Doing good is good for business, says Ackerman

2010-09-16 00:00

IF you really care for the consumers, they will care for you; that’s how you build a successful business, says Raymond Ackerman.

The 79-year-old founder of the Pick n Pay chain emphasised the need for business owners and managers to embrace good values, during his keynote address to the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (DCCI) 154th annual dinner on Tuesday evening.

More than 850 influential businesspeople attended the dinner at the Durban Exhibition Centre.

Ackerman focused on a back-to-basics approach centred on the well-being of the customer, and stressed the importance of “doing good” through social responsibility programmes.

“Doing good is good for business and profitability. We found that during the poison scare, social responsibility saved our business. We lost R250 million turnover in two weeks. It could have ruined our business. But people stuck by us and supported us,” Ackerman said.

He was referrring to a scare campaign in May 2003 when the supermarket chain fell victim an extortionist who warned that certain food items on the supermarket’s shelves had been poisoned and warned that more poisoned items would be placed in stores if his instructions were not followed.

“Look after your customers, your people [staff] and your society,” Ackerman added.

In May, the DCCI put measures in place to fill the leadership vacuum created by the departure of Gugu Mazibuko as chief executive.

DCCI president Clive Manci told guests there have been several “painful but necessary” changes at the chamber, adding that the search for new CEO is progressing well.

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