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Sainsbury Design: Angela Driver

Depth of knowledge and client relationships set this agency apart

Monique Verduyn



Angela Driver of Sainsbury Design

Self-made industrialist and sales expertThomas Watson believed that good design is good business. It’s a principle thatAngela Driver, MD of Sainsbury Design, lives by.

Driver, a graphic designer by training, hadbeen working for Sainsbury for nine years when, in 2000, owner Joan Sainsburydecided that it was time to retire. “I enjoyed being at the company and I hadworked my way up to client management,” Driver recalls. “The next step wouldhave been to open my own business, so the timing was serendipitous. The factthat Sainsbury had been around since 1975 was a definite plus as it was a wellestablished business with a solid client base.” Driver secured a bank loan and bought theagency for several hundred thousand rands. Today its annual turnover is in theregion of R7 million and its 40-strong client base includes brands like Nestlé,Kellogg’s and Nampak Tissue. Her initial goals were to grow thebusiness, become more specialised in packaging design and point-of-sale, andintroduce a spirit of innovation and energy. When Driver took over she quicklystreamlined operations by implementing a realtime system that manages jobs,time, workflows, archiving and costing. Along the way, the company has built strongclient relationships, a factor that helped to pull it through a tough period in2003 when new business prospects were slow. “One of the biggest challenges for abusiness owner is to keep things going during good times and bad,” says Driver.“You cannot be lavish when it’s going well. You have to keep pushing for newopportunities every day.” What has differentiated the design businessfrom its competitors is its focus on packaging. “Because we are specialists inthis area, we have developed a thorough understanding of client requirementsand the technical aspects of packaging.”

When it comes to purchasing a product, thepackaging it comes in is a vital tool for communicating brand identity.Packaging and brand design play a key role in the marketing mix. Designers needthe ability to develop marketable ideas and translate design concepts intothree-dimensional packages of all shapes and sizes. They must also be in tunewith today’s market and knowledgeable about competitive strategies tocommunicate the essence of a consumer brand, product, or service over a widevariety of mediums. “It’s vital to understand consumerbehaviour, design trends, and evolving aesthetics. My team spends a greatamount of time researching the market.” Driver says she employs people on the basisof personality and attitude. “Skills are important, but they can be taught andenhanced. When you have a small business, you cannot afford to have people whoclash with the culture.” Driver is positive about the future,although she notes that design is a bloodthirsty industry. “Lots of one-manbands have popped up, but sustainability is always an issue, as is the factthat they cannot compete with an agency that offers client services, aproduction department and a full creative team. At the same time ad agencieshave started in-house design studios that are not specialised enough to reallybring value to the client.” Sainsbury’s focus has up to now been FMCGspecific, and the company has a weekly feature on as part ofits marketing drive. The retail and automotive sectors offer future potential. Driver says she would like to do forsomeone what Joan Sainsbury did for her. “It would give me a great sense ofachievement to be able to one day hand over a business that comes with a longand successful history.”  Contact: +27 11 656 0991/2;

Monique Verduyn is a freelance writer. She has more than 12 years’ experience in writing for the corporate, SME, IT and entertainment sectors, and has interviewed many of South Africa’s most prominent business leaders and thinkers. Find her on Google+.

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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.

Nicole Crampton



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“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:

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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.

Related: Pat Pillai On How He’s Helped Over 5000 Entrepreneurs Using 3 Key Steps

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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.

Merge Connect




Vital Stats

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.

Related: 8 Codes Of Success That Helped Priven Reddy of Kagiso Interactive Media Achieve A Networth Of Over R4 Billion

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.

Related: Lessons From The Rich And Famous: Manage Your Money Like Oprah To Avoid Going Into Debt Like Nicholas Cage

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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