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'Ruthless' is the word for budding business pioneers

04 July 2013, 12:42

Prominent Eastern Cape businessman and WSU honorary graduate Dr Archie Nkonyeni says the key to being a successful businessman is being able to be “ruthless”.

Speaking during the launch of his book “Black Property Pioneer” in Mthatha recently, Nkonyeni says a true business pioneer should carve out a clearly defined line that separates business and personal feelings, a basis for which a businessman executes duties with unequivocal ruthlessness.

“In the case of property owners, for example, if a tenant fails to pay for rent a certain month, you should get rid of that tenant immediately so you can find another person to occupy that space. This might sound cruel but it’s necessary for the survival of your business because pity doesn’t keep the business afloat,” says Nkonyeni.

Nkonyeni says would-be readers of the book mustn’t make the mistake of thinking the book is a business manual, because in fact, it’s a far cry from it.

He says it’s more of a biographical depiction of aspects of his life in the cut-throat world of business – the trials, tribulations and successes that have shaped his pristine image into what it is today.

“ This book is about what I’ve done over the years to get to where I am. If people are to learn something from it, I trust they learn from what I’ve done and how I’ve gone about it in order to achieve my success,” says Nkonyeni.

Some of Nkonyeni’s most avid followers were also given an opportunity to pick their mentor’s brain during an engagement session which saw pertinent issues being brought to the fore.

Some of the more contentious issues discussed was the current status of the black economic empowerment policy, land appropriation, government’s countless poverty alleviation programmes, the free marke system, as well as the heavy influence of politics in business. 

“These are all issues that need to be tabled and thoroughly looked at because some of them have failed in their deliverables, others have become redundant, whilst others need a fresh approach, with a fresher outlook on the targets,” says Nkonyeni.

He says if government wishes to address the scourge of poverty, it has to identify various sectors with viable opportunities and promise of job creation.

Nkonyeni, a son of a deeply rural area in the former Transkei, identifies agriculture as one of the key sectors government should plough into in order to create jobs.

“This country, especially this province, is mainly rural with a lot of lush greenery and kilometres of untapped, fertile land that could prove to be gold if cultivated properly. Government needs to enlist companies that can aggressively tackle these projects, whilst creating skills development, sustainable development as well as job opportunities,” he concludes.

His secret to success …”dedication and devotion to the vision to be achieved”.

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