BACKSTORY: Marc Pillay
We question Marc Pillay, CEO of Konica Minolta SA
What’s your one top tip for doing a deal?
Know and understand your customer.
What was your first job?
I was an apprentice technician.
How much was your first pay cheque, and how did you spend it?
I can’t remember the value, but I used most of it to start saving for a deposit on a car.
What was the one thing you wish somebody had told you when you were starting out?
You cannot fix the world’s problems on your own, but a common goal and common purpose, what I call a meeting of minds, resolves most business challenges.
What is the one investment you wish you had made, or made earlier?
If you could fix only one thing in SA, what would it be?
Eradicate racial profiling and build patriotism through a proudly South African campaign. We are all human before we are racially segregated.
What’s the most interesting thing about you that people don’t know?
I love travelling, especially to the continent of Asia. I also love fast cars.
What is the hardest life lesson you’ve learnt so far?
Don’t expect people to be like you and do things the way you would do them!
What is something you would go back and tell your younger self that would impress them?
That after all these years I have stayed true to myself, and that hard work does pay off.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Patience … there are times when you just need to take the reins and get things done right now.
Was there ever a point at which you wanted to trade it all in for a different career? And if so, what would that career be?
Never. I have "toner" in my blood.
If you were Cyril Ramaphosa, what would you change, or do, tomorrow?
I would introduce a one-year compulsory national skills certification plan for all youth exiting the schooling system. SA needs a young population armed with skills and business values. At Konica Minolta SA the majority of the 25 or so learners we upskill each year in our 10-year-old learnership programme are permanently employed in our business or at one of our dealerships.
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