Rain Mobile surprised the market in October 2017 when it announced that Outsurance founder and CEO Willem Roos would join the company as CEO that December.
Instead of being approached to lead Rain Mobile, and then being appointed to the position after an interview process, Roos was interested to join from the start.
Rain Mobile chairman Michael Jordaan said Roos was a shareholder in Rain from the beginning, and his interest to lead the company grew at a strategic Rain conference near the end of 2017.
“After the conference, Willem became so enthused by the intent behind Rain, and the fact that Rain Mobile was located in Cape Town, that he explored the ability to become an executive with the board,” said Jordaan.
Roos told MyBroadband his decision was driven by personal considerations, which included relocating to the Western Cape.
“I also felt the timing was good after being the CEO at Outsurance for 16 years, and that Outsurance had exceptionally strong leadership waiting in the wings,” said Roos.
Roos said he is excited about the opportunity which Rain Mobile offers, as it is a disruptive startup in the telecommunication space in South Africa.
His goal at Rain Mobile is simple – to build, together with a great team, a business that brings affordable Internet to many South Africans.
Jordaan supports the decision to let an insurance executive lead Rain Mobile instead of a telecoms veteran, as businesses “are about people”.
“All businesses are about people, startups even more so. My simple recipe in life is to surround myself with people who are better than me. This is certainly the case with Willem,” said Jordaan.
While Roos has the skills to run a startup, he admitted the telecoms industry is fundamentally different from the insurance industry – which requires a different leadership style and strategy.
“At Rain we will try and attract the best people, build great offerings for our customers, and be commercially successful together with adding value to society,” said Roos.