“Entrepreneurs are here together because we believe in a common interest; building a business foundation for South Africa,” said Dr Igbal Surve, executive chairman of the [DATA SKJ:Sekunjalo Investment Group] and Independent Media, at the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) annual convention.
“You don’t have to destroy the competition. Destroying each other shows that there is a lack of understanding of the bigger picture which is building South Africa’s business sector. What’s the use of having secrets? You need to believe that all members of society must work together.”
He explained that most entrepreneurs have shared similar challenges on their path to success and have overcome them through hard work, resilience, commitment and sacrifice.
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In other parts of the world, most business owners have adapted to a fresh way of thinking and have implemented new business models while South Africa is still stuck using traditional methods.
“Why are we not seeing that the business eco-system is changing completely? We need a new way of thinking and new business models or else we’ll be left behind,” he explained.
“Innovation, technology and creativity is what we need to look into.”
For example, Surve added, entrepreneurs need to tap into Africa’s infrastructure spend.
Africa is spending six trillion US dollars on infrastructure. South African entrepreneurs need to work together along with government in order to find ways to tap into that spend and expand into the rest of the continent.”
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“We should be leading the business community as entrepreneurs into the rest of Africa. We have the economic and institutional base as well as government support.”
Surve believes that SACCI could be a huge driver in changing the negative thinking among entrepreneurs and encourage them to work together.