BACKSTORY: Renergen CEO Stefano Marani
We question CEO of of Renergen Stefano Marani
What is the one investment you wish you had made, or made earlier?
A 1968 Ferrari 246 Dino. I almost bought it but didn’t, and the price quadrupled that year. Eish.
Who is your favourite hero of fiction?
Bond. James Bond.
What is your most treasured possession?
A secondhand classical guitar I got from a Puerto Rican gentleman who owned a barber shop in Manhattan. After refurbishing it, I discovered it was an exceptionally rare, handmade guitar that was worth a very pretty penny. It is also the most temperamental instrument and so difficult to play.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
If pushed, I’d say it would be chastity.
Tell us about a hidden gem in SA that not many people know about.
Casa Marani in Parkhurst, Joburg. I may be biased — it is my mom and sister’s place — but, hey, at least I know the food is great.
What’s your one top tip for doing a deal?
Sell the client what he or she wants, not what you want to sell.
What was your first job?
Packing baggage into the airplane hold for Air France part-time while I was in high school.
Which phrase or word do you overuse?
I often catch myself saying "actually" a few times too many. It is actually incredibly irritating.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
As much as I would like to say Mother Teresa or Mahatma Gandhi, it is probably more along the lines of Guglielmo Marconi. This is because he didn’t invent something outright, but pioneered its use based on the work of other people and commercialised it. My father was also born in the building next to Marconi, which is pretty cool.
Is there such a thing as "enough money" and, if so, how much is it?
Do you win Monopoly by "having enough"? It isn’t a destination — enjoy the game or stop playing.
What is your biggest indulgence?
Date night. Our children are very young.
What is your biggest regret?
I need a few drinks to admit that one.
What’s the worst airport you’ve been in?
Niamey in Niger. I spent three hours in jail on arrival. More drinks for that story.
What’s the most interesting thing about you that people don’t know?
I was going to be an actor but was convinced to study actuarial science instead, despite having an offer to act in a stage production. Go figure. I went alphabetically in career options.