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17 November 2016

Emperors Palace


What is the National Business Conference

National Business Conference in association with the National Business Awards, will gather under one roof South Africa’s business giants to reveal their proven formulas for success.


Together they will share their insights on topics covering innovations, investing in people, sustainability, entrepreneurship, economic forecasts, global growth, attractive foreign investments, leadership, succession planning, nurturing talent, and philanthropy.

Not only this, but breakaway sessions, panel discussions and one-on-one deal rooms will be an excellent opportunity to network and exchange ideas with other business leaders.

The leaders of business know why they are number one in their sectors – do you?

This is your chance to learn from the elite of South African business and set your company on the path to join the best as peers in the industry.

Our 2016 Speakers

Lullu Krugel

Lullu Krugel

Chief Economist of KPMG SA

Lullu Krugel is a Partner in Financial Risk Management and the Chief Economist of KPMG South Africa. She is a frequent presenter at conferences and a regular commentator in the media, where she shares her insights about developments in the South African economy. Over the past 9 years, she has worked with national and multinational clients, assisting them to understand their strategic positioning in light of current and expected future economic developments. If you don’t find her looking at graphs, she might be out running or if the weather does not play along, you might find her with a paintbrush or a book of poetry in her hand.

Dr Mathews Phosa

Dr Mathews Phosa

Attorney and Politician

Dr Mathews Phosa is attorney and one of South Africa’s leading business and political figures. During the early 1980s, Dr Phosa was forced into exile where he became the Regional Commander for Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) the then military wing of the ANC. In his return to the country, he was appointed as the first Premier of the Mpumalanga Province in 1994. Dr Phosa also served as ANC’s Treasurer General from 2007 – 2012. In addition to his political career, Dr Phosa has multiple business ventures where he sits on a number of listed/unlisted company boards. With numerous other accolades behind him, in 2013, he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to transformation and empowerment at the 12th Oliver Empowerment Awards.

Lee Naik

Lee Naik

Managing Director of Accenture Digital in South Africa

Lee Naik is Managing Director of Accenture Digital in South Africa. Over the course of his career, he has worked across all spheres of government and private sector industries.

His experience ranges from developing first-in-country strategies and solutions to transforming service delivery, to hands-on delivery managing complex end-to-end programmes.

Lee has a deep understanding and appreciation of the transformative role that technology can play. His current focus is on helping organisations navigate the challenges and opportunities presented by digital technologies, transforming their businesses to remain competitive in an ever-changing and increasingly digital world.

Recognised as one of South Africa’s leading digital and technology transformation experts, Lee is a frequent speaker and commentator on all media platforms.

Lee qualified from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal with a bachelor of science degree in computer science.

Mothobi Seseli

Mothobi Seseli

CEO of Argon Asset Management

Mothobi Seseli is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of one of Southern Africa’s top performing investment management firms, Argon Asset Management. He has over 20 years’ experience in the financial services industry (retirement funds consultant, economist, investment analyst, own trustee training business & part- time university lecturer).

His most recent experience is from the South African subsidiary of NYSE listed global asset manager, Alliance Capital Management LP (now Alliance Bernstein LP) & Investec Asset Management. Mothobi’s leadership skills have been recognised internationally and his achievements in the industry include: BEST ASSET MANAGEMENT CEO SOUTH AFRICA (2015 & 2016) by Global Banking and Finance Review; BEST ASSET MANAGEMENT INDUSTRY CEO in Africa (2015) by IAIR and BEST ASSET MANAGEMENT CEO (2016) by Global Brand Magazine.

Mothobi completed his Masters in Economics from Rand Afrikaans University, he completed the Executive Programme for Growing Companies at Stanford University Graduate School of Business (US) and the Private Equity Programme and a Postgraduate Diploma in Global Business Studies from Saïd Bus School, Oxford University (UK).

Asher Bohbot

Asher Bohbot

CEO, EOH Holdings

Mr. Bohbot serves as the Group Chief Executive Officer of EOH Holdings Limited. Mr. Bohbot joined Laminate Industries (later to be part of the PG Group) as an industrial engineering manager in 1981. He served as Logistics Director of Laminate Industries from 1990. He was subsequently promoted to the position of General Manager of Laminate Industries. He was the Executive Director of Distribution on the main board of PG Bison. He took responsibility for Logistics and IT at the company in 1995. Throughout his career, he was exposed to general business leadership, business systems and supply chain logistics, leading four major system implementations. He moved to South Africa in 1980 where he joined AECI as a senior engineer. Mr. Bohbot has been an Executive Director of EOH Holdings since August 6, 1998. He served as a Director of Enterprise Outsourcing Holdings Limited August 6, 1998. Mr. Bohbot holds a B.Sc. in Industrial Engineering from MAP.

Greg Solomon

Greg Solomon

CEO of McDonald’s South Africa

Greg Solomon, CEO of McDonald’s South Africa, started his career as an engineer. He joined McDonald’s in 1996 where he was a project manager in the construction department. During this time, he was instrumental in the building of some of the first McDonald’s restaurants across South Africa. Greg leads by example and manages his business through his people, with a focus on accountability and profitability. His leadership has resulted in 5 successive years of revenue, market share and profit growth. Greg’s unwavering drive has also seen him elected as Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of McDonald’s South Africa Pension and Provident Fund. Greg was also a finalist in Boss of the Year 2011 and was named the Institute of People Management CEO of the Year 2011.

Allan Hirsch

Allan Hirsch

CEO & Founder of Hirsch Group

Allan Hirsch is the CEO and Founder of the Hirsch Group of companies. Hirsch’s is the largest independently owned appliance and electronics retailer in Southern Africa, with thirteen branches and four concept stores spread throughout Gauteng, KZN and the Cape. Allan and his wife, Margaret, established the Hirsch’s Home Store brand in 1979 and over the years have turned it into a billion rand business. Allan’s story is not only a lesson in the importance of tenacity and passion but it provides a timely reminder of how going back to basics can be the most important thing you do for your business.

In the 1970’s Allan worked as an electrical appliance apprentice who was as short of money as he was of confidence. After struggling through school with dyslexia, Hirsch eventually dropped out in standard seven and, after completing an apprenticeship started working in a company in Durban North repairing appliances.

In 1979 with the grand total of R900 in his pocket Hirsch took the leap and opened his first electrical appliance repair store in Durban North. “I had to pay R300 in rent and a R300 electricity deposit upfront, and I spent R300 on marketing before we opened – so on day one I was absolutely flat broke,” he recalls.

Needless to say, the business grew from strength to strength and the company recently achieved their second billion rand in turnover. “People often ask me what the secret to success is and I tell them there’s no secret. You just have to focus on the basics, and customer service is a basic. It’s the philosophy on which the Hirsch culture was established.

We have always tried to remember and implement the little things, like greeting a customer, smiling, walking them back to the till and carrying their parcels to the car. These aren’t

Alan Mukoki

Alan Mukoki

CEO, South African Chambers of Commerce and Industry (SACCI)

Alan Mukoki has had many years’ experience working as a senior executive, board level executive and non-executive director for various major private and public entities in South Africa, including, amongst others, Khula Finance, Business Partners, Peoples Bank, Land and Agricultural Bank, Nedbank, Denel. Alan is a founder member of Pacific Atlantic Capital and Hloma BCI Investments, both companies have been involved in the identification and acquisition of BEE opportunities in various sectors. Alan studied banking, strategy, finance and the management of mega projects at the University of Oxford, where he graduated with both the Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Strategy, as well as the Master of Science (MSc) in Mega Projects Management. He is a Certified Associate CAIB (SA) and Fellow (FIBSA) of the Institute of Bankers in South Africa. He was appointed as CEO of SACCI in July 2015

Themi Stergianos

Themi Stergianos

Business Coach, Entrepreneur and Investor

Themi Stergianos (Entrepreneural MBA) is an accomplished Business Coach, Entrepreneur and Investor. He has a unique focus of working with Fast Growing businesses. With his extensive business experience, he mentors his cl ients to achieve extraordinary results in their own businesses and many credit him with their successes.

Themi has won many Business Coaching and Mentoring awards including international Action Man Award and South African Coach of the Year.

Jannie Venter

Jannie Venter

Managing Executive, Absa Life, South Africa

Jannie Venter joined Absa in October 2011 as the Managing Executive for Absa Life. Prior to his appointment to Absa, he worked for Liberty Life focussing on Emerging Markets and Bancassurance in the role of Divisional Director. He also worked for almost 18 years at Metropolitan Life mostly in Product Development and Marketing role. In his free time, Jannie likes to stay active and started hiking a few years ago.  He is married to Adele and has three girls.

John Barton-Bridges

John Barton-Bridges

CEO of Griffin Advisors

John has more than 30 year’s professional experience in various industry sectors, primarily in the finance discipline for private companies.

John has gained professional experience in Europe, the United States of America, Canada and the emerging markets of Latin America, Central Asia, the Middle East, and several countries in Africa. He has served as Chief Executive Officer of companies within the Jonah Capital group since 2007.

Previously, he spent 6 years as Vice President in the private equity team at AIG Investments, involved in AIG’s $400 million Africa Infrastructure Fund. Prior to this he spent 10 years with International Finance Corporation, the private-sector arm of the World Bank Group, where he achieved the position of Principal Investment Officer.

During this period he was seconded by IFC to the Development Bank of Southern Africa as Head, Private Sector Investments Unit, where he was responsible for the bank’s entire private sector business activities in Africa. Prior to obtaining his MBA he spent 12 years working as an engineer in Africa, Canada and the USA. He has, at various times, held the following positions: Investment Committee, AIG African Infrastructure Fund, L.L.P.; Director, Municipal Infrastructure Investment Unit, South Africa; and, DBSA’s representative Director, Board of Directors of Proparco, Paris, France.

He currently serves as a director on several of the Jonah Capital group company boards.

What is Fast Track Networking (FTN) and how does it work?

FTN is like speed dating for professionals. It is the best way to build and maintain relationships with the companies you want yours to do business with. It’s a unique, fast-paced and structured initiative in which busy decision-makers meet briefly to introduce or promote their business and readily share contact information with each other.

This type of event can provide exposure to a lot of people in a short amount of time. It’s a way to let others know who you are and what you are looking for.

What are the key benefits of FTN?

– Make new business contacts –
– Interact one-on-one with other professionals –
– Find solutions to your business road blocks –
– Showcase new products –
– Promote your business –
– Generate publicity –

How to prepare for Fast Track Networking

  • Practice a 60-second statement that includes your name, title or occupation, and what you are looking for, such as information or leads and get straight to the point
  • Make sure you have a supply of business cards ready, bring at least 30
  • Bring a pen and notepad
  • Remember that you only have a few seconds to make a positive first impression

Fast Track Networking Sponsor

The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) is one of the leading Development Financial Institutions (DFIs) in Africa. At the core of our mandate, the DBSA seeks to play a pivotal role in delivering developmental infrastructure in South Africa and the rest of Africa. The strategy of the DBSA is to provide sustainable infrastructure project preparation, finance and implementation support in selected African markets to improve the quality of life of people, in support of economic growth and regional integration. Our work targets investments mainly in the energy, transport, water and communications sectors. We also provide support to sectors such as health, education and housing.


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