Brian Joffe, the executive who turned an R8 million start-up into an R80 billion a year company, has at last produced the business book followers of the Bidvest success story have been waiting for.
What started as a personal project and proposed gift for colleagues, family and friends, has taken on a life of its own and become a state-of-the-art business book that juxtaposes insightful business quotations with magnificent wildlife photography.
The work quite simply is an inspiration … so is the man behind the book.
Brian Joffe is the entrepreneur’s entrepreneur; a ground-breaker and judicious risk-taker who creates jobs while creating wealth. He’s a can-do manager who believes South Africa can do wonders by tapping into the talent of all her people and empowering a new generation of entrepreneurs.
Joffe came to world prominence as the founder of Bidvest, a diverse group that today outscores Jack Welch’s GE and Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway as a wealth creator.
His unique business model was built on his own experience. Joffe has always believed that incentivised entrepreneurs generate rapid growth and that competition with managerial peers drives top performance. He set the vision to work by building a decentralised group of companies that today employs more than 95 000 people.
Joffe was born and educated in Johannesburg and graduated as a chartered accountant in 1971. His first independent business venture was in the animal feed market. He built the business, sold it and initially ‘retired’ to the United States aged 32.
Joffe returned to South Africa in 1983 and consulted for Standard Merchant Bank’s corporate finance division before joining W&A. In November, 1988 Brian Joffe gained control of the ICLEF cash shell. The name was changed to the Bid Corporation and The Bidvest Group Limited was listed.
The rest is JSE history…