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Where Others Run From Challenges Daniel Tall Is Running Towards Them

New Zealand country boy strikes it rich in South Africa by pursuing his dream of a better life.

Monique Verduyn




Vital Stats

  • Player: Daniel Tall
  • Company: DW Bullion
  • Established: 2010
  • Contact:

At last count, there were more than 54 000 South Africans living in New Zealand. Not only is it one of the safest countries in the world, but it also offers a fantastic lifestyle with lots of things to do. So why would anyone leave to come here?

Daniel Tall did that five and a half years ago and he’s loving it. Why? Because where others run from challenges, he sees only opportunity. Tall grew up on a farm in rural New Zealand. Dyslexic, he left school at 15, having hated every minute of it. He went to work as a baker, all the time wondering how he was going to get rich.

Related: 6 Of The Most Profitable Small Businesses In South Africa

Taking the business model to SA shores

After ten years he decided it was time to hang up his apron and he started selling aluminum joinery. It turned out that he was a great salesman and his next move was into residential property development in Christchurch. He was highly successful, until the market crashed in 2008 and everything came tumbling down around him.

To survive, he and business partner William Fitzgerald bought gold from people, turning it into bullion and selling it to jewellers. They made a killing, earning NZ$11 000 in their first four hours of business — in what was already a saturated market. That prompted Fitzgerald, who is married to a South African, to suggest that they test their idea here.

“We set up our first gold buying kiosk at The Galleria Mall in Amanzimtoti in 2010,” Tall recalls. “No-one offered this service to people who had unwanted or damaged gold jewellery. Pawn shops were an option, but people generally have a negative view of them. We were the first to offer a professional gold buying service which gave customers fair value for their jewellery, in a safe environment.”

Tall and Fitzgerald discovered, to their amazement, that there were tons of gold people wanted to get rid of. They hired their first employee within two weeks, and today they have 19 kiosks in shopping centres around the country.

Determined to be wealthy

“We were not entrepreneurs who came here with a big plan,” he stresses. “We wanted to make money, and if other people could do it, so could we. After we started the business, we made decisions and changes along the way as we figured out what worked and what didn’t. It was incredible how the market embraced our concept.”

He says they had little competition when the business got off the ground. “Several companies have tried to compete with us, but our company DW Bullion has remained the biggest and most successful in nature.”

Tall puts much of the business’ success down to organic growth.

“Every time we encountered a problem, we built a system to fix it. One of the first tasks was to ensure we always remained compliant. In New Zealand, you can buy gold anywhere, but here the premises have to be licensed, and maintaining legitimacy can be difficult, which is why systems are critical.”

He says slow growth coupled with long-term goals are fundamental to any business. “After launching, we opened 12 additional kiosks within three months, almost destroying the venture in the process. We had too many stores and no control, with staff robbing us blind. Thankfully the gold price was rising so that helped to save the business, as did slowing down its growth.”

Related: 27four Investment Managers Aren’t Afraid Of The Big Boys

Tall is most excited about DW Bullion recently becoming an official gold refining company. His goal now is to become the second biggest in the country, after Rand Refinery, which currently refines most of Africa’s gold and serves the world gold market. Not bad for a baker.

Tall has documented his success story in his book, A Tall Order, published in 2015 and written to motivate others. In it he writes, “Your emotions dictate your decisions, which drive your actions and ultimately determine your results!”

Do this

Early success will often tempt you to scale quickly. Don’t do it. Slow, organic growth will usually lead to a more stable and sustainable business model.

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+.


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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Company Posts

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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