Connect with us


CellSmart: Ahmed Kajee

A leader in mobile marketing delivers powerful results to customers, leveraging the medium’s more-for-less offering.

Juliet Pitman



Ahmed Kajee

South African companies looking for better return on marketing investment have been slow to adopt mobile technologies. “But when they do and they see how well it works for them, they’re converted,” says Ahmed Kajee, MD of CellSmart, a mobile marketing applications company based in Cape Town.

In the recession, perhaps more than ever, companies needed to interact with their audiences in creative and engaging ways. “Marketers faced a tough challenge keeping their brands top of mind during the economic slowdown. Budgets are still tight and companies understandably want the biggest bang for their buck. Increasingly they are turning to mobile marketing as a means of effectively reaching their target audience,” he says.

Responding to market needs

Initially a developer of mobile marketing technologies, the company has evolved to include mobile marketing campaign origination and management for its clients. Kajee explains: “We now offer the full end-to-end service but when we started we were providing the tools, services and platforms for companies to run their own mobile marketing campaigns.

“We then realised that while companies wanted the technology, they didn’t know how best to implement it. So we started implementing it for them, running their campaigns, providing them with advice on what would work best and why. Today around 50% of our business involves this kind of service delivery.”

Responding to client needs is something Kajee has had to learn the hard way. Landing the company’s first clients was a gruelling process, but one through which he learned to listen and focus his sales pitch. “Mobile marketing is broad and there’s so much it can do, but there’s no point telling a prospective client that your solution can do everything for them.

“I learned to be very clear about what I was offering, to focus on the one or two specific things about mobile marketing that could solve their problem. I learned to listen so that I could identify their needs very quickly,” he relates.

Capitalising new technology

The listening paid off. Kajee has established a growing reputation in the industry, having recently been named among the Mail & Guardian’s 2009 Top 300 Young South Africans, and CellSmart has run over 300 campaigns for brands like Virgin, Coca-Cola, Absa, KFC, Clover and Diesel. The company is a founding member of the Mobile Marketing Association SA.

Cellsmart has built its offering on mobile marketing’s ability to deliver more for less. “Mobile campaigns reach more eyeballs in a more targeted way, generating greater interaction between an audience and a brand. This builds relationships and brand loyalty.
“At the same time, production costs are low and the strategy, tactics and budget of campaigns can be quickly adapted to increase a campaign that’s working really well, or kill one that’s not,” say Kajee.

Getting interactive

He believes the value of an interactive campaign lies in its ability to take the user on a brand journey, and add value to them while they are interacting with a brand. “A good example of how this works can be found in the campaign for the ‘Tropika Island of Treasure 2: Zanzibar’ competition, where the prize was an island getaway for ten winners, along with ten celebrities,” he says.

The campaign needed to generate awareness of the competition and provide a mechanism for people to enter. But it also doubled as a platform for the audience to interact with the brand. Tropika packs and supporting media drove consumers to a mobisite where they could enter, while splash advertising on MXit provided a click-through for entry.

“Users could also download info on their favourite celeb, post wall comments on celeb profiles, send their friends a virtual card and refer them to the site,” Kajee explains. The campaign included polls and surveys which users were rewarded for entering, and provided them with access to selected mobile content and ringtones.

In one month, the mobisite and MXit applications generated over 14 000 competition entries, with over half a million MXit users getting exposure to the splash advertising. All this means big business – for CellSmart and its clients. Kajee concludes, “I truly believe that mobile marketers will be the ones who capture the minds of their target customers in future. The potential for innovation is almost infinite.”

Player: Ahmed Kajee
Est: 2004
Contact: +27 21 685 5910;

Juliet Pitman is a features writer at Entrepreneur Magazine.


27 Of The Richest People In South Africa

Here are 27 of South Africa’s richest people, but how did they achieve this level of wealth? Find out here.

Nicole Crampton



Prev1 of 28


Learn the secrets of SA’s most successful business people, here is the list of the 27 richest people in South Africa:

In a world with growing entrepreneurship success stories, victory is often measured in terms of money. The feat of achieving a place on this list is, however, years of hard work, determination and persistence. “One has to set high standards… I can never be happy with mediocre performance,” advises Patrice Motsepe.

From the individuals that made the 27 of the richest people in South Africa list, actual entrepreneurs and self-made business people dominate the list; while those who inherited their fortunes have gone on to do even bigger and better things with their wealth. Over the years, some have slipped off the list, while others continue to climb higher and higher each year.

  1. Elisabeth Bradley
  2. Sharon Wapnick
  3. Bridgette Radebe
  4. Irene Charnley
  5. Wendy Ackerman
  6. Paul Harris
  7. Wendy Appelbaum
  8. Mark Shuttleworth
  9. Desmond Sacco
  10. Giovanni Ravazzotti
  11. Markus Jooste
  12. Gus Attridge
  13. Gerrit Thomas Ferreira
  14. Cyril Ramaphosa
  15. Adrian Gore
  16. Raymond Ackerman
  17. Michiel Le Roux
  18. Lauritz Dippenaar
  19. Jannie Mouton
  20. Stephen Saad
  21. Patrice Motsepe
  22. Allan Gray
  23. Koos Bekker
  24. Ivan Glasenberg
  25. Christoffel Wiese
  26. Johann Rupert
  27. Nicky Oppenheimer
Prev1 of 28

Continue Reading


Watch List: 50 Top SA Black Entrepreneurs To Watch

South Africa needs more entrepreneurs to build businesses that can make a positive impact on the economy. These up-and-coming black entrepreneurs are showing how it can be done.

Nicole Crampton



Prev1 of 51


Early-stage South African entrepreneurial activity is at an all-time high of 11%, according to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, and entrepreneurial intentions have also increased to 11.7%. With both activity and intentions growing significantly year-on-year, there are more businesses opening up around South Africa than ever before.

The increase in entrepreneurship has seen the rise of more black entrepreneurs across numerous sectors. From beauty brands to legal services and even tech start-ups, these are 50 top black entrepreneurs to watch:

Prev1 of 51

Continue Reading


Watch List: 50 Top SA Small Businesses To Watch

Keep your finger on the pulse of the start-up space by using our comprehensive list of SA small business to watch.

Nicole Crampton



Prev1 of 51


Entrepreneurship in South Africa is at an all-time high. According to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), total early-stage entrepreneurial activity has increased by 4.1% to 11% in 2017/2018. This means numerous new, exciting and promising small businesses are launching and growing.

To ensure you know who the innovative trailblazers are in the start-up and small business space, here are 50 of South Africa’s top establishing companies to watch, in no particular order:

  1. Livestock Wealth
  2. The Lazy Makoti
  3. Aerobuddies
  4. Mimi Women
  5. i-Pay
  6. AfriTorch Digital
  7. Akili Labs
  8. Native Décor
  9. Aerobotics
  10. Quality Solutions
  11. EM Guidance
  12. Kahvé Road
  13. HSE Matters
  14. VA Virtual Assistant
  15. Famram Solutions and Famram Foundation
  16. BioTech Africa
  17. Brand LAIKI
  18. Plus Fab
  19. LifeQ
  20. Organico
  21. 10dot
  22. Lenoma Legal
  23. Nkukhu-Box
  24. Benji + Moon
  25. Beonics
  26. Brett Naicker Wines
  27. Khalala
  28. Legal Legends
  29. The Power Woman Project
  30. Aviro Health
  31. AnaStellar Brands
  32. Data Innovator
  33. Fo-Sho
  34. Oolala Collection Club
  35. Recomed
  36. VoiceMap
  37. ClockWork
  38. Empty Trips
  39. Vula Mobile
  40. SwiitchBeauty
  41. Pineapple
  42. The Katy Valentine Collection
  43. OfferZen
  44. KHULA
  45. Incitech
  46. Pimp my Book
  47. ART Technologies and ART Call Management
  48. Prosperiprop
  49. WAXIT
  50. The Sun Exchange
Prev1 of 51

Continue Reading



Recent Posts

Follow Us

We respect your privacy. 
* indicates required.