Henda van der Walt

Shopper marketing manager, Santa Maria, on Abba, Ben Stiller and bubble bath

What was your first-ever job? In my final year of school and throughout university I held a job as a sales assistant in a department store in South Africa, selling women’s fashion.

What’s been your worst job interview? I was invited for an interview, to take place in a store, but couldn’t find the interviewer and couldn’t get through to his mobile. After walking up and down each aisle twice, I found him sitting in a coffee shop. I was flushed, panicky and completely not in interview mode.

What was the first music single you bought? Strange, bearing in mind that today I work for a Swedish-owned company, my first single was The Look by Swedish pop-rock duo Roxette.

How do you describe your job to your mates? I normally say I am the person responsible for influencing their purchase decision.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? I enjoy being able to interact and influence across different levels and various departments, internally and externally.

What is the least rewarding part? When a campaign you have worked really hard on does not deliver for reasons out of your control.

What is your motto in life? Live each moment completely and the future will take care of itself.

What’s your nickname? Most of my friends call me Hennie.

If you were allowed one dream perk what would it be? To have annual leave throughout the summer months.

What’s your favourite movie and why? I like to have a good laugh when watching a movie, so any Ben Stiller film.

What’s been the most embarrassing moment in your life? Presenting plans to the company board with my mobile ringing to the music of Abba - Dancing Queen!

If you could change one thing in the grocery industry what would it be? I would encourage longer-term thinking and strategic partnership relationships.

What luxury would you have on your desert island? A fully equipped bathroom, with many different luxuries like bubble bath, fragranced soaps and lotions.

What animal best reflects your personality and why? An eagle, as they like to spread their wings and explore the world with no boundaries.

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