What you need to be ‘the boss’ in South Africa


Recruitment specialist, Career Junction, provides guidance on the skills and qualifications needed to be a managing director in South Africa.

Being an MD, is akin to being ‘the boss’ – in most cases it is the pinnacle of your career and as such commands a top monthly wage – R79,441 – R101,758 at an executive level.

The main purpose of a managing director is to control all the business operations. He or she is is responsible for giving strategic guidance and direction to the board to ensure that the company achieves its financial vision, mission and long term goals.

Managing Director Duties

The list of duties can be exhaustive but generally these key functions will apply:

  • Give strategic advice and report results and findings to chairman and board members.
  • Keep all relevant stakeholders informed of developments online with company’s objectives.
  • Manage resources, including the attracting, hiring and retention of personnel.
  • Ensure employees move in the same strategic direction to achieve its mission.
  • Create and report on business plans, monitoring its efficacy and progress.
  • Remain close to all stakeholders including the chairman and board members, staff, clients, key-decision makers and external service suppliers.
  • Research and implement new initiatives to drive revenue, lower operating costs while maintain quality products that are competitive, all while delivery excellent customer support.
  • Continuous monitoring of the annual budget and ensure that revenue/sales targets are met.
  • Manage and report on the effective implementation of a marketing strategy to maintain market relevance and promote products and services to increase sales.
  • Manage key personnel, clients and service providers.
  • Maintain the quality of products, services, customer support and level of service inline with service level agreements and other retention strategies.
  • Promote the wellness of staff and implementing policies inline with labour legislation and health and safety guidelines to create a diverse and positive working environment.
  • Preparation of annual reports and attending/presenting at board meetings.

Managing director Skills

A managing director will need a variety of skills. Some of the most important include:

  • A proven track record of successfully managing a company.
  • Experience in the management senior staff, employees and available resources.
  • A high level of business awareness and acumen.
  • Understanding the intricacies of financial management and management.
  • Excellent Leadership, communication and organisational skills.
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Strong crisis management and conflict mediation skills.

Managing director CV must-haves

According to Career Junction, as an MD, your CV needs to highlight and focus on your ability to:

  • Successfully build and manage a diverse group of employees.
  • Achieve company growth projections and targets in a dynamic and competitive environment.
  • Manage operations and adapt processes within time and budgets.
  • Be a strong team leader with a pragmatic approach in getting the best out of your talent.
  • Build and nurture trust with teams, customers and external suppliers.

Interview Questions

The title “Managing Director” can be pretty broad. Career Junction provides a selection of high-level questions you might have to answer when you reach the interview stage:

  • How did you recently solve a problem at your previous company?
  • Has a subordinate ever challenged your final decision? How did you respond?
  • Is there something you would have loved to change at your previous company?
  • Are you adaptable to sudden change? Give us an example.
  • How do you identify problems and opportunities?
  • Share with us some insights about our top competitors?


Qualifications you will need for this job will vary based on the company size and the industry they operate in, noted Career Junction.

Here’s a selection of qualifications you might need to get the job:

  • Degree in a Business/Finance related field.
  • Masters or MBA degree would definitely count in your favour.
  • A Honours Degree/Postgraduate Diploma.