If African Bank, which currently is in an equivalent of financial ‘ICU’, is looking for someone to preside over its turnaround, it does not look no further than Brand Pretorius, a renowned businessman and author. Credited for rescuing Mc McCarthy from the brink of collapse during his time as CEO, his counsel on matters regarding resuscitating near-death businesses as well as business should hold water.
Recently he told business people gathered a Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business event about the significance of adapting to the “tough” environment where companies have to “transform and perform if they are to survive”. He said that it was absolutely essential for businesses to maintain a positive vision, and make plans for the future as people “freeze up” when they lose hope, citing the R54 bn collapse of African Bank as the negligence of leadership.
Transform SA picked up the following crucial points that he raised:
- Transformation is a “moral, strategic and business imperative”. However, if it did did not succeed, widespread social unrest was likely to be the result.
- Business needs to be conducted in an ethical manner. We cannot afford to be sufferers of the sickness of commercial pragmatism. Principles such as fairness, integrity, openness, sincerity and acceptance of responsibility needed to be valued, he said.
- Businesses have to become socially responsible. For too long businesses have been hiding behind the walls of their own businesses. It’s high time they realised doing good is also good business.