How Steven Gleisnar Founded The Courier Guy With Only R2000 To His Name

By the time Steven Gleisner reached his late 30s, he had served over 15 years to the food franchise industry in many managerial roles. Besides all that hardwork and dedication, he didn’t have much to show for it.

Gleisnar fought his way up through the managerial positions in Pleasure Foods and later McDonald’s – this included being trained in the US, in order to work in South Africa’s head office, training prospective franchisees and staff – but he still had no real plans for the future.

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Steven Gleisnar

According to Gleisnar, his experience working for McDonald’s was great and all but the same problem always presented itself: where was he headed?

He was an area manager and knew the McDonald’s system like the back of his hand – he even trained franchisees but nonetheless, he still couldn’t get the finance to open his own restaurant.

“Working at McDonald’s has no guarantees,” Gleisnar thought to himself…..his dream of one day owning his own franchise was just a pipe dream at best.

The thought of having to work for someone else for the rest of his life soon turned to a constant disappointment. By the mid-1990s, with Gleisnar knowing nothing but the restaurant business, he decided to sell everything he owned, buy a motorcycle and go to Mozambique.

He had R2000 to his name and no idea what he wanted to do with his life but deep down, he was determined to figure it out.

His golden plan was to head for the beaches of Mozambique, regroup and take things from there. He had no real plan, he just knew he was in his late 30s and couldn’t continue doing what he was doing.

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Fate Intervenes

The Courier Guy logo

While Gleisnar was waiting for his visa to come through, his cousin who’s business was in corporate gifts, asked him for a favour that he drop off a sample at the printers, because the courier company she was in partnership with, let her down.

Wanting to kill time, Gleisnar said “no problem cuz,” and hopped on his new bike.

When Gleisnar arrived at printer, he asked whether he was the courier guy and since he didn’t wanna explain the whole story of quiting his job and Mozambique, he simply said YES.

It turned out that the printer needed a favor too. He wanted his parcel to be sent to Sandton and asked how much Gleisnar charged.

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Gleisnar had no idea what the charging rate was but since he had a bike and petrol being cheaper than if he was driving a car and also time on his hands, he just said R20.

He calculated in his mind that the amount would be enough to cover the costs of delivering the parcel. It turned out that R20 was pretty cheap.

Before he left, Gleisnar gave his contact details to the printer, in case the client whom he was delivering to, wanted to track the progress of her parcel.

The following day, Gleisnar’s phone rang, the printer had recommend him to someone in Doornfontein.

When he answered, the caller asked if whether he was the courier guy as he’s heard that he was delivering packages for R20.

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The rest as they say, is history

Gleisner never made it to Mozambique: he started a courier company instead, called The Courier Guy.


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