The MNI Management Team


 CEO | Mariaan Du Plessis (Pharmacist)

Mariaan received a pharmaceutical degree from the University of Potchefstroom and, after entering the job market, rapidly moved up the ranks within a large pharmacy retail group. Despite being the most junior managing member, she was rated the top performing pharmacist within the group after two years. Her pharmacy was also the fastest growing and most profitable outlet within the organisation. During this period she received a nomination from Boehringer Ingelheim as “Pharmacist of the Year”. Due to her strong entrepreneurial desire, she soon left formal employment to help found the Medical Nutritional Institute.

Mariaan’s approach to business strategy stems from her training in formal science.  Focussed on problem solving through critical thinking and experimentation, science dictates that one should refute rather than verify one’s theories. In 2013 Mariaan was nominated as a finalist in the category of Top Performing Entrepreneur (National Business Awards). She also received joint awards with her business partner as winner of the Innovator of the Year (Entrepreneur of the Year) and was a finalist in the categories of Fast growth SMME (National Business Awards) and Medium Business Entrepreneur (Entrepreneur of the Year).

 Medical Director | Conrad Smith

Conrad received a medical degree from the University of Pretoria and started his career as a family practitioner.Besides medicine, his interest lies with the process of innovation and the generation of new ideas. He has won two design awards for products unrelated to the medical field and has written a screenplay that was chosen to represent South Africa at the International Film Festival in Cannes.

Exploring novel combinations of plant-derived phytochemicals within a multi-modal pharmaceutical application led Conrad to start the Medical Nutritional Institute with his business partner Mariaan. In 2013, he received a joint award with her as winner of the Innovator of the Year (Entrepreneur of the Year), and was also a finalist in two Entrepreneur of Year categories, namely Fast growth SMME (National Business Awards) and Medium Business Entrepreneur.