Adrian Hewlett’s rise in business has been nothing short of meteoric. He rocketed to success in his first job out of varsity at Rugby365 and then started his own media company Habari – which became the official ad sales partner for Facebook across sub-Saharan Africa. Hewlett now holds the keys to some very lucrative doors.

A critical move in his career occurred when Rugby 365 was about to be sold and after a few years spent trying to sell banner ads Hewlett opted for an exit deal. “I’d been working with this client MSN to bring them on and I asked Rugby365 if I could pursue them directly? They gave me the go-ahead.”

It was to prove a very smart move. Working from his bedroom, Hewlett convinced MSN (the Microsoft Network… yes Bill Gates and co.) to let him be their ad sales guy. Soon he was selling ad space for MSN and their Hotmail Messenger. In time with his knack for identifying companies on the up and establishing relationships – he signed other major companies like Facebook and LinkedIn and ad sales for Silicon Valley’s finest does not result in small change.

“I’ve always been good at forging good relationships with people and the guys at MSN bought into me. That’s where it all started from. It’s important to look forwards and try to predict what’s going to be important in the next five years. Take Facebook. I started talking to them in 2008 when there were about 20 people there. Eventually they developed a strategy and became this big company. When they put a tender out for South Africa I was top of the list because I had the relationship already. They’d already bought into us as people.”

#BestAdvice: Just do it
“I make a to-do list and I don’t stop until I’ve ticked everything off it. A lot of people talk a good game, but just don’t do it. Anyone can come up with an idea, but it’s about who can get it done. Write your lists down and don’t stop until everything is ticked – whether they all work or not – don’t stop. The next day, do the next list. Hit your targets and you do that by getting shit done. Do your to-do list.”

*By Tudor Caradoc-Davies