The world is changing fast and to keep up you need local knowledge with global context.
One of the first things to strike any South African working in the First World is the country’s relative insignificance in a global context. Particularly in the financial world.
A friend who was always one of the first ports for any potential deals while in SA, told me by the time opportunities get offered to him got to him in London, they’d first been presented to a couple dozen others.
That context emphasises how successful Naspers has been in establishing itself in the global arena. Witness its participation as one of just 28 companies in on the ground floor of Facebook’s cryptocurrency project Libra – probably the the most exciting new business opportunity anywhere right now.
Naspers CFO Basil Sgourdos told me in a fascinating interview yesterday that the group is offered up to 800 deals a year. Surely getting the first bite at most – a result of its high success rate and that fact that under two dozen applicants get through the process. South African investors have a huge exposure to Naspers. Good to know their investment is working hard.
Cyril Ramaphosa: The Audio Biography
Listen to the story of Cyril Ramaphosa's rise to presidential power, narrated by our very own Alec Hogg.