5 Success Stories In South Africa

With the first week back at University under our belt, thoughts of making a difference and being successful are strongly placed in our minds. We have a look at 5 inspiring stories of success, from spaza shops to failed and retried degrees have left an outstanding mark for our young leaders:
  • Ronnie Apteker who went against the “It can’t be done” & opened the doors to e-business.

Apteker’s stint as an entrepreneur was in the early 90s when he identified the opportunity for businesses to incorporate IT solutions with their business processes for real time solutions.

His business idea, Internet Solutions, was faced with challenges as corporate South Africa had just embraced the idea of a company website. His innovation was rather perceived as far-fetched. Struggling to keep business afloat, Apteker sold a stake in his business to Dimension Data.

Over the years, Apteker’s Internet Solutions business has thrived to become e-business service provider to 80% of the top 250 listed companies in South Africa.

  • Herman Mashaba who dropped out of university due to political unrest and made it happen

Mashaba found himself working for Spar Pretoria as a Clerk after the shutting down of University of The North West as a result of political unrest. After 7 months at Spar, he left to join Motani Industries.

In less than 2 years at Mitoni, he left to join a hair care manufacturing business. He would later on use the acquired skills to set up his own hair care manufacturing business under the name Black Like Me.

In 2004, Mashaba resigned as CEO and embarked on other endeavours in various industries such as mining, real estate, aviation, etc.

  • Raymond Ackerman lost his job and negotiated and raised funds to be the best

Asked what his formula to success is, Ackerman replied “10 percent capital and 90 percent guts” which has now become one the famous inspirational business quotes.

Having just lost a job with Checkers, Ackerman’s spirit was not dampened he got up and give it another go. Upon arriving back in Cape Town, he commenced negotiations with Jack Goldin who, at the time, owned four Pick ‘n Pay outlets.

In the first year of trading, Pick ‘n Pay had a turnover of R5 million and subsequently doubling it the year after. In no time, Raymond’s business was competing with that of his previous employers.

To date, Pick n Pay is one of the biggest Fast-Moving Consumable Goods retail chain in Southern Africa.

  • Tokyo Sexwale went from Exile to prison and through guts and determination got success.

Sexwale was born in the township of Soweto. His career trajectory has been quite a political one. He was in exile until 1976, he returned to South Africa thereafter.

Soon after his return to S.A, he was arrested by the apartheid government for his political activism for the liberation of black South Africans. While imprisoned, Tokyo attained a BCom degree with the University of South Africa.

He went to establish Mvelaphanda Holdings, a company reportedly to be the third biggest in the diamond industry locally, after De Beers and JFPI Corporation.

In addition to chairing companies such as Trans Hex Group Ltd. and Northam Platinum Ltd., he holds the position of director for Absa Group Limited, Altech and Gold Fields Ltd.

  • Patrice Motsepe used his experience and skills acquired from his father to become established.

Motsepe has frequented Forbes’s list for the richest businessmen in South Africa more than we can recall. His lauded business acumen is a result of the years spent, as a youngster, working for his father’s store and beer hall. That experience has exposed him to the lives of mine workers who bought their daily supplies from his father’s store.

After completing his matric, he went to study law and has worked as an Attorney. In 1994 he founded the mine services company Future Mining and in 1997 he launched ARMgold, which in the early 2000s merged with Harmony. His acquisition also include a 51 percent stake in the football club Mamelodi Sundowns.

Every entrepreneur has a story to tell, share yours. What makes you different? What will your inspiring story of success be? #TBCUnderstands and #TBCSupports businesses’ humble beginnings.We understand that getting to the top requires passion and determination and a little support from partners you can rely on, that is why The Business Centre offers flexible and fully furnished offices for rent in order for you to remove your stress of buildings, telephones and insurance so that you can focus on what really matters in getting you there.


Written by How South Africa

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