There’s no doubt that products like iMacs,iPods and iBooks – colourful, funky and culturally superior – have helped buildApple into a leading world brand. Husband and wife team Jayson and AnishaRamsammy believe in that brand and have used their passion to create Cool AppleBuddy, an independently-owned Apple retail centre in SandtonCity, Johannesburg.In 1991, Jayson, a computer collegegraduate, started working at MBM Graphics, a medical technology company with asideline in importing Apple products. Four years later, he joined Human TouchComputing to focus solely on distributing Apple hardware and software. “Thecompany enjoyed phenomenal growth,” recalls Jayson. He attributes this success to the growth ofApple itself; its innovatively designed iMacs and iBooks had instant appeal,which translated into high demand. Jayson realised that this demand speltopportunities for Apple as a retailer, but his colleagues disagreed. Jaysonthen started selling Apple computers to his wife, Anisha, who owned a computersales company.
It was a good move. Anisha’s sales fromApple products provided the funds she needed to open the first Cool Apple Buddystore, measuring just 20 square metres, in Rivonia. Customers were drawn toAnisha’s energy and the shop’s attractive layout, and it wasn’t long beforeCool Apple Buddy needed bigger premises.“We relocated, but another three moves wererequired to accommodate our growth. Eventually, the shop expanded to 200 squaremetres and drew the attention of Apple South Africa, who made us anofficial supplier,” Anisha says.By this time, Jayson had joined Anisha asher partner, creating a formidable team. “I had the technical knowledge, whileAnisha’s strengths were identifying and supplying the correct product mix.”The store was flying high – but not as highas it could be. “A customer suggested we move into a prominent centre tobenefit from more foot traffic. We forwarded a proposal to the management of Sandton City, who had space in Sandton Square,today Nelson Mandela Square,”says Anisha.Again, a good move. “Business increasedphenomenally,” Jayson says; it was good news for Anisha, who had sold her carto fund the relocation.
The business continued to grow in line withApple’s escalating popularity. From four employees, the company now has a staffcount of 24, and Jayson and Anisha have had to get to grips with a fast-movingbusiness that required more stock, more spares and more product knowledge. “Thestore grew by 300%,” saysJayson proudly.He and Anisha have succeeded in spite oftheir disadvantaged backgrounds and of having no prior experience in running abusiness before Cool Apple Buddy. “We’ve built this business by ourselves,overcoming stiff competition and the rather political nature of Apple’s supplychain,” Jayson says.The couple have also survived an incidentof mismanagement that cost them over R700 000, and grapple with the dailychallenges of a business that’s cash intensive and has low profit margins. Howdo they tackle these problems? “We’re delighted to share our love for ourproduct with our clients,” says Jayson.The future will see them targeting Apple tothe corporate market. “While our retail market is strong, Apple has a lot tooffer businesses, and we’re keen to capitalise on these opportunities,” theyconclude.
25 Of The Most Successful Business Ideas In South Africa
Find out who’s making waves in numerous industries and how they managed to differentiate themselves in local and international industries.
“Disruption is all about risk-taking, trusting your intuition, and rejecting the way things are supposed to be. Disruption goes way beyond advertising, it forces you to think about where you want your brand to go and how to get there,” says Richard Branson.
South Africa has its fair share of innovative and disruptive businesses taking both local and international industries by storm. From cutting edge space technology to reimagined logistics, and innovative business models, here are 25 of the most successful business ideas in South Africa:
- I Am Emerge Provides An App For Township Spaza Bulk Purchasing
- Tuluntulu Offers High Quality Video Streaming On Low Data Speeds
- SSG Consulting Developed KEY360: A Cloud-Based And Web-Enabled Platform For Managing Large-Scale Construction Projects
- Pargo Solving Last-Mile Distribution Challenges
- HouseME Is A Digital Real Estate Platform
- Olympic Paints Has Developed A Built-In Paint Tray Causing An Unexpected Industry Shift
- Passion4Performance Developed A Recognition of Prior Learning Assessment Concept
- NewSpace Systems Delivers High Quality Components At Lower Costs
- My Online Presence Creates End-To-End Solutions For Online Brand Presence
- Skynamo Offering Insights To Sales Teams In The Field
- RecruitMyMom Creating A Platform For Job-Seeking Moms
- GAAP Provides A Hardware And Software Point-Of Sale And Enterprise Solution For The Hospitality Industry
- HeroTel Bringing Wi-Fi To Low Income Communities
- Saryx Engineering Offers Digitised Compliance and Safety For Companies
- BrightBlack Is An Energy Providing Innovative Solar Energy Solutions
- Howler Is An Event Technology Platform
- execMobile’s PocketWifi Keeps Business Travellers Connected
- Rhino Africa Provides Online Touring Assistance
- Snapplify Is Offering Students Access To Textbooks
- GoMetro A Commuter-Driven Mobile App
- Domestly Connecting Cleaning Professionals and Homeowners
- NMRQL Using AI To Deliver Consistent Returns
- Colony Live Connecting Users Across Multiple Platforms
- codeX Is Growing The Work Experience Of Coders In Africa
- This Is Me – Disrupting By Offering A Unique Business Model
Colin Timmis Says ‘Position Yourself For Success By Starting With The Numbers’
People pay first who they feel pressure from, so people will pay you when they feel pressure from you.
Entrepreneur Colin Timmis founded South Africa’s first cloud accounting practice in 2011, Real Time Accounting. Then, a few years after being appointed as South Africa’s first Xero partner Colin became Xero Country Manager South Africa. Xero is the emerging global leader of online accounting software that connects small businesses to their advisors and other services.
Two 20 Year Olds Reshape Entrepreneur Landscape With New Social Investment Platform
The Merge vision is to become the ‘go to’, digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors, and to truly make a difference in the world.
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mergeconnect/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mergeconnect/
- Website: http://www.mergeconnect.co/
- Email: Hello@mergeconnect.co
- Number: 072 458 2182
It’s no secret that finding the right investor for your venture is a challenge that most entrepreneurs face. The current process of finding investment is one that is outdated, and limits entrepreneurs due to a lack of time, and network that is needed to find the right investor. But, this doesn’t have to be the case in today’s digital society, says Zander Matthee and Brandon Bate, co-founders of Merge.
“By making the Internet the middleman, we are able to connect with each other much simpler and faster than before” was Zander’s response. “We have taken advantage of this, and have created a digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors” added Brandon.
Merge is a social platform that connects entrepreneurs and investors. It aims to simplify, refine and accelerate the process of finding investment for entrepreneurs, and the process of finding investment opportunities for investors. From idea to developed, the platform allows entrepreneurs to present a brief outline of their venture to a network of all investor types. While doing this, entrepreneurs are able to browse through, and connect with investor profiles that suit their requirements.
From Private Investors to Venture Capital, and everything in between, Merge allows all investor types to join. Investors have the opportunity to personalise their feed to suit their investment preferences, and will be able to connect with innovative businesses – that are looking for investment – at their fingertips. Only once there is a mutual interest in each other, are users able to enter a secure private chat where they can discuss further and share documents under the protection of a digital NDA.
The two boys became good friends during their time in high school at St Stithians Boys College. However, it was only in their last year, 2016, that they decided to pursue their dreams and create the platform. They didn’t know how to code, so rather ironically, they needed some form of investment to get the platform off the ground.
“We knew we had a mountain to climb, but we believed in our vision and that we were really trying to make a difference, and if we could get others to see that, they would be onboard.” said Zander.
Chris Peters is one of these individuals that bought into their vision, and became Merge’s first investor. As a successful entrepreneur and part time investor , Chris saw how much value the platform could bring to all entrepreneurs and investors alike. His marketing and strategic background gave him insight into how Merge could play a vital role in a lucrative space, Brand involvement.
“Entrepreneurship and SME development are two key factors that drive economic growth in developing countries like South Africa. That is why brands are currently getting involved, and looking to support entrepreneurs through various means. We have built a platform that allows these brands to successfully market, and execute on the programmes they have created to assist entrepreneurs.” said Chris
Merge was created to assist all entrepreneurs and investors in finding exactly what they are looking for, regardless of age, race, sex, financial position or social status. That is why anybody can sign-up as an entrepreneur. As long as you are determined and willing to work for your dreams. For too long has the investor space been seen as an “elite club for the select few”, and Merge is here to change that. Whether you’ve gotten your bonus at the end of the year and looking for new investment opportunities, or are an active investor, you can sign-up. Whether you’re currently working, or a retired industry leader, you can join as a mentor.
Their vision is to become the ‘go to’, digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors, and to truly make a difference in the world.
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