ShareIt SA country director Chanel Hardman
ShareIt is growing tremendously in South Africa, and it's reported that over one million apps are shared in the country in a day on the platform. There's a good chance that the peer-to-peer file sharing, content streaming and gaming platform will grow in popularity as time goes on. In 2021 it ranked as the second fastest-growing media publisher in Africa in AppsFlyer's Performance Index.
Chanel Hardman | image supplied
In South Africa, the app boasts around 20 million monthly active users (one in three smartphone users). This ever-growing presence prompted me to get in touch with the person responsible for handling the brand in South Africa. I reached out to Chanel Hardman, country director for ShareIt in SA to find out more about herself and the reason for the app's continuous rise in popularity.
Tell us about your career: what you studied and why, and how you ended up where you are today
Chanel Hardman: During my leap year from studies I worked at an insurance assessor where I discovered my interest in, and the power a good, structured agreement holds. Shortly after I landed a position in media sales at one of the largest media print publishing companies SA where I grew my passion for negotiations and a curiosity about how marketing played a role in winning market share. I enrolled at AAA school of advertising where I obtained a higher certificate in Entrepreneurship and Principles of Communication, followed by a few short courses with exposure to training in the workplace. A few years later, I was fortunate enough to receive a study bursary. I’m now in my final year of completing my Bachelor of Business and Administration degree.
Dedication and hard work opened doors for me when I was offered a multitude of roles during my career at Media24 - many opportunities to grow and develop in the advertising space. The highlight of my career was when I won a prestige award for growing the biggest digital portfolio in terms of revenue growth. After 10 years of service at Media24, I moved to Tencent Africa where I was appointed Head of sales focusing on commercialising JOOX and also discovered my passion for mobile apps hence my move to work for ShareIt.
Take us through a day in the life of Chanel Hardman
Hardman: Emotional wellbeing, positive social values and supportive relationships are vital to experiencing a balanced and positive life. My daily routine includes focusing on body, mind and soul.
My day usually starts with a training session (body), followed by 10 minutes to reflect or feed my soul through religious activities as well as to self-educate (mind) or study during the day.
What professional development, musical, cultural, literary or leisure activities do you engage in?
Hardman: Spending time in nature and natural light can improve your mood and reduce stress and anxiety. Engaging in physical activities produces similar benefits. I believe outdoor activities stimulate all five senses therefore I enjoy mountain biking, hiking, stand-up paddleboarding and trail running. Besides studying, self-education is high on my daily priority list.
Name your top five movies/series and favourite songs
Hardman: Movies: Gladiator, Pursuit of Happyness, Eat, Pray, Love, Taken, Vikings series. Songs: Shawn Mendes and Tainy - Summer of love, Coldplay – Sky full of stars , Blue October – I hope you’re happy, Bruce Springsteen – Tougher than the rest, Goodluck – Saved by the summer.
What are some of the challenges that come with being the South Africa country director for ShareIt?
Hardman: Language barriers, time zone differences, cultures and team spirit cohesion.
Tell us more about your role for ShareIt in South Africa and what it entails exactly
Hardman: I’m the link between the local teams here in South Africa and HQ in Singapore. I lead and support a team of professionals to perform at their best to meet and exceed client and stakeholder expectations.
The role demands someone who can make decisions and give directions in a rapidly evolving environment with an entrepreneurial flair that is results orientated. I always strive to make meaningful contributions to help shape the future.
What brand campaigns has ShareIt done in South Africa?
We have done a multitude of brand campaigns across all sectors. The most successful campaign was a well-known streaming platform where ShareIt achieved astonishing results, four times higher than other campaigns.
ShareIt is growing at a phenomenal rate in our country. Why do you think this is?
ShareIt has emerged into a powerful “air-drop” for the android ecosystem allowing users to send and receive apps, games, files etc peer to peer conveniently and very fast. South Africa has been identified as one of the most exciting markets as it’s a largely android market, yet with early and nascent digital behaviour and adoption of new technologies.
The company is expecting South Africa to outperform ShareIt average growth in 2022 and to become one of the leading countries for ShareIt global team in the next three years. For South Africa we will look to tailoring the app to meet more of the local requirements of the user and will seek user growth and referrals as a core mechanism of increased distribution and awareness.
Simultaneously we will spend efforts in educating and investing in the monetisation ecosystem, such that large developers can run early pilots to assess the platform’s already powerful performance engine working for them.
What advice do you have for someone that wants to be a country director/brand manager?
Ensure that you have a strong sense of direction but the willingness to be flexible and open-minded. Listen, build relationships, be humble but bold when it comes to making decisions. Be an all-rounder in all aspects of business with deep knowledge and understanding of the marketing and advertising industry.
About Imran Salie
Bizcommnity Editor: IT, Automotive, Entrepreneurship. Imran loves all things technical and has a passion for the world of motoring. He keeps a close eye on the tech industry and has recently become infatuated with the entrepreneurship space in South Africa.
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