ABOUT BERNARD BERSON

Finweek English Edition - - ON THE MONEY -

How much do you travel?

Ev­ery five or six weeks – to where the re­quire­ment is. I have got a good team around me and our style is de­cen­tralised and au­ton­o­mous, where we find good peo­ple and em­power them. Fi­nan­cial re­port­ing is key to us, but we leave peo­ple alone; we get the right peo­ple in­volved, so the re­quire­ment to travel is more of a states­man role – for co-oper­a­tion, col­lab­o­ra­tion and the ex­change of ideas.

De­scribe your man­age­ment style.

I am not a plan­ner, more of a big thinker than a doer, more of a strate­gist than a man­ager, and I have peo­ple around me who are good man­agers. It is about hav­ing vi­sion and con­fi­dence to do things. I am very re­sults ori­en­tated. Not every­thing is good news, I un­der­stand that, but I don’t like sur­prises – make it quick and don’t try to hide any­thing. As long as they are ca­pa­ble, peo­ple are left alone to a large de­gree.

Your favourite hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion?

I find ev­ery place in­ter­est­ing, even if I don’t like it. But Lon­don and New York are my favourite cities. I like busy­ness and ac­tiv­ity. I am not the type that wants to get lost on Mount Kil­i­man­jaro.

What do you do to re­lax?

What I love do­ing is try­ing to iden­tify trends – new things like the in­creas­ing pop­u­lar­ity of Mex­i­can food, or whether frozen yo­ghurt is on its way out.

What big trend are you see­ing now?

That the con­sumer wants bet­ter qual­ity. They want to know where it is com­ing from and are con­cerned about whether it is good for them, whether it was made us­ing slave labour or whether an­i­mal wel­fare was taken into ac­count. This is be­com­ing more im­por­tant and peo­ple are will­ing to pay for it.

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