Brian Joffe, founder CEO of the JSE-listed Bidvest Group, was born in Johannesburg and attended school in Greenside and Emmarentia. After graduating from the University of Witwatersrand with Accounting, he went on to serve his articles with Levitt Kirson Gross and eventually qualified as a Chartered Accountant.
Brian’s entrepreneurial journey began in 1978 when he borrowed capital of R49 000 from his parents to buy a stake in a small pet food manufacturing business. A year later, he acquired full ownership and expanded the company.
Within six months, his company – using largely discarded machinery on a makeshift production line – held a 15% share of the South African canned dog food market.
He subsequently sold his business to a major industrial group for $1 million. After a short spell in the USA, Brian returned to South Africa and launched Bidvest in 1989.
From an initial R8 million in start-up capital, he ultimately built an international business that has footprints in five continents.
With over 40 years in the entrepreneurial world, Brian has made lots of mistakes but according him, he wouldn’t be in his position today without those mistakes, see the video below:
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