Group Chief Executive
Current EO President, MEF global Board Member since 2007 and serving on the Presidents Committer for the MEPA region.
Waheed Adam is, and has been an entrepreneur since a primary school student – always identifying opportunities to earn a living. Working his way through school, and after studying at Wits for 1 ½ years doing his BA LLB Degree, Waheed decided to convert his part-time job of Supervising outbound call centres in the Home Improvement Industry, to a full time one of Sales and Marketing. However, due to his age and apartheid, the prospects of advancement within the company were bleak. So, at 22, the year being 1988, Waheed started his first company of what is known today as the Prime Group. His marketing abilities and his determination drove the Prime Group from strength to strength making them one of the major players in the Home Improvement Industry. Waheed has trained hundreds of people in Sales, Motivation and Management Programs, and operates his companies with an open-door policy. He was also nominated by his staff and became one of six finalists of the Nationwide Competition “Boss of the Year” in 1999.
Over the years the Group has also diversified into the Redecoration Industry, Financial Advisory Services, Property, and the Mobile Telephony Industry.
Greg is the Chairperson of WASPA, the self-regulatory mobile industry member body which strives to evolve a sustainable business eco-system. Serving as the MD of the iTouch Foundation, Greg and his team also continues to support South African people and organisations.
Greg Brophy developed his early skills at the Argus Newspaper Company which at the time was owned by the Anglo American Group. This experience imparted to him big company structure, process, sound corporate governance and the ability to negotiate with several big trade unions, during which time he earned a reputation for integrity and fairness. The group was sold to Sir Anthony O’ Reilly and its name changed to Independent News and Media. After a purge of management across all levels by Sir Anthony’s management “Guru’ Chris Tippler, Greg was promoted to Deputy MD of Independent Newspapers, Cape Town and became responsible for all revenue sources of the newspapers including advertising and circulation. He led the company’s venture, as MD of Independent Digital, in the digital media world and in the process launched IOL which during his reign was the no. 1 portal in SA and he also bought the majority shares of iTouch, SA on behalf of Independent News + Media. iTouch soon became one of South Africa’s international success stories as result of rapid international growth and a successful listing on the London Stock Exchange.
Greg’s entrepreneurial abilities continued to impress as he built the SA region to become the third biggest player, contribution to profit, out of the groups 53 country operations.
We believe in observation and nurturing growth of others.
What to us is critical is that a leader ensures that all employees really understand the purpose of what they do, and how it fits into the company at large.
People need to be involved in the big picture and the entire process rather than having their responsibilities departmentalised. We believe that wherever relevant, giving people a broader understanding of the company/industry’s sector can broaden their insights and potentially enhance productivity based on pride and competition.
No matter how often this is said, we’ll say it again: If leaders want to succeed, their employees need to be inspired to share in their vision and motivated to fulfil the vision set for the company. We have found it more effective to stand behind and propel people forward than to stand in front and ‘pull’.
Leaders need to observe and discover both the strengths and weaknesses of employees and teams. Strengths need to be recognised and encouraged; weaknesses need to addressed with mentoring, coaching and/or training, so that the employees feel they are developing and can aim for success.
The reward for the leader lies, on one level, in seeing people’s respect grow as well as their own self-confidence; and on another, in the work outputs being more efficient in terms of time and quality.
Underpinning all of the above, is the character trait of integrity – employees’ respect is paramount as it results in a trusting relationship between employer and employee, as well as the company and its stakeholders.
Lastly, in a world that has become connected in more ways than one; in a world where technology is at the forefront of how things are evolving, leaders need to evolve their skills in order to embrace these technologies - in particular those that will assist us in becoming more efficient, and possibly resulting in more time available for family, which has become the victim of an ever busy work schedule.