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#Newsmaker: Grant Macpherson, CMO for KFC Africa

Bizcommunity caught up with Grant Macpherson the new chief marketing officer for KFC Africa. Macpherson joined KFC UK in 2013 where he worked as a marketing manager where he led a number of portfolios across brand, retail, and innovation. He also worked for KFC in the Netherlands, before moving back to South Africa in 2018. Before joining KFC he worked for the multinational consumer goods company Reckitt Benckiser.
Grant Macpherson. Source: Supplied.
Grant Macpherson. Source: Supplied.

What do you want to achieve in this new role?

We have a wealth of talent in South Africa and I am now in the fortunate position to be leading one of the best marketing teams in the country. One of my primary goals will be to continue to grow and foster this incredibly talented team to ensure we are the most inclusive, diverse and high performing marketing team in South Africa. If we can achieve that then we will continue to see strong results and KFC will remain South Africa’s favourite QSR brand.

You have been at KFC for a number of years and in different roles in different countries. How will you use that experience going forward?

As a brand we continue to learn and grow. The wonderful thing about working at KFC is that we have an incredibly strong global network that we can continuously lean into and learn from. KFC is one of South Africa’s most loved brands, with a very strong track record of delivery, solid growth and building brand equity. This means that we are able to share our learnings globally while also taking best practice from other KFC markets.

What have been some of the highlights of your career?

Working in several countries and having the opportunity to learn from and experience different cultures have all been really great experiences, but returning to South Africa to join such an amazing team is certainly one highlight that stands out. Not only do we have a ton of fun selling the world’s most famous fried chicken, we also do bucket loads of good at the same time.

For example Add Hope serves 30 million meals to children in need every year. On top of the KFC mini-cricket is the largest and most inclusive grass roots sports development initiative in the country with more than 120 000 kids getting involved every year. Being a part of these initiatives that get to invest into the communities we operate in and feed the potential of the future of South Africa, are highlights that I get to live every day.

What have been some of the challenges you have faced in your career? Biggest lessons learned?

One of my biggest lessons in life is that when you put people first, success will shortly follow. To do this you have to be intentional about investing time to build and nurture relationships. With this comes trust, accountability and clarity, which will ultimately lead to an engaged team and strong results.

What do you think are some of the biggest challenges in marketing big franchises like KFC right now?

Consumers preferences and habits are evolving faster than ever. To be South Africa’s leading QSR brand KFC needs to ensure we are constantly evolving with our consumers to meet their needs. While some may see this as a challenge, we see it as an opportunity.

What inspires you every day?

From a personal point of view it’s family and friends. Waking up to share the day with my wife and daughter is a gift I will never take for granted. This is followed up quickly with a tall cup of coffee and the knowledge that every day, you have the opportunity to make someone’s day just a little bit better through a dash of positivity, a meaningful conversation or action and of course with some finger lickin’ good chicken.

About Karabo Ledwaba

Karabo Ledwaba is a Marketing and Media Editor at Bizcommunity and award-winning journalist. Before joining the publication she worked at Sowetan as a content producer and reporter. She was also responsible for the leadership page at SMag, Sowetan's lifestyle magazine. Contact her at karabo@bizcommunity.com

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