best Paper at the South African Marketing Research Association’s (SAMRA) annual conference.

Dr. Kingsley LM. Makhubela (PhD) is CEO Brand South Africa, in charge of the marketing and communication strategy for South Africa. He is an accomplished executive with a reputation for effective strategic analysis, policy formulation and implementation, organisational restructuring and change management resulting in significant, sustainable business development. As a student of diplomacy and conflict resolution in particular, he is of the view that international peace and security is fundamental in realising a world free of ignorance and hunger. To this end, he sees himself as an instrument of contributing to the realisation of a better global understanding.

Niels Schillewaert is ESOMAR President (he has been on the Esomar Council since 2010) and Managing Partner USA and co-founder at InSites Consulting, based in the New York office. Niels manages consulting and research projects for clients like Coca Cola, ABInBev, MasterCard, AT&T. He has 20 years of experience in market research all-round, and quantitative as well qualitative research skills, lifting data to a higher conceptual and consulting level. He has a 15 year academic career in which he was awarded for his research several times, and his scientific work was published in leading scientific journals Niels joins us via podcast.
Leonie Vorster is CEO of the Southern African Marketing Research Association and of the African Market Research Association. She is the ESOMAR Representative for South Africa (2008 to date) and is registered at the Health Professions Council of South Africa as Research Psychologist. Leonie is an Honorary Fellow (Certified Strategic Management Professional) of the Unicaribbean Business School Nigeria, and was given a Leadership Award for Contribution to Market Research in 2014 at The World Marketing Congress in Mumbai, India, where she was also a guest speaker. She previously owned-managed Evolutions Research Solutions, a private research and research-based consulting firm (1998-2012), which she sold when she joined SAMRA full-time in November 2012. She achieved SAMRA Accredited Marketing Researcher status in 2010 and maintained this status until she was appointed at SAMRA. 

Meet the Facilitators

Mamapudi Nkgadima is Managing director of African Response. She has more than 25 years market and social research experience as a user and supplier. Mamapudi is a marketeer, turned researcher with an entrepreneurial flair. She founded and managed a successful strategic marketing and research agency for more than 7 years, prior to joining African Response in 2010 as the Managing Director. For more than 13 years, Mamapudi worked across a number of multinational and blue chip companies such as Liberty Life, Unilever, Danone, SCJohnson, Academy for Educational Development,  Standard Bank and Century in the roles of brand management, marketing management, head of marketing and customer strategist. Mamapudi managed multi-country research for a Public Private Partnership project in over ten African countries as a Regional Marketing Manager. Mamapudi is a member of SAMRA (Southern African Marketing Research Association) and was a board member of SAMRA for 2014/2015. She was awarded the best qualitative paper for the SAMRA qualitative conference in 2013. She presented a paper at the 2014 SAMRA conference about the transformation journey of the market research industry in South Africa and has a keen interest in promoting transformation agenda. Mamapudi is a regular presenter at conferences with a focus on the majority/mainstream/informal market. Mamapudi has an MBL from UNISA, a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from the University of the Witwatersrand, and a Bachelor of Social Science from the University of Cape Town.
Elsa Thirion-Venter has 32 years research experience in various fields of research such as psychological evaluation and test construction, survey methodology and media and communication research. She started her career at the Human Sciences Research Council in the Psychological Research Division, later moved to MarkData as a Survey Manager and from there to the SABC as a Research Manager: Special Projects. In 1996 she moved back to MarkData as co-owner. She holds a MA in Psychology (1990), a MBL from UNISA (1999) and a D Litt et Phil (Consulting Psychology) (2012) from UNISA. She is registered as a Research Psychologist at the Health Professions Council, a SAMRA Accredited Researcher and an Honorary Member of SAMRA. She has been lecturing part time on a tertiary level since 2002. She currently lectures at the University of Pretoria for the Research Psychology Master degree and is a supervisor as well external examiner at the UNISA School for Business Leadership. She also serves as supervisory psychologist for research psychology interns. Elsa has been involved in SAMRA management since 2004, first on branch level and since 2009 on national level. She was the 2010/2011 Chairperson of SAMRA and currently serves on the SAMRA Board as academic representative.

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