Africa Outlook

If you could offer one piece of advice for a young entreprene­ur entering your industry, what would it be?


Matt Davis

Operations Director, Tayanna Mozambique

“You never stop learning. The mining industry is smaller than you initially think so never burn a bridge. Buying equipment is the easy side of things, but finding good people is much harder. Civil contractin­g is a people industry – your team is key to running a good operation.”

Simon Alston

CEO, Wellness Warehouse “In the health and wellness industry, people shouldn’t underestim­ate the fact that customers are often very well informed. People do their research, and they’re not prepared to compromise. So, if you’re going to launch a product, you need a very compelling offering. People are looking for products that have clear health benefits, so ethicacy has to be evident. Equally, the point about being mindful of a product’s standing in relation to both personal health and care for the planet is similarly crucial. If you can address both those desires, recognisin­g that customers are well informed, then you can do well in this industry.”

Marius Vermeulen

Sales and Marketing Manager, Elmacast Engineerin­g

“Don’t do it! No, all jokes aside, casting is a very difficult market to break into as a new supplier. The reason being is that each customer has very specific needs in terms of their requiremen­ts and if they have a supplier that can meet this already, they rarely ever move away from them. There are genuinely multiple things that can go wrong in a foundry and power supply is but only one of them. Successful foundries have built up years of fault finding and mitigation techniques that cannot be taught in any books or courses, as each type of casting will have unique challenges to overcome. Experience is the key factor here.”

Paul Berman

Joint CEO, Berman Brothers Group

“Develop your network, nurture your relationsh­ips and never let down a customer or a client who’s been referred to you.

Our strength is our intimate understand­ing of our community, where we grew up, and the strong partnershi­ps that have helped us to deliver signature luxury developmen­ts which have helped rejuvenate the suburb and contribute­d to the growth in property values.”

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