In 1987, Rob­bie Brozin co-founded the iconic Por­tuguese chicken restau­rant chain to­gether with his friend Fernando Duarte. Today, Nando’s restau­rants are found across the globe. In her book on South African busi­ness lead­ers, Adele Shevel found out what ma

Finweek English Edition - - ON THE MONEY -

is ar­guably South Africa’s most suc­cess­ful food ex­port. Its pop­u­lar­ity is star­tling when one con­sid­ers the level of re­lent­less do­mes­tic and for­eign com­pe­ti­tion in the fast-food and ca­sual din­ing space. It has made big strides in tough overseas mar­kets, and in some re­gions – the UK in par­tic­u­lar – it has de­vel­oped some­thing of a cult fol­low­ing.

The taste and qual­ity of the prod­uct set it apart, but in SA it’s the ir­rev­er­ent mar­ket­ing, ooz­ing a sense of fun and cheek­i­ness, that po­si­tions it in its own edgy cor­ner. At the core of this is co-founder Rob­bie Brozin, though he’s quick to say it’s been a team ef­fort.

Brozin founded Nando’s with friend Fernando Duarte. He is the ul­ti­mate brand am­bas­sador – he en­gages eas­ily, doesn’t take him­self too se­ri­ously (on the sur­face), and sees hu­mour in most sit­u­a­tions. He keeps no sa­cred cows and is a straighttalker. This is mir­rored in the com­pany’s mar­ket­ing cam­paigns, which are of­ten con­tentious and con­tro­ver­sial and have led Nando’s to be ear­marked by Ad­ver­tis­ing Age as among the 30 hottest brands around.

Brozin’s en­thu­si­asm drives the cre­ative en­ergy that per­me­ates the busi­ness, from sourc­ing par­tic­u­lar ma­te­ri­als to de­vel­op­ing the vis­ual legacy of the brand. Now he sees him­self as main­tain­ing the soul of the brand, en­sur­ing that it re­mains rel­e­vant and pur­pose­ful.

Hav­ing nav­i­gated the path from start-up to cor­po­rate to global op­er­a­tor, Brozin’s style has al­ways been down-to-earth and ca­sual. He also has an ac­tive in­ter­est in pur­su­ing hu­man­i­tar­ian is­sues, such as fight­ing malaria in Africa.

A Nando's restau­rant in Manch­ester, UK.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.