Machela Sathekga is a South African actuary turned product manager. She is a Principal Product Manager at Amazon, leading the international expansion of the Just Walk Out technology. This technology was pioneered in Amazon Fresh and now powers third-party customer stores inclduing Sainsbury’s, BaxterStorey, and ExCeL London. Machela’s passion for using technology to create new, impactful customer experiences and improve lives led her to join Amazon as part of the EMEA MBA program in 2019. She has since been a crucial part of delivering high-impact launches such as the Amazon Business Covid-19 Supply store, which launched in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain during the height of the pandemic. Machela owned core parts of the CX and launch effort for Amazon 4-star, Amazon’s first non-grocery international expansion.

Prior to pursuing her MBA at London Business School, Machela excelled as an actuary across various industries including consulting, insurance, and asset management in Africa. Being one of the few qualified actuaries on the continent, Machela held numerous technical roles such as pricing, valuations, and product development. She even served as a technical advisor to the Chief Executive of one of Africa’s largest asset managers before joining the investment team, where she was responsible for financial and risk management, investment capability reviews, and part of the Investment Exco. Machela’s impressive accomplishments include being a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries and the Actuarial Society of South Africa, having qualified as one of South Africa’s youngest actuaries. She currently chairs a board and serves as a Non-executive Director in South Africa and teaches a Strategic Finance elective at Wits Business School, one of Africa’s premier business schools. Machela is also an angel investor who supports entrepreneurs in the UK and Africa, is part of the HerMesa angel syndicate and serves as a course facilitator at Angel Investing School. Her passion lies in building businesses and leaders who will make a positive impact in the world. Machela hopes to leverage her strengths and interests in technology, entrepreneurship, and investing to contribute to this cause.

Machela does not have a traditional or technical background in technology, having studied Actuarial Science at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. In joining Amazon and the UK tech industry, she made a challenging triple jump in geography, industry and role. She moved from South Africa to the UK, from finance to technology and from acting as an actuary to product manager. Leaving behind a successful career as an actuary in South Africa, she moved to the UK and transitioned to product management in technology. With no prior experience in e-commerce, platforms, or product management, she engaged with the tech and start-up ecosystem, contributing through her business acumen and experience as she learnt. Her significant contributions include chairing London Business School’s Hackathon, leading a team of 10 volunteers, providing a highly-rated experience for 90 participants, and winning business for Yourself.Online, which is now a VC-backed start-up.