AEEI boss named top empowered business leader

Published 31 March 2017 by Business Report, Kabeo Khumalo

Cape Town – African Equity Empowerment Investments (AEEI) group chief executive Khalid Abdulla was on Thursday named as the top empowered business leader of the year at the 16th Oliver Empowerment Awards held in Johannesburg.Abdulla said he was humbled by the award and credited AEEI’s board and his management team for continuing to implement the group’s 2020 strategic vision for growth and transformation.

“Since its inception, AEEI undertook to focus on growing the business and to provide the platform for empowerment of others, especially the empowerment of those disadvantaged individuals who are driven to succeed with us,” he said.

AEEI chief executive Khalid Abdulla was named as the top empowered business leader of the year at the 16th Oliver Empowerment Awards. Picture: Independent Media

AEEI, which was formerly called Sekunjalo Investments, invests in the fishing, information technology, financial services, food and healthcare industries. The Oliver Empowerment Awards are the country’s foremost awards recognising leadership and innovation in empowerment.

The awards are rigorously assessed and independently assured and provide recognition for companies that are integrating empowering business practice and delivering positive impacts in the marketplace, in the workplace and in the communities they operate.

Abdulla said the group’s success was due to its highly skilled empowerment management team, which put the company on the front foot for future growth.

“We are deeply honoured to have been recognised for our efforts with these awards, testament to our commitment to broad-based black economic empowerment, enterprise development and delivering strong financial performance with a holistic and sustainable business model,” Abdulla said.

The group has been on a spending spree in the past few years, particularly making significant acquisitions in the information technology space.

In 2015, it increased its stake in security and defence specialist company Saab Grintek Defence to 25percent – the deal was valued at R120million.

Aside from the Saab investment, the company has secured equity partnership with consumer brands group Pioneer Foods and fund management group Sygnia, for which it paid R10m.

The group last year acquired a 57percent stake in Midrand-based information technology company Puleng Technologies for an undisclosed amount. The award bestowed on Abdulla is one of the numerous given to the company in the course of last year.

In July last year, the Financial Mail announced AEEI as the top performer on the JSE, after it had demonstrated continued and consistent financial growth.

This followed recognition by Empowerdex on October 6, 2016, in its annual benchmark of JSE-listed companies as the Most Empowered Company under the amended codes as well as the Most Empowered Management Control.

Abdulla said that the work done in implanting the group’s 2020 vision and growing up in a racially divided South Africa had steered him and the company in the right direction.

“Where we have come from and what we experienced in years gone by has given me a different perspective on life and business.

“I see that echoed in many of my co-workers. What sets AEEI apart, and I believe has made us this solid and successful entity, is how we identify opportunities and our approach in taking these prospects forward to fruition.”

Full article here.

Survé’s Brics appointment good for SA

Published 31 March 2017 by Adri Senekal de Wet, Business Report

Dr Iqbal Survé, the chairperson of Sekunjalo Group and Independent Media, has been appointed as the chairperson of the South African chapter of the Brics Business Council.Survé, a billionaire businessman with investments in a diversified portfolio including media, technology and healthcare, on Thursday told Business Report that he was excited and honoured to serve as chairperson of the SA chapter; his mission is to ensure that all South Africans share in the benefits of being part of the fast growing economies of the east and the south.

Survé sees “Trump’s protectionism” and “Brexit” as an opportunity for South Africa to strengthen ties with business in the East, especially China and India, whose economies are expected to be number one and number three in the world by 2030, with a gross domestic product of $35trillion (R455.32trln) and $16trln, respectively.

Dr Iqbal Survé has been appointed chairperson of the South African chapter of the Brics Business Council. Picture: Tracey Adams/Independent Media

Dr Daniel Matjila, the chief executive of the Public Investment Corporation, congratulated Survé on Thursday: “This achievement is the result of his hard work and his fearless spirit.” His message ends with: “Iqbal, always keep your aim high and carry on your noble nature, many successes are yet to come your way. South Africa is proud of you”.

Survé is passionate about job creation, education, skills development and technology; he sees his new role as “enabler to ensure that Brics benefits the most marginalised South Africans and Africans, especially in the areas of financial services and sustainable development financing”.

“I will work with some of the best business leaders in the country and in the various Brics business councils. It is also an opportunity to enable our country to achieve the goals of inclusive growth and economic transformation. I will work with leading South African, Brazilian, Indian, Chinese and Russian captains of industry and in the various Brics business councils, a wonderful opportunity to enable our country to achieve the goals of inclusive growth and economic and social transformation,” he said.

Founding member

Survé is a founding member of the Brics Business Council and the Clinton Global Initiative; he serves on a number of multi-lateral institutions and global organisations.

Survé served as the first chairperson of the WEF Global Growth Companies Advisory Board and vice chairperson of the Global Agenda Council for Emerging Multinationals. He is a participant member of the G20 meeting and serves on B20 Task Teams as well as the Unga private sector forum, amongst others.

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Brics meeting set on solid relations

Published 31 March 2017 by  staff reporter, Cape Times.

Sekunjalo Group and Independent Media executive chairman Dr Iqbal Survé leads the SA Brics Business Council meeting in Delhi, India, to strengthen business links between South Africa and the Brics bloc.

SA Brics Business Council arrived in New Delhi on Thursday to attend the mid-term meeting of Brics representatives with their international counterparts.

Brics is an association of five emerging economies; Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Half of the world’s population, almost four billion people, live in these five countries. Collectively. Brics has a GDP of about $37 trillion.

Dr Iqbal Survé leads the SA Brics Business Council meeting in Delhi, India, to strengthen business links between South Africa and the Brics bloc. Picture: Tracey Adams/Independent Media

Newly appointed chairman of the South African chapter of the Brics Business Council, Survé said the mid-term meeting was an important event in the run-up to the Brics Summit which will be hosted by China, in the city of Xiamen in September. The summit will be hosted in South Africa next year.

Survé said he intended to strengthen the multilateral relationships of the South African business community with the Brics countries to the mutual benefit for each country.

The Brics Business Council ensures continuous interaction between the business communities and governments of Brics countries, identifying problems, bottlenecks and solutions to facilitate trade and foster investment relationships.

Brics Business Council members are appointed by the South African government. Commenting on his appointment as chairman, Survé said: “The Brics Business Council members are first and foremost ambassadors for the country.

“We are there to ensure that all South Africans benefit as the global economy moves rapidly towards the east and south.

“In the age of Trump protectionism and Brexit, we have to strengthen our ties with business in the East especially China and India, whose economies are expected to be number one and number three in the world by 2030, with a GDP of $35trillion and $16 trillion respectively,” he said.

Survé is a founding member of the Brics Business Council, and said he would build on the work done by his predecessors, Patrice Motsepe and, most recently, Brian Molefe.

The SA Brics Business Council members accompanying Survé include Siyabonga Gama, Transnet chief executive, and Danisa Baloyi, Black Business Council president, who are new appointments, Khanyisile Kweyama, of Business Unity South Africa, and Stavros Nicolaou, of Aspen Pharmacare, who retain their positions as members of the council.

The council will work closely with ministers in various clusters and business sectors including Finance, Trade and Industry, International Relations and Co-operation, Science and Technology, and Education.

Survé said: “It is indeed an honour to lead the South African Brics Business Council and to represent my country and in addition, I will work with some of the best business leaders in the country and in the various Brics business councils. It is also an opportunity to enable our country to achieve the goals of inclusive growth and economic transformation.

“I am passionate about job creation, education, skills development and technology, and I hope that in this new role, I will be able to ensure that Brics benefits the most marginalised South Africans and Africans.”

The upcoming Brics Business Council mid-term meeting will be taking stock of progress in deregulation, manufacturing, infrastructure, agri-business, skills development, financial services and energy and the green economy, and prepare for the September summit.

Survé said the business bouncil had a huge role to play in economic development on all fronts.

“It is an interesting development that China is flying the flag for globalisation at a time when the United States President Donald Trump is taking a more protectionist stance.This opens up many opportunities, not only for South Africa, but for the continent.

“As South Africans, we have to make sure that we remain relevant in the global economic order and that we have access to the global market, and access to capital,” he said, adding it was vital to ensure that Africans benefit from the New Development Bank. The bank was established by the Brics to support public or private projects, by supplying loans, guarantees and equity participation.

“The bank must not just benefit countries in Asia, we want them to build dams, roads, power stations and railway lines in Africa,” Survé said.

Brics brings many opportunities to South Africa as the country needs more foreign-direct investment.

“South Africa spends more than 40% (R153 billion) of the budget servicing debt, and if we don’t have foreign-direct investment, it will lead to greater unemployment and social instability. That is why the business council is crucial. It is there to ensure as a country, we can channel FDI from the rest of the world, but mostly from Brazil, Russian, India and China.

Read the full article here.