Film & Media
Parusha Partab, is group strategy director at Wunderman Thompson, one of South Africa’s largest marketing firms. She leads the digital strategy for the group, manages key accounts and delivers effective strategies for major global brands, such as The Coca-Cola Company, The BMW Group and Standard Bank.
She has written articles on digital transformation, customer experience and brand strategy and spoken at numerous industry events and conferences. Parusha advocates for representation and inclusion through her strategic work, speaking engagements and published writing.
“Sharing my experiences and insights can help others in the industry to learn and grow,” Parusha says. At only 35, she has held multiple senior and executive positions across Africa. She devotes many personal hours to growing young, diverse talent for the industry in South Africa, serving as a member of the Women’s Charter and on the IAB’s Transformation Council.
In 2022, Parusha was highly commended at the Global Women in Marketing for the Strategy Planner of the Year Award. “I often share this story about travelling to India and looking up at a billboard and, for the first time, seeing an Indian woman on a billboard.
At that moment, I was struck with such awe and a deep understanding of why representation and inclusivity matter. I want everybody to feel that way when they see work that I have influenced.”
- I hold a BA (Hons) in Information Design from the University of Pretoria, which I obtained between 2006 and 2010.
- Before my university studies, I completed my high school education at Crawford College between 2002 and 2005.
As the Group Strategy Director for Wunderman Thompson South Africa, I am proud to have achieved several awards and milestones in my field:
- One of the highlights was being highly commended at the Global Women in Marketing Awards for Strategy Planner of the Year in 2022.
- I am passionate about sharing my expertise in digital strategy and related topics and have authored several articles that have been published in industry publications.
- Prior to my role at Wunderman Thompson, I was the Head of Strategy for Africa at Squad Digital, a SCAN Group Company. In this role, I led all strategy outputs, including thought leadership, consumer insights analysis, trends analysis, and integrated strategic brand and marketing consulting. I was responsible for overseeing teams in markets across Africa while leading the South African market.
- Before that, I was also the Head of Strategy for Creative Spark, an M&C Saatchi company. In this role, I led the strategic planning and development of campaigns for major global brands.
- During my studies at the University of Pretoria, I was selected as the class representative for Information Design in both 2007 and 2008 and I was awarded first prize for Multimedia project in 2009.
- During my time at Crawford College, I was awarded the Gold Medal for achieving 84% in the Australian Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority Examinations, as well as Silver Medals for art, history, and speech and drama.
- I received the Lindsay Fouche Trophy for Humanities.
- I was awarded Senior Half Colours for Service, Senior Full Colours for Cultural Activities and Senior Full Colours for Academics during my time at Crawford College.
I often share this story about travelling to India and looking up at a billboard and, for the first time, seeing an Indian woman on a billboard. At that moment, I was struck with such awe and a deep understanding of why representation and inclusivity matter. I want everybody to feel that way when they see work that I have influenced.
Your plans will change as life happens but always dream without concession.
South Africa has been referred to as a “dream deferred”, a term I believe is more fitting than calling it a “failing state”. Despite the challenges that we face as a nation, I think that most South Africans still hold on to the ideal of a fair, democratic, free and inclusive country. Looking forward, I hope to see this ideal become more of a reality than a dream. This requires a fair and honest reckoning of the public service failures and corrupt government practices that have plagued our country for far too long. Above all, I would like to see South Africa setting a positive example for both the continent and the world as a society that is economically and socially inclusive, where all people are safe and have the opportunity to thrive and reach their full potential.