Zain Mohamed is currently employed at Samsung as a Talent Manager and Senior HR Business Partner. His main focus Talent Management in Southern Africa and Indian Ocean islands areas.

A Day in the Life of a Talent Manager & Senior HR Business Partner


Talent Management / Performance Management / Employee Relations / Remuneration / Human Resource Management

An Average Day

An average day for Zain consists of touching base with all the various business leaders he partners with.  This is extremely challenging as he manages the HR for employees across all the various regions for Samsung in Southern Africa and the Inidan Ocean Islands. His portfolio is spread across 12 different countries that include Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, Madagascar, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mauritius and Reunion Islands.

He also reviews progress on all strategic projects as well as coaching and mentoring his team members.  A lot of hours per day are consumed with responding to operational issues via e-mail.

Getting to know the staff and company culture is key to finding the right person for the job.

Some of his colleagues will say that he is insightful, pro-active, accessible and solution-orientated.  He has gone beyond the norm by working creatively and collaboratively, but also putting in the extra hours to achieve results.

Journey to Success

Zain started his career by completing his B.Com degree at the University of Witwatersrand with specialization in Accounting and Human Recourses in 2003.

He completed his B.Com Honors (Cum Laude) at the University of Johannesburg and was awarded top student.  He also completed a Project Management course at the Wits University.

He started off in a call center while completing his studies until 2003 and then progressed to an HR position, working his way up the ranks where he now functions as the Talent Manager and Senior HR Business Partner for Samsung.

He was the Key note speaker at the Commonwealth Telecommunication Organization’s HR41CT in November 2013.

Personality Profile to Match

The advice he would give individuals wanting to go into the HR field would be to have a solid foundation by studying an HR degree.  It is imperative to map out a career path and develop a plan to achieve goals.  The ideal candidate would be able to balance business needs with employee needs and learn to multitask.

Working with people day in and out, you definitely have to be an extrovert, compassionate and understanding.   Some key skills you need to successfully do this job would also be communication, time management, conflict resolution and general business management.

Lastly NETWORKING, networking, network!!!

Challenges to Face Head on

His biggest challenge would be managing the cultural differences in the various countries he serves in.  The South African way of doing business is not necessarily the same in other countries.  You need to learn, adapt and respect all the different cultures and being fluent in Portuguese and French is a great advantage.

Did You Plan to Reach Your Position?

He has an excellent career counselor in his wife. She continuously motivates and drives him to push for the next level. He invariably studied and learned more about HR and gained some international exposure prior to his current role.

Show me the Money!

Average salary for someone in his career field would be around R700 000 – R900 000 per annum.

Years to Reach This Level

10 Years.

Average Working Day

10 Hours per day.

The Environment

He enjoys all aspects of his job. It is a fast paced environment, with loads of traveling, and opportunities to learn something new every day. Getting to understand business as opposed to just HR is key for this type of role.

The Closing

To succeed in this type of role, proving your ability through results is key! That is the only way to achieve.

About The Author

Yolande Wissing has an Advanced Diploma in Hospitality Management. Her career started in the Hospitality sector as a Front Court & Banqueting Manager. She then spent 2 years at @lantic in Events Coordination and Marketing where she won Top Performer award for Marketing in 2010 and 2012. You can connect to her on LinkedIn.


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