Francois Du Plessis

Francois Du Plessis

Work History

Work History

Various General Management positions

M-Tel / MTN

Before the GSM industry Service Provider business started in South Africa, conducted a feasibility study to establish the viability of the business. . When the company was started at the beginning of 1994 took on the role of IT manager, later moving on to a business development role. When MTN took over M-Tel in 2005, spent 9 months as deputy MD assisting with integration into the new company, then moved to MTN as GM of Regional Operations where Responsibilities included establishing new branches, upgrading existing service centres and ensuring that operational systems and procedures were followed.

Jan 2007 - Present

Independant Telecoms Specialist

Self employed

Providing consultancy services within the Telecoms industry.

Feb 2002 - Dec 2006


MTN publiCom

Appointed to the position in 2002 the brief was to turn the company around from imminent bankruptcy. This was achieved in three years at which time the business became profitable and was able to start re-paying its loans. Initially staff morale was extremely low and was improved by adopting a more hands on, firm and caring management approach. By 2006 it was clear that the business would be able to add more value to the majority shareholder if it was wholly owned by them. Succeeded in getting them to buy out the other shareholders and to merge the companies, without any staff losing their jobs.

A payphone operator, MTN publiCom was started by MTN Uganda to fulfil a license obligation to install public payphones throughout Uganda. This requirement has been met and exceeded without causing large financial losses normally associated with ventures of this nature.

Aug 1999 - Dec 2001

Operations Advisor

MTN Uganda

Advised the CEO and assisted executive committee members with a number of key strategic projects relating to improving business processes and Customer Service. These included acquisition of a new Customer Care and Billing system and a business process management project.

MTN Uganda, owned by the MTN Group of South Africa was launched in Uganda in 1998. It now has over 2 million subscribers.

1998 - 1999

Founding CEO

MTN rwandaCell

Appointed to this position in mid 1998, led the implementation team and launched the network within the set deadlines. One of the main tasks during this time was to establish relationships with local partners and to create operating systems in a completely new and different environment.

The company is part owned by the MTN Group who is a minority shareholder and had the management contract. By the end of the first year some 45 local staff had been employed and trained.


1970 - Present


Lyttleton Manor High



Decision making

Always willing to make carefully considered decisions and to take responsibility for them.

Website development

Developed the web site for a catering business in Kampala.

Operations management

More than 25 years in operations management, including call centres, customer care, distribution, marketing and IT.

Startup management

Have been either part of the team or team leader of a number of startup television and telecommunications companies.

People management

Firm and fair to staff and able to get high performance levels from staff.

Executive management

Acted in a number of executive positions in the GSM and fixed line telecommunications industry.