What’s your next?

The Standard Bank Business Breakfast series in proud association with Jacaranda FM was a resounding success;

Keynote speakers, Advocate Thuli Madonsela, John Smit, Miles Kubheka and Dawn Nathan-Jones, delivered a message about the importance of entrepreneurial spirit to a full-house

“#WhatsYourNext” was explored by the expert speakers who brought a diversity of experience to the riveted audience

The Standard Bank Business Breakfast series in proud association with Jacaranda FM was a resounding success, some were star-struck, others were inspired, either way they walked away learning about how to succeed in business.

Keynote speakers, Advocate Thuli Madonsela, John Smit, Miles Kubheka and Dawn Nathan-Jones, delivered a message about the importance of entrepreneurial spirit, to a full-house, at the second leg of the Jacaranda FM Standard Bank Business Breakfast series, on 18 August 2017 at Vodaworld Arena, Vodacom Boulevard in Midrand.

The central theme “#WhatsYourNext” was explored by the expert speakers, who each having achieved success in their respective careers, brought a diversity of experience to the audience.

Madonsela, former Public Protector and academic, was named one of the Most Influential people by Time magazine. Smit, former Springbok captain, led the Springboks to World Cup victory in 2007 and served as CEO of Sharks Rugby. Kubheka, author, public speaker and successful young entrepreneur, is the owner of the successful restaurant ‘Vuyos’. Nathan-Jones, entrepreneur, former CEO of Europcar (formerly known as Imperial Car Rental), is one of the Sharks on Shark Tank SA.

The speakers captivated the audience with stories of their own successes and failures, their hopes for the country, as they shared authentic nuggets of wisdom that were unapologetically South African.

General Manager of Jacaranda FM, Kevin Fine, said that people walk away with practical knowledge that they can implement in their lives, “The key to these sessions is to have people who truly inspire others to go out and do something new and innovative for their businesses.”

“The reason we go out and find speakers of this calibre is that we are interested in our listeners who run businesses. In partnership with companies like Standard Bank, we are trying to build our economy and have a profound impact on people’s lives,” he said.

Rian van Heerden, who presents The Scenic Drive with Rian on Jacaranda FM, introduced the luminaries.

Business is about investing in hope

FORMER Public Protector Adv Thuli Madonsela

Madonsela said, “Business is about investing in hope. You pursue a future you can’t see, that’s what dreams are made of.” She continued that usually there is love, “sometimes a love of money and sometime a love of something more, a love of service to humanity. People are driven by a want to be significant to humanity and leave a footprint that will be there are they are gone.”

“We are living in the best of times,” she continued, “excellent things are being invented that make life easier for us. If you look, you see South African brands everywhere. People complain about the lack of leadership in South Africa, but just look around this room, it is filled with strong leaders. South African’s are leading in all areas of life, technology, we were the first country to conduct a heart transplant, our excellent constitutional court that has been recognised by Harvard.”

She said that in other ways we are also living in the worst of times. Madonsela identified three things that if changed, would change the world: social injustice, climate change and bad governance (including in politics).

Madonsela is currently at Harvard creating a social justice tool, her “Next” is a professorship at Stellenbosch University where she will be conducting a human impact study.

Creating trust is fundamental

Riaan van Heerden (left) and John Smit (right)

Smit spoke about good leadership, citing his role as Springbok Captain as an example. He believes that creating trust is fundamental to any organisation. He explained how the Springboks took a vested interest in each other’s personal lives and those relationships built trust within the team.

“When we built that trust, our group started to engage in dialogue and not debate,” he said.

On his role as CEO of Sharks Rugby, Smit said it was the best three years of his life and that he learnt a lot about leading a business.

The recipe to success

Founder of the famous Vuyo’s Restaurant Miles Kubheka

Kubheka unpacked 15 recipes for success with the impactful message, “be fearless in pursuit of business success”. While his ‘Vuyo’ persona and boerie rolls went viral, his business journey wasn’t smooth sailing. He shared some failures: from his food stall at the Fourways market catching alight; to having no customers at the launch of first restaurant in Braamfontein; having students as customers who “drank” rather than “ate” their money; to having to constantly tow his old ‘Kombi’ food trucks.

“Failure is a funny thing,” he said, “the more I failed, the more I realised it was propelling me to where I was going … Innovation really means that you make a plan to survive, ‘n boer maak ‘n plan, that’s what entrepreneurs must do to succeed. They must not procrastinate. Don’t postpone starting a business, just do it!”

Now a qualified chef, he runs a successful restaurant, Vuyos, on Vilakazi Street, Soweto that specialises in authentic South African cuisine. Each time Kubheka reached a brick wall in his growth journey, someone assisted him in the next step-up.

He shared a metaphor, “If you’re stuck at the side of the road no-one will stop to help you, but if you get out and start pushing your own car, you will be surprised by the number of people who stop to help.”

Kubheka’s “Next” is to launch his new food show.

Bears and Sharks

Former Chief Executive Officer of Imperial Car Rental Nathan Jones

Nathan-Jones, spoke about Bears and Sharks relating them to large corporations and entrepreneurs. She described how she started her own business with three women and six cars in an oil shed and detailed her trials and tribulations during her 35-year career.

She said that sometimes it is in the worst economic times that the greatest innovations occur and used the personal example of how when she was CEO, Imperial Car Rental was re-branded to Europcar, re-inventing the business in the middle of the global recession.

Her best advice was to “never say no” citing being asked to be official logistics operator for the inauguration of Nelson Mandela, having had only 200 luxury vehicles and busses in her fleet when the demand was 3000. With grit and hard work, she delivered.

Nathan-Jones said that there are three parts to life: learning, earning and returning. In this vein, her “Next” after leaving corporate life was to invest in young, raw South African talent through Shark Tank SA, where the show hosts use their personal funds to invest in start-ups. She said that both large corporates and entrepreneurs need to learn from each other.

Nathan-Jones said, “Initiatives like these are a great forum to network. It’s an opportunity to listen to the stories of people you hear about in the news, like Advocate Thuli Madonsela. At these events, you find out how authentic these people are.”


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