An aversion to wearing a suit and tie every day is what propelled Krispy Kreme SA MD Gerry Thomas into entrepreneurship. "I am a jeans and sneakers sort of character," he says. The doughnut company’s business model has been a success in 30 countries, and the SA operation is among its top 10 performers after just three years. Thomas attributes Krispy Kreme SA’s success to localising the global strategy — adopting SA flavours and coffee brewed in this country — as well as customer experience. Analysts know little about the company’s finances as it is a private entity. Thomas, not surprisingly, declines to say how many doughnuts he sells. Its main global competitor, Dunkin’, has 11 stores and one drive-through in SA, where the franchise is owned by Grand Parade Investments. Dunkin’, which opened in SA in 2016, posted a R29m loss in the 2018 financial year, after selling over 1.4-million doughnuts. Thomas started his first cafés, with funding from Nedbank, after graduating in the 1990s ...

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