Name: Christopher Machiel van Zyl (32)
Region: Southern Region
Job Title: Founder & Managing Director, Professional Rugby Player
Years in this position: 2, 6
Company Name: Walworth Consulting (Pty) Ltd, Stormers
Entry Category: Entrepreneur, Sports Personality
His journey to the CA(SA) designation may have been an unconventional one, but Chris van Zyl chose to focus on the unique opportunities presented rather than lament the unforeseen obstacles and interruptions. A longer than expected training contract required a relocation that led him to fulfil a dream of leading Western Province to the Currie Cup title just a year after completing his qualification. His experiences as a trainee inspired the launch of a company focused on delivering premium support to the small businesses that drive the growth of the South African economy.
In founding Walworth Consulting, Chris and his team have focused on delivering bespoke business support services to start-ups and SMMEs. Through augmenting the power and capabilities of cutting-edge cloud accounting technology with a personal touch, Walworth provides business owners with a platform from which they can access real-time financial information around the clock. From here, by harnessing the power of the accounting systems of tomorrow, clients are able to support their daily business decisions with relevant, real-time data.
Chris finds the similarities between leading a team on the field and offering best-in-class service very complementary. On a personal level, the discipline, perseverance and commitment to constantly produce an output of the highest standard are non-negotiable, as is the ability to adapt to the needs and requirements of the team, and clients, to ensure the desired outcome.
The concept of ‘team’ is where Chris has found a passion for harnessing the power of the collective and the value of social capital. The sense that the team is always greater than the sum of the parts is something he is fervent about, particularly when it comes to developing the next generation of South African leaders and shapeshifters, empowering small business owners or helping youngsters nurture their dream of running out at Newlands. He regularly leads coaching clinics around the Western Cape as part of the Stormers squad and has established a micro apprenticeship programme within Walworth to this end. He believes that the future is already here and leads by example in ensuring that it is paid the requisite attention.