Shaun Battlemann is CEO of African Access Holdings in Durban, South Africa, and Chair of the committee for final judging of the management awards categories in The 2012 International Business Awards. (The final entry deadline for the 2012 IBAs is 27 June. If you haven't already done so, you can request your entry kit today.) Here we talk to Shaun about his tips for operating a business in South Africa.
What are your top 3 tips for companies operating in South Africa?
- Before doing business in South Africa, you should fully understand and accept the political, social, and cultural challenges within the South African workplace.
- Think outside the box.
- Use South African solutions for South African challenges.
What item of news recently caught your eye and why?
The Annie Dewani murder case: I have been fascinated by the media coverage generally and their ability to drive everyday thought processes.
What is your favorite app?
News 24. This is an invaluable South African online news resource, accessible via the web, on DStv, and as a mobile phone app.
If you could choose another profession, what would it be?
What quality or qualities do you most value in your business associates?
Applying the expression “No Bridge Too Far” to everyday work, and the uniquely African sense that there is a God.
As someone at the top of your profession, what keeps you inspired or makes you hit the ground running in the morning?
There is a GOD!
About Shaun Battlemann:
In 2003, Shaun founded African Access Holdings, a diversified investment company that acts as a springboard for black emergent entrepreneurs. The company was formed as the result of a challenge from the South African National Department of Education to provide Learner/Teacher Support Material (LTSM) in an accountable and verifiable manner. In addition to serving as CEO of African Access Holdings, Shaun serves as a director on the boards of some 50 companies across the country including LND Projects, Edu Management Solution, Prop Access, Ndabi Investment, Edu Access Holdings, African Access International, Chanti Travel, CJM Property Developments, and African Access Agriculture.
About African Access Holdings:
African Access Holdings mentors black-owned SMMEs, creating jobs, developing skills, and giving back to the nation. Founded in 2003, African Access Holdings was listed by 2005 as a Top 300 Performing Company in South Africa. In 2007 it had become a Top 200 Performing Company. In 2009, Shaun Battlemann and African Access Holdings won Metropolitan Oliver Awards for Top Black Entrepreneur of the Year, Top New & Innovative Empowered Company, and Top Black Empowered Business of the Year. In 2010, the company received Van Ryn’s BBQ Awards for Businessman of the Year, for Corporate Social Investment, and for Community Builder of the Year. In 2011, African Access Holdings was named Entrepreneurial Company of the Year in the Black Management Forum. The company also received Stevie Awards for Executive of the Year, Company of the Year, and a People's Choice Award in The 2011 International Business Awards. In 2012 African Access won a gold category International Arch of Europe Award for quality and technology. For more information, go to www.africanaccessholdings.co.za.