The business of passion

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There is a new dynamic in the business community of Southern Africa - have you felt it?

Throughout the world, business organisations are there to promote the interests of the business community nuanced by domestic legislation and economic circumstances. The models vary greatly around the world where the continental European model is serviced by an almost automatic business fee applied to all business, to the more liberal models like South Africa, where this is done by voluntary association and the challenges this creates for our organised business institutions.


The first decade of the 21st century began with one of the worst recessionary periods in world history and a change in the pivotal role of traditional markets as developing markets gained momentum and there was a shift in the sphere of investor confidence towards these previously ‘risky’ economies at a time when traditional market economies went into recession.

Against these somewhat turbulent environmental operating factors, organised business in South Africa has faced the prospects of adaptation or extinction. This has required redefining the strategies and direction that needs to be taken. We simply cannot rely on traditional formulas to carry us into the decades ahead. We need to adopt a new vision which is practical to implement, introduces new value propositions to business (as an incentive to join) and stay part of the organisation, and help grow the economic pie for all of our people.

This requires a healthy mix of influencing policy with Government, but perhaps more importantly, creating that right empathy between business and Government, and indeed, labour, where we are all pulling in the same direction. It serves no purpose to follow an antagonistic flight path - indeed, this is surely doomed to crash…

But this is not going to be enough, we in organised business, have to also lead by example. We need to think out of the box, create new initiatives, be proactive, and generate a climate conducive to business and , especially, small business. This requires a bond between big and small business which is sensitive to the demographics of our population, but at the same time, engenders a philosophy of innovation and growth. This is in the DNA of our people. We need to ignite the passion which drives the wheels of growth.

The catalyst to this economic story lies with our organisation--the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) - “the voice of business”. Enlivened by a forward-thinking president and driver for change, we have entered 2016 with an entirely newly crafted strategy which has recently been adopted by SACCI decision making structures.

Critically now, the implementation of the new strategy will require us to make bold decisions to achieve the desired outcomes. Much of the success of what we do will gravitate around our partnerships with business and other stakeholders, domestically, regionally, and indeed, globally, leveraging on these relationships to grow the mass of SACCI further.

Our journey is not expected to be an easy one, but with passion, hard work and determination, we will persevere as our dedicated team forges its way towards the desired objective.

As the iconic Steve Jobs was infinitely aware, success lies within the human spirit, the desire to challenge boundaries, to push the envelope, to intuitively experiment until we reach that ‘Eureka moment’. This is the journey we have set for ourselves. Some call it challenging, others call it exciting. We call it business - the business of SACCI.


Alan Mukoki




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Issue 91


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