The Wits School of Accountancy headed by Professor Nirupa Padia hosted a seminar on 18 September titled ‘The Chartered Accountant as an Entrepreneur’ which explored the skills, training and character traits required by chartered accountants to be successful entrepreneurs.
The keynote speaker was Brian Joffe CA(SA), one of South Africa’s greatest entrepreneurs who founded the Bidvest Group in 1988 with a $1 million cash shell which he made after acquiring and growing a pet food business and turned it into Africa’s closest comparison to multinational conglomerate General Electric.
Today, Bidvest has a market capitalisation of R67 billion, revenues of R77 billion, and employs more than 140 000 people globally. Before stepping down from the company as group CEO three years ago, Joffe unbundled Bidvest’s foodservice business in 2016 into a separate JSE listing called Bidcorp. The unbundled entity, which is one of the world’s largest foodservice companies with a geographic footprint over four continents, pulls in revenues of about R119 billion and employs more than 26 000 people.