Today, at age 31, Vusi Thembekwayo is considered to be one of the top 12 speakers in the world (as rated by Meetingsnet Magazine). He shares the list with the likes of Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post and James Curleigh, VP of Levi Strauss & Co. In addition he is an accomplished author, investor and serial entrepreneur.
However, from his earliest beginnings in the business world at the age of 21, when Thembekwayo owned a small company that specialised in forensic marketing, he used the word ‘we’ deliberately when referring to his company, its clients and the country. Even though – as he confesses – the use of ‘we’ may have been a little grand for such a small business at the time, the philosophy behind it ultimately lead to his consistent success.
In fact, Thembekwayo’s first stellar professional business success occurred a few years later, when he found himself as a 25-year-old Zulu man in the Cash & Carry wholesaler environment, populated mostly by older, white males. He was given a small budget from Metro Cash & Carry to attract large, new institutional clients such as hospitals and prisons, and in a few years he grew the new business department from a relatively small R16 million to R463 million.
In this (4’02”) extract of a full-length video interview, he shares his beliefs on how South African business leaders can co-create the future that all South Africans are hoping for.
In partnership with FNB, Moneyweb presents this bespoke leadership video series with top business people. The interview draws on the person’s life, failures and the lessons they have learnt on their journey to the successful leadership positions they hold today.