We question Ian Fuhr, CEO of Sorbet Group.
What is the one investment you wish you had made, or made earlier?
When I sold my previous business to Edcon in 2002, I was advised to buy its shares. They were R24 at the time. I bought some and thought I had done really well to sell them at R76. They later went up to R400.
Which living person do you most admire?
Two great SA entrepreneurs: TBWA Hunt Lascaris co-founder Reg Lascaris and Nando’s co-founder Robbie Brozin.
What is your biggest regret?
Never having learnt an African language. I believe it would have allowed me to foster better relationships with the people I have worked with.
What was your first job?
Singing along to my guitar three times a week at a ladies’ bar at the Crest Hotel, Berea, Johannesburg.
Is there such a thing as "enough money" and, if so, how much is it?
Most definitely. As long as you can live comfortably and you can afford to travel, that would be enough. I do not believe that the sole purpose of life is to enrich yourself — rather, it is to make a contribution to other people’s lives. I have never been driven purely by money.
What’s the most interesting thing about you that people don’t know?
I had a speech impediment as a child that still plays on my mind, regardless of how much public speaking I do.
Which phrase or word do you most overuse?
"The purpose of work is to serve ... not to make money!"
What is your biggest indulgence?
I love cruising. I find it the best way to visit places in the world that you would never otherwise see. Just check into your hotel and the hotel moves. No fuss, but lots of frills.
Who is your favourite hero of fiction?
No current heroes, but as a child I loved Roy of the Rovers.
What’s your one top tip for doing a deal?
I believe in building relationships with the people I do business with. My experience has shown that the better the relationship, the better the deal.
Nominate your eighth wonder of the world.
I have a deep fascination for history, so: the city of Rome.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Formal dress. I always thought that a tie was an ancient form of punishment. In fact, any tradition based on what people did centuries ago is of little value in my eyes.