Niral Patel has been appointed as the new MD and technology business leader of Oracle SA. He joined the software company on Monday (17 July).

Patel, fresh from a brief four-month stint as MD and GM of Hitachi Data Systems, takes over from Kholiwe Makhohliso.

He went public with his appointment yesterday afternoon during a graduation ceremony for 24 previously-disadvantaged students who completed the Oracle Graduate Leadership Programme.

Based in Johannesburg, Patel will be responsible for accelerating the adoption of Oracle cloud solutions, identifying new growth opportunities and enhancing engagement with key stakeholders in South Africa.

“Niral joins Oracle at a pivotal time, when we have introduced our latest cloud innovations in South Africa to support the various digital transformation initiatives undertaken by enterprise, SMBs and public sector entities looking to drive efficiency and achieve better ROI,” says Cherian Varghese, vice-president and MD: Africa, at Oracle.

“Niral brings with him a wealth of industry experience and is ideally placed to grow Oracle’s business in South Africa. We are confident that under his leadership, Oracle will emerge as the preferred cloud vendor in the country.”

Patel comments: “Oracle’s unique ability to offer the complete stack of cloud solutions across IaaS, PaaS, SaaS and DbaaS is exactly what businesses are looking for to succeed in the digital economy.”

Prior to joining HDS in March this year, Patel was the director: public sector at Microsoft SA, a position he held from October 2013 until February 2017.

He joined Microsoft in January 2012 as a member of the telecommunications and media industries lead after a nine-year career at IBM SA.

Having joined IBM as an account executive after graduating from Wits University with a BCom in Banking, Corporate, Finance and Securities Law, Patel held several positions including business unit executive: Power systems sub-Saharan Africa, software group Africa executive and enterprise software leader.