South African Entrepreneurs Thinking BIG: Business ideas, success stories, marketing and innovation

Business Person Of The Year Awarded To Sekunjalo’s Dr Iqbal Surve

by on 27/11/13 at 7:37 am

Each year, the Minara Chamber of Commerce holds Recognition Awards that honour exceptional people with outstanding personalities and who are the protagonists of unfolding events and creating history. Previous award recipients include Walter Sisulu and Hashim Amla.

This week, Dr Iqbal Survé, Chairman of diversified group Sekunjalo, was the recipient of the Businessperson of the Year Award at The Minara Chamber of Commerce at a glittering Gala Dinner.

According to The Minara Chamber of Commerce, “these individuals are an indelible impression of the existence to shape not only their lives but the lives of their contemporaries and succeeding generations. The distinction of their being is defined by enriching the world beyond the material and to leave the world in awe of them in the lifetime and glory in their absence”.

Dr Survé received the Businessperson of the Year Award and the Chamber described “this award as a businessperson who has scaled the pinnacle of business achievement and defined new boundaries by success. The award however seeks out the businessperson whose business also emphatically embraces empowerment of the marginalized in a spirit of advancing self reliance and economic sustainability; as not only a byproduct of its success, but as a fundamental pillar of operation”.

Dr Survé in his acceptance speech emphasised the need for an “African narrative and to build communities on the continent”. Dr Survé also spoke about his rescue of Professor Karabus and the common humanity required by all communities whether they are Christians, Hindus or Muslims to build a future and to find each other in business and society.

In the company of greats

Dr Survé said he was humbled and honoured to be in the company of awardees such as: the late honourable Mr Walter Sisulu who received the Lifetime Award; Constitutional Court Justice Zakeria Yacoob who was received for the Professional Award; South African cricketer Hashim Amla who received for the Young Achiever Award; Wits University Vice Chancellor Professor Adam Habib who received for the Leadership Award, and Zora Mahomed who received the Community Builder Award all of whom are worthy recipients and he extended his congratulations to them.

Pravin Gordhan congratulates Surve

On presenting the awards the Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan congratulated Dr Surve and all the awardees on the award and made an appeal to the media to have a more balanced view of South Africa and to narrate both the successes and challenges facing the country.

Sekunjalo acknowledges this award, which follows a busy year for Dr Survé. During the course of the year he was appointed to the Global Agenda Council on Emerging Multinationals by the World Economic Forum, the BRICS Business Council by the Presidency, Deputy Chairman of Siemens in Sub-Saharan Africa and also as Co-chairman of the World Economic Forum Global Growth Company Advisory boards, which is the world’s largest and fastest growing company selected by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

[Image features Dr Surve, retired judge Zakeria Yacoob and Minister Gordhan - via Terry Haywood]

Ideate is one of South Africa's biggest business blogs, with a team of authors all of whom have had entrepreneurial experience. Ideate is read by entrepreneurs thinking BIG. Follow us on Twitter here. View more articles by Staff Reporter.

Related Articles

4 Responses to “Business Person Of The Year Awarded To Sekunjalo’s Dr Iqbal Surve”

  1. Dan

    Dec 2nd, 2013

    Is it prudent for an award of this stature to be given to someone who is currently under investigation with the Public Protector for tender fraud of R800m? Until proven innocent or guilty, no one should be awarded the title of Businessman of the year, especially someone implicated in tender fraud given the widespread corruption currently infesting our government and economy. To me this represents the private sectors acceptance of people and businesses in actively engaging in tender manipulation. Come on EY do the right thing and rescind the award

  2. Richard M

    Dec 4th, 2013

    Dan, having just read a report on the charge (on – a neutral publication FYI), it seems to me that your thinking is somewhat skewed. Firstly, you insinuate that Dr Surve is directly responsible for decisions made a company within a much larger entity with over 60 separate entities. If there was a decision made to engineer the tender, it was almost certainly made independently of Surve. Secondly, it is the fishing co that is under investigation, not Surve himself. Thirdly, it appears that the Sunday Times was a little premature in implicating Sekunjalo, since the process of submitting multiple bids within a group containing competing divisions is not illegal.

    Lastly, don’t you think it’s strange that it’s Sunday Times, who are under significant revenue threat from Sekunjalo’s INM, that is throwing these allegations around?

  3. Dan

    Dec 15th, 2013

    Richard, what are your thoughts now given Dr Surve fired Cape Times editor Alide Dasnois for publishing the corruption story in the Cape Times? Your argument that he is not responsible for possible tender fraud, ignores the fact that he received the EY award for the success that Sekunjalo has achieved. If that success is based on possible corruption, then the award is no longer valid. All I’m saying is until the parties have been cleared of all wrongdoing, it doesn’t make ethical sense to give him the award. If he is innocent then celebrate the man, but for too long we have been turning a blind eye to corruption and clearly in this case, there are allegations to be answered

  4. Richard M

    Dec 16th, 2013

    Dan, I did see that story, but I tend to take an objective view on these types of reports. After following the media narrative recently, two clear points stand out that are missed by Surve’s detractors:

    1) Surve’s company has been cleared of the collusion charges (read:

    2) Re Cape Times – if you read the latest media reports, the CT has been losing readership steadily for some time now. Poor editorial and response time has been at the root of this decline, in conjunction with increased digital competition.

    In any business, if you’re losing money, you will be unseated. As Surve alluded in his most recent press release it was inevitable that Dasnois’ job was on the line a long time before either the Mandela or the fishing stories were published. It was the slow response to the Mandela story that accelerated her shift out of the editor seat.

    So, in conclusion, both allegations (collusion & media manipulation) seem to be structurally weak.

    That said, I think Surve’s PR team should join Dasnois in being retrenched. Surve himself should also think a little more carefully on his communication and timing in the media – particularly now that he’s a media owner, and that he’s winning awards portraying him as a role model to society.

Leave a Reply