Groovin Nchabeleng: Trailblazing adman
He’s a passionate and accomplished leader in the advertising industry.
Groovin Nchabeleng is the man behind SABC’s memorable ‘Feel it, it is here’ campaign for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
He’s also the co-founder of Blueprint and chairperson of the Blueprint Group and MMS, the holding company for advertising agencies Publicis, Leo Burnett and Starcom.
As a motivational speaker, he focuses on how to build an individual brand based on the principles of passion, perseverance, patience and power.
Your first job?
I joined the advertising industry as an intern account executive at Leo Burnett Worldwide after graduating from AAA School of Advertising in 1992.
The best business decision you ever made?
Co-founding Blueprint, a 100% black-owned advertising and marketing firm that could compete head-on with big-name agencies for top brands.
The company has grown to the extent that it has acquired shares in major advertising companies, such as Publicis, Starcom and Leo Burnett, the agency where I started my career.
What was the most useful advice you have ever received?
My grandfather once told me that whenever I experience setbacks, I shouldn’t worry. I should focus on what motivates me to work harder.
Any advice for young people who want to venture into the world of advertising?
The advertising industry is a world of creativity and constant change. You need passion to survive.
What kind of a boss are you?
I try to lead by example. I’m a borderline workaholic and expect those who report to me to work with an equal amount of passion.
But I also practise collective leadership – which means giving others the room and opportunity to make decisions.
How do you cope with stress?
I take refuge in poetry, movies and outdoor activities. I also spend quality time with my family.
Three things I didn’t learn at advertising school:
1. The industry is full of unconventional types who can be challenging to work with at times.
2. The stress of dealing with complicated clients can take its toll.
3. Making executive decisions isn’t easy.