We question Alon Lits, general manager of Uber sub-Saharan Africa.

Nominate your eighth wonder of the world

Scuba diving in Sipadan in Malaysia — it requires a lot of effort to get there but it’s well worth it.

What was your first job?

My father used to own a small pharmacy in Hillbrow. I used to help in the shop during school holidays.

What is the one investment you wish you had made, or made earlier?

Buying bitcoin. I was introduced to bitcoin by a friend in 2013 when the price was US$70 but I didn’t see value. It’s now trading at over $5,500.

What is your biggest regret?

That I waited eight years to propose to my wife.

Tell us about a hidden gem in Joburg/Cape Town/Durban that not many people know about.

I love my coffee shops. I suggest you check out Grind (in Melrose), Loof (in Norwood) or Father Coffee (in Braamfontein or Rosebank).

What’s the worst airport you’ve been in?

All airports are a tiresome experience, but the one that stands out to me as being the busiest and most chaotic is Lagos International Airport. After a couple of years, you learn to appreciate the energy behind the chaos.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Confidence — it can be deceptive.

Who is your favourite hero of fiction?

Yoda — he is wise, humble and is trying to make the world a better place.

Which phrase or word do you most overuse?


What’s the most interesting thing about you that people don’t know?

My name means oak tree in Hebrew. My parents chose my name as my mom’s maiden name was Dub which means oak tree in Polish.

What are you reading at the moment? What’s the one book everyone should read before they die?

Red Notice by Bill Browder. Before you die — Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Harari

How do you deal with stress? What are your top tips for handling stress?

At Uber we are often running at 200% and there is always something to be done. If we don’t take time out we are doing ourselves a disservice and we will ultimately land up being less effective. For me, I love to start the day with a walk with my wife and two dogs. It’s a great way to spend time with my wife and it helps me clear my head. On weekends or when I take leave, I make sure that I take time to get off the grid (with no e-mail). I am also prioritising getting back into a gym routine (even when I travel) as it’s a great way to unwind and stay healthy.

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