We question Stefan Rabe, CEO of Bounty Brands (Superdry, Vans, Levi’s Footwear).

 

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Walt Disney, for his ability to translate passion into enduring success.

What book are you reading at the moment?

I am a prolific reader, so I read pretty much everything I can get my hands on. A must-read for me is anything by Carl Hiaasen — guaranteed to make you laugh out loud.

Which phrase or word do you most overuse?

Crawl, walk, run!

What was your first job?

I designed concrete beams and columns manually for months on end — a job that’s now done by computers in seconds.

What is your biggest regret?

Spending too much time in "Big Corporate" before striking out on my own.

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

In my gap year I worked in Germany as an in-store detective to catch shoplifters — a unique lesson in human nature.

What is your biggest indulgence?

Chocolate. Very few days pass without me having a piece or two.

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

Property — I paid someone else’s bond for too long.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Pleasing people. Life is not a popularity contest — it is more about being honest and fair.

When and where were you happiest?

At university — my first time living on my own in a big city.

On what occasion do you lie?

Whenever the other person needs to hear a white lie more than I need to tell the truth.

What’s your one top tip for doing a deal?

Understand what the other person wants most out of the deal. This is not always the obvious thing.

Who is your favourite hero of fiction?

Probably Iron Man — he has some great tech.

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

Bamako Airport in Mali.

Nominate your eighth wonder of the world.

Any healthy coral reef, for its mesmerising beauty.

Tell us about a hidden gem in SA.

Hiking and picnicking on the slopes of Table Mountain — it’s free and on your doorstep.

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