Ronel Talks Money: Brand Pretorius
The Ronel Talks Money show is turning 1 year old and in this special show we are welcoming back our very first guest Brand Pretorius, retired CEO of McCarthy Limited and one of South Africa’s greatest business leaders. Brand shares with us how he experienced lockdown and also tips for individuals and businesses to survive and thrive again. He also shares leadership lessons learned from his career spanning over 48 years. Then he tells us what makes him happy and content as well as what are the items still on his bucket list.
Brand Pretorius is broadly recognised as one of South Africa’s greatest business leaders. Brand was appointed managing director of Toyota SA Marketing in 1988 and under his leadership Toyota became the leader in both market share and customer satisfaction. It is widely acknowledged that Brand played a pivotal role in turning McCarthy around after it was declared technically insolvent in 2001. Thousands of jobs were saved! Brand published his book entitled “In the driving seat – lessons in leadership” in February 2013. According to Nielsen Bookstats it was the most popular business biography in South Africa in 2013 and has subsequently been reprinted nine times. In total more than 23 000 copies have already been sold, which makes the book one of the most popular local business biographies of all time.
A few of the questions we answer in this interview:
- 2020 was the year of the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic – how did you experience the past year from both a personal and a business point of view?
- What advice can you give to people who have lost their jobs or experienced a reduction in income?
- One of your career highlights was the successful turnaround of McCarthy after it was declared insolvent in 2001. What advice can you give to businesses that are currently struggling and having to fight hard to survive and recover?
- Taking into account the recent dramatic changes in our business environment, what in your view will be the top critical success factors going forward?
- You are one of the most respected leaders in South Africa. Do you believe top leaders are born with leadership qualities or can good leaders be developed?
- Please share with us briefly the most important leadership lessons you have learnt during your career spanning 48 years in business.
- How would you describe the quality and effectiveness of leadership in South Africa today?
- You retired as CEO of McCarthy and executive director of Bidvest ten years ago at age 63 – what did you do over the past 10 years?
- Would you mind sharing with us how you approached the financial component of your retirement? Do you have a specific investment philosophy?
- You have achieved so many significant highlights in your life. Are there more items on your bucket list that you would like to tick?
- What makes Brand Pretorius happy and content?
- One year into the pandemic and probably in the toughest time ever on an emotional, financial, and physical level for many people. What would your message be to people watching this – how do we get up and thrive again?