James Caan: offering to replicate UK’s small business growth story in SA

By Alec Hogg We hosted a special guest at Biznews yesterday. The only possible thing that could have have made it better would have engineered the simultaneous attendance the hard-to-reach Lindiwe Zulu, political head of SA’s new Small Business Ministry. Our visitor was business television celebrity, British entrepreneur of the year, Dragon’s Den star and … Read more

Well done Patricia – Cape Town efficiency really shows

By Alec Hogg We’ve just returned after a few days in Cape Town, long overdue as is any visit to the Mother City. The Cape Winter gets a terribly unfair Press: we had brilliant sunshine all five days. Also on the upside, eateries frequented by locals are as good as ever, including a wonderful discovery … Read more

Media Mogul Murdoch to G20: Get out of business’s way

Love him or hate him, you certainly cannot ignore media mogul Rupert Murdoch. The Australian-born billionaire might be 83 but he has lost none of his straight-talking, his ability to call a spade a bloody shovel. This morning the owner of the Wall Street Journal, The Times of London, Sky News and a host of … Read more

Common decency not that common in business. Sadly.

One of the first things one learns about Commercial Law is that a company is a legal persona. An entity. Singular. The simple fact escapes most trainee financial journalists. When writing about companies they invariably apply “their” instead of “its”, needing to be weaned away from the plural to singular. This separate persona, however, is … Read more

Only the short-sighted are buying retail stocks at these lofty levels

I met the new CEO of Groupon South Africa yesterday. Emilian Popa is as interesting as his name exotic. MBAs from both Columbia and London Business Schools, he’s a bit of an Internet startup veteran. Popa returned to the company he left soon after helping his two former partners get it off the ground. They’ve … Read more

Why there’s no such thing as an overnight sensation

For journalists, old notebooks can be more than a stroll down memory lane. They are also reminders of forgotten lessons. Bestselling writer Malcolm Gladwell visited South Africa for the first time in 2009. He was invited by Discovery to headline its Leadership Summit, the most ambitious of its kind attempted here. The event has grown … Read more

All work has dignity, a chance to unleash the virtuoso within

By now hope you’ve managed to hear my interview with Robin Sharma. It was memorable. Including the part where he talked about the cleaning lady he met at the Didimala Game Lodge who beamed when she told him why she loved her job. As Robin shared: “It reminded me that all work has dignity.” Sometimes … Read more

The reason God gave us two ears and one mouth

By the way he put the human body together, the Good Lord encouraged us to listen twice as much as we speak. Shamefully, I forget this advice far too often. Say too much, and allow noise created by empty vessels or vested interests to infiltrate my thinking. Drawing conclusions before listening carefully to the small … Read more

New Act, PICC’s power – everything now in place for SA’s infrastructure boom

Investors in and management of South African construction companies have been waiting a few years for the Government’s promised infrastructure programme to kick into gear. A Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordination Committee was established to fast track the process, using tactics successfully employed ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Last Tuesday the process received a timely … Read more

Getting a little better, every day. Thanks to technology.

Age has its benefits, not taking technology for granted among them. Having started as a trainee reporter on a typewriter complete with carbon sheets and tippex, it’s hard to believe how far we’ve come in three decades. At the office last night we were talked through our radio studio’s technical problems with the aid of … Read more