This month is women’s month and Eduloan would like to share the inspiring story of Janine Hills, the CEO and Founder of Vuma Reputation Management, a company that specialises in reputation management, crisis communication, media liaison and media training.
Janine has extensive business knowledge, skill and an intricate understanding of reputation management, backed by over 25 years of experience across various industries. She has done work for some large companies such as Southern Sun, Sun International, Vodacom, Kaizer Chiefs, Ster-Kinekor Home Entertainment, Ster-Kinekor Licensing and Primovie (a division of Primedia). Janine has also worked for FNB and was a founding member of ebucks.com, the eCommerce initiative.
We managed to get some time with this influential woman to talk to her about her approach to life:
Q: How did your education shape your future?
A: I didn’t have any formal tertiary education after matric. Everything I’ve learnt I learnt through experience gained at various organisations, by observing, doing extensive research and reading anything I could get my hands on.
Q: Who is your inspiration?
A: I do not have one single inspiration, because I choose to draw inspiration from daily interactions with peers, colleagues and clients, some of which includes Paul Harris (FirstRand Bank owner and former CEO), Alan Knott-Craig (Cell C CEO) and of course my spiritual leader, Shri Mamuadevi. Everyone teaches me bits and I enjoy continually learning from everyone.
Q: What are some of the difficulties that you had to overcome to get to where you are?
A: The biggest challenge for me has been to believe in myself and my personal capabilities. It included realising that you are your own biggest hurdle and that it all comes down to believing in yourself.
Q: You are involved with several projects – how do you find the inspiration to continue contributing to and influencing such a diverse range of projects and people?
A: I believe that one should always treat every single person the same, whether they are a car guard or an executive, everyone deserves to be treated similarly. It is always important to approach everything with a serving mentality. It you are willing to serve, you can touch people’s lives in even the smallest ways.
Q: What advice would you give South African youth?
A: You need to realise that there are no shortcuts. If you want to achieve something, you have to invest the time. Always think about the legacy that you would like to leave behind and how you impact those around you – there is no better time to start than now, even if you are still at school.
“Everything is possible if you do it with honesty, integrity and perseverance. Keep trying and believe in yourself” Janine Hills, CEO of Vuma Reputation Management