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Velti Events: Paul Veltman

Velti Events stands as a prime example of how building a business to meet big ambitions can deliver results, no matter how humble its beginnings.

Juliet Pitman

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When Paul Veltman started Velti Events in 2009 he never wanted it to be a small or even a medium-sized business. “My goal was to become the biggest, best and most well-regarded events company in the industry within the next five to six years,” he says.

He’s well on his way to achieving that goal, with corporate clients and events that include the likes of MTV’s first-ever Durban July event, Vodacom, Playstation, Proctor & Gamble and MINI, among many others.

Veltman started small, but set up the business to meet its ambitious growth targets. “Even though the business was initially just me, I knew I had to create a brand that would be perceived by big corporates to be in line with what they were looking for.

Before I launched the business I made sure that the brand guidelines were in place, the marketing material was printed and the website was developed.” He’s also invested in infrastructure and systems, such as sophisticated tracking software to streamline the events process and minimise issues that commonly arise.

A strong work ethic

He then set about benchmarking himself against the biggest and the best in the industry. “It came down to doing a huge amount of research. I looked at who was in the market, who was doing well, who to benchmark against and how we could differentiate ourselves,” he says.

Targeting only the biggest corporates in the country he spent weeks flying to meetings, many of which paid off.

Veltman’s aim has always been to provide clients with customised and unique events. “Our research team investigates industry trends and best practice all over the world.” Although the company focuses predominantly on corporate events, these have led to requests from individuals for private events, which now account for 35% of the turnover.

As the business has grown, it has developed the capacity to handle more and more of the services it previously outsourced, including in-house graphic design, video editing, styling, social media and booking advertising space.

Managing a growing team effectively has been critical to the ongoing success of the business. “We place a great deal of emphasis on a strong work ethic, and I’ve implemented an incentive programme for every person in the business, not just sales guys.

Everyone in the business can earn commission and everyone has KPIs and performance targets that are built around the customer,” he adds.

Sky’s the limit

The business has enjoyed considerable growth since Veltman started it from home four years ago. Within three months he’d put together a team of four and moved into offices, and by the end of the first year he had ten staff members on board and had quadrupled the turnover.

By the end of 2012 he more than quadrupled the turnover again and employs 25 full-time and 25 part-time staff.

Not bad for a business started in the middle of a credit crunch at time when most corporates were cutting back significantly on event and marketing budgets, and many eventing companies were scaling back.

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Vital stats

Company: Velti Events

Player: Paul Veltman

Est: 2008

Contact: 0871 514 100
www.veltievents.com

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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.

CEOwise

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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

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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.

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“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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