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Picture: PEXELS/RAHUL PANDIT
Picture: PEXELS/RAHUL PANDIT

The unprecedented challenge of a global pandemic has required that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) face challenges head-on, armed with the right information and tools to adapt and thrive in the future.

The Standard Bank SME Summit, hosted by business growth expert and Aurik CEO Pavlo Phitidis, is an online series that gives SME owners insights into the latest industry intelligence and strategies as well as practical tips on how to transform their businesses to be more resilient and relevant in a post-Covid economy.

The first episode of the four-part series focused on finding the right mindset to turn a crisis into an opportunity. The second episode guided small business owners and entrepreneurs on how to spot the gaps in the market and how to make the most of the opportunities created by change. The third episode focused on understanding how to yield positive outcomes with each step of the rebuilding process.

The fourth and final episode zeroed in on reigniting the reset, rebuilt business to accelerate growth and race ahead of competitors, as well as how to dominate in the market. Four panellists provided their insight:

Dr Tirhani Mabunda is a professional auctioneer and the founder of Tirhani Auctioneers, the largest black-owned and managed auctioneering company in SA. The business specialises in movable and immovable auctions as well as asset recovery and warehousing, offering both live and online auction services.

The most expensive item he has ever auctioned, said Mabunda, was a farm for R80m. The auction took just three minutes and the buyer paid for the acquisition on the same day.

Standard Bank responded by providing loans to help businesses and their supply chains navigate the pandemic

Brendyn Meyer is the CEO of Swan Electric, an electrical manufacturer and importer of low voltage electrical products.

Bernadette Colborne is the head of trade and supply chain finance at Standard Bank. The pandemic had an impact on many businesses, including supply chains around the world.

Standard Bank responded by providing loans to help businesses and their supply chains navigate through this uncertain period. Before the bank considers a loan approval, it will evaluate the risks that face the business as well as the business's cash flow cycle and customer base, she said. 

Guarav Nair is the co-founder of and a partner at Jaltech Fund Management, an alternative investment specialist with more than R1.6bn under management, and is a provider of administration and fiduciary services to alternative funds.

As an equity investor, said Nair, Jaltech Fund Management takes a more forward-looking approach. However, that’s not to say that equity investors don’t also research the business. In fact, he said, they want to see that the business has done its research in terms of ensuring that there is a good chance that the equity investment will ultimately grow the business.

Phitidis said what distinguishes South Africans is a mindset that has a built-in resilience and a strong survival instinct. A positive mindset is a key competitive advantage. If an SME can grow the business in the challenging SA environment, then it has a good chance of succeeding on a global stage, he said.

Watch the full episode:

Watch the full series at www.smesummit.co.za >>

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