Young techpreneur is Gumtree's new manager

Johan Nel has been appointed as the new Country Manager of Gumtree SA
Johan Nel.jpg

eBay Inc has announced that accomplished techpreneur Johan Nel has been appointed to serve as the Country Manager of Gumtree South Africa. Nel officially joined Gumtree on the 1st of May and will be responsible for leading the local team and expanding the footprint of the brand in South Africa.

“We are thrilled with Johan’s appointment and believe it will further serve to elevate the Gumtree’s presence in South Africa,” says Bart Molenda, Head of Marketing for eBay Classifieds. Gumtree ranks among the top ten most popular sites in the country and is the number 1 classified site among local users, seeing as much as 20 listings to the platform every minute.

“We have always taken pride in connecting people and commerce, and in being a global player that truly thinks and feels local. The addition of such well-respected and established industry leaders to the team can only further cement our position as South Africa’s most popular classified.”

Nel is best known for his role as the Founder and CEO of Pan African tech start-up Umuntu Media and has been the recipient of numerous technology and media accolades including the Nokia and Infodev African Innovator of the Year award (2012) and a Telkom Africa Media Award (2013).

Molenda says that Nel’s expertise with regards to the mobile internet phenomenon in Africa could not come at more opportune time for Gumtree. “We’ve been growing like gangbusters on mobile, giving us more focus than ever before. We designed the site in late 2013 to accommodate the demands of mobile users and are increasing our investment in app development across all devices.”

Nel believes that Gumtree is better suited than any other company to empower first time Internet users to enjoy the benefits of e-commerce. “At Gumtree, we are interested in ensuring that the people who are connecting to the internet for the first time – from the moment they unbox their phone - make us their first stop when they get online,” he says. “We strive to be a central destination for commerce, both for peer to peer trading and businesses to be able to utilise all the vast categories on our site and the massive marketplace that already exists. We hope to be a valuable marketing extension to every small business.”

Nel has said that safety and customer service will also continue to remain a top priority for the company. “It’s paramount. Every customer inquiry we receive is read and there is a 24-hr turnaround in terms of responses. Realtime responses are also enabled through live chat and we encourage all our users to reach out to us with their questions or queries. We will continue adding more trust and safety to classifieds as we grow our footprint and position in South Africa.”

Juliet King


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