— Gregory Mountford, worked indirectly for Muhammad at MultiChoice
"It ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things."
"I worked with Muhammad on the DStv Explora and saw it past launch from a very different initial plan. Muhammad’s role grew with the project as he grew into his natural position, then, as strategic programme manager. With an eye across the entire business, he has the ability to orchestrate change wherever it is required. Within our division this manifested itself as his ability to transition Agile methodologies and culture from something entirely contained within the development team to something more akin to an organisational capability.
To achieve this, and other of his feats, required Muhammad to earn the trust of all those around him, to efficiently identify and deal with problems (both technical and human) and to communicate across the entire value-chain.
His technical problem solving skills can be seen quite clearly in his CV; earning trust, his knack at identifying complex problems and his communication skills are all extraordinary, but require no further discussion. His human problem solving skills, however, require some more mention:
On more than a few occasions, Muhammad has hosted workshops within the business for e.g.: to resolve inter-departmental conflict, to identify roles and responsibilities in the changing landscape of our business and to punt international best practise in product development. On each occasion the attendees learned what Muhammad wanted to impart, but did so of their own accord allowing them to take greater ownership of the required change. Like horses, he leads people to water through understanding and open discussion – we then arrive there thirsty and grateful, and drink all that is on offer. (It sounds very Machiavellian – perhaps it is – but Muhammad wields his great power with an even greater sense of social responsibility).
We are truly a different organisation from the one Muhammad joined in 2011 – and that change is largely due to the efforts of Muhammad. "
— Santjie du Plessis, worked directly with Muhammad at different companies
"I have had the pleasure of working with Muhammad for a number of years on a variety of complex and distressed projects. His level-headed approach and ability to see the bigger picture has made all of these interactions a privilege and education. He is able to give structure and process to chaos but always maintaining a human touch. He is able to communicate effectively at all levels and his exceptional technical ability ensures that he can hit the ground running since he is able to grasp and internalize the technical aspects of any project very quickly. I can with full confidence recommend him as project or program manager for any complex problem or project."
— Sahana Saavakar, worked indirectly for Muhammad at MultiChoice
"Muhammad has always been the great source of motivation, a knowledge bank and consistent guidance for the whole team/program/project. He is known for his vast technical knowledge and leadership qualities. There are times when I have gone to him to vent out my disappointment over some things at work and Mo was always patient and he listened to all of it ,gave apt advises- guess what, those advises always worked! It has been an immense pleasure to work with him.
He is a true “guru” and I have learnt a lot from him. Besides all this at work, he is a very understanding, generous & balanced man in person. One can count on him for any kind of help, a true friend he is!"
— Muhammad Sooliman, worked indirectly for Muhammad at MultiChoice
"Muhammad joined Multichoice not long after I arrived to work on the Explora project. Initially as a project manager/scrum master. In the beginning he just observed – attending the meetings – sitting quietly – nodding his head – making a note of what people were saying.
Then after a while he started asking some questions. Not difficult questions – but definitely critical ones. Ones that we should have stopped to ask a while ago. More than that he was someone that was helpful in getting the answers. Not that he knew everything – but he knew how we could find the answers. If there was a need to involve a different team – he would facilitate it. If there was a need to involve an external party – he would build the relationship. If there was a gap in the delivery chain – from his own experience he would suggest ways to fix it. If there was confusion or even conflict between the different teams – he would organise a workshop. He would look for quick, simple interventions that would have big, positive impacts. It is not surprising that he became the programme manager responsible for facilitating the deliverables across the value chain – headend, STB, backend, product, external vendors, etc.
He reads the situation and the people well and has the ability to provide a birds-eye view or dive into the details. He has the foresight to identify potential risks early – and the experience to identify ways to mitigate them. You will see him sit for hours or days taking a vague project requirement with a crazy deadline and somehow putting together the pieces in such a way that the different teams know what is needed.
Additionally, he has a years of experience as a software engineer and can easily understand the technical aspects. He stays up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies – and is still passionate about developing software. He is one of a handful of people that I have worked with – who have been able to balance soft skills and technical knowledge.
With everything already said – his most important characteristic (and the reason why I enjoy working with him) is his ambition and drive. He is always striving to reach the next level….and then trying to pull those around him along."
— Andrew Moore, worked directly with Muhammad at MultiChoice "I worked with Muhammad on a number of strategic VOD implementations which required Muhammad to manage deliverables and resources across divisional lines. Muhammad proved to be an efficient and effective manager with strong project management domain expertise and strategic insight whilst also demonstrating solid technical understanding of the VOD space and exceptional problem solving skills.
— Brenda Rogerson, worked directly with Muhammad at MultiChoice "I have worked with Muhammad on a number of projects, including the introduction of the DStv Explora to the market. Muhammad was able to give guidance on this project due to his extensive knowledge and previous experiences. He was also able to identify potential issues and through presentation of well researched recommendations was able to influence a fairly major change in direction on the project which resulted in an improved product and better customer experience. He's able to present at a strategic senior exec level, but also easily able to communicate on all others levels - he's approachable, willing to listen and engage, happy to share his knowledge and experience and a great mentor to those who want to learn.
We have much more that we can learn from him, and it's great to work with someone who doesn't just identify issues, but also puts together researched and backed up recommendations." We have much more that we can learn from him, and it's great to work with someone who doesn't just identify issues, but also puts together researched and backed up recommendations."
— Phil Nicholson, Decoder Product Development Mngr, MultiChoice, managed Muhammad indirectly at MultiChoice"At time of writing this Muhammad has worked in my team and was then retained as a consultant to the team. We handle the development of decoders products at MultiChoice and Muhammad was brought in to program manage our latest offering, the Explora PVR decoder. Muhammad did much more than program management. He introduced new disciplines and overhauled most of our development processes while he was at it. He also engaged with executive management, successfully managing expectations to a point where the business could effectively plan with reasonable certainty around the expected launch date. I rely heavily on his counsel on a day to day basis and value his energy and integrity. We have a lot to thank Muhammad for and hope he continues to offer his services to our organisation in the longer term."