"To change is to improve, to be perfect is to change often".
Winston Churchill

My Story

I always wanted to own my own business. I was only 6 years when myself and one of our farm worker's sons launched a business making simple items from materials we could find on the farm. Our remote farm location in Namakwaland was not the ideal market for sales, but my love and interest in business was evident from young.

However, I had to go to boarding school which was a more suitable setting for my next business venture. A shoe cleaning service seemed like a clever business as there was no shortage of possible customers. Later, I grew vegetables using the grey water that we re-channelled from the showers to our vegetable gardens. By the time I was in grade 11, I owned a small factory where I produced ice-cream lollies, supplying most of the local cafes.

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When it came to tertiary studies, my father encouraged me to look at other faculties besides marketing to assist me in running a business and I decided on accounting. Being very eager to gain experience and start a business, I studied through UNISA while doing my articles at PwC (Price waterhouseCoopers).

In Jan 2001, I began as a trainee accountant at PwC South Africa in the Ceres office. I quickly realised I wouldn’t survive on our menial trainee salary and continued with side-line businesses which included buying and selling fruit juice bought from the local factory, selling biltong, owning a video store and even opening the first Figure for Women in Malmesbury.

In November 2009, I got married to my lovely wife, whom I met at PwC. I was relocated to the PwC Moorreesburg office to help manage the accounting team and in January 2007, Landi started her articles there as a trainee accountant. It was the best move I had ever made. It only took me four months to gain enough courage to ask her out and the rest is history.

In March 2010, Landi resigned and we established Grovation Consulting. Within a few months of starting, she grew a client base and was earning the equivalent of her employee salary, and all with much more freedom.

We always prayed and believed for the right time and opportunity for me to join Grovation. During June 2013 a company approached me to assist them with a large strategic IT project. I explained to the Managing Director that I would much rather work for my own company than for a new boss. His reply almost shocked me; "So how do we make it happen?" Shortly after this I resigned from PwC and joined Grovation.

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My Resume

My Career started in 2001

I started my career in 2001 with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as a trainee accountant. PwC is one of the largest professional services firm in the world, providing professional services such as Audit, Tax and Advisory. During my first 4 years with PwC I completed my articles while studying my Bachelor Degree of Accounting Science (BCompt) at the University of South Africa (Unisa).

After 13 years with PwC I resigned in 2013, to invest all my time in my own businesses. My highest position held at PwC was Senior Manager.

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January 2001 to July 2004

Joined PwC Ceres in South Africa, as a trainee accountant spending most of my time doing the following:
  • Auditing trusts and companies;
  • Compiling financial statements;
  • Completing VAT (Value Added Tax) and Income Tax returns; and
  • Selling and implementing Softline Pastel's accounting packages to clients.
August 2004 to April 2005

I joined PwC in the United States of America on a secondment basis. I was seconded to the PwC office in the New York Metro in the position of Senior Associate.

During this period I spent most of my time on the Sarbanes Oxley and year-end audit of Merck & Co Incorporate, the second largest Pharmaceutical Company in the world at that stage with a $38 Billion turnover. For a period of two months I also lead the audit team for the Continuum Health Plan of New York, which at that stage had a $98 Million turnover.

May 2005 to October 2005
I returned to PwC South Africa (Ceres) in the position of Senior Accountant responsible for the co-ordination of the accounting team comprising of 12 members. My responsibilities were mainly to manage the team and to perform management functions such as:
  • Tracking work-in-progress vs. budget for the team
  • Reviewing client deliverables to ensure high quality
  • Improve the efficiency of the team through standardising work practices
  • Coaching and mentoring the team members
  • Engaging with clients

November 2005 to January 2006

I rejoined PwC United States of America and was seconded to PwC in Detroit in the position of Senior Associate for the Sarbanes Oxley audit at Marathon Oil Company. The third largest Oil Company in the world at that stage with a $63 Billion turnover.

February 2006 to December 2007

I returned to PwC Assurance South Africa and joined the Moorreesburg office in the position of Assistant Manager responsible for the management of the accounting team comprising of 7 members and assisting with management functions such as:
  • Tracking work-in-process v. budget
  • Tax planning for clients
  • Reviewing client files to ensure high quality
January 2008 to August 2013
I joined PwC Advisory South Africa (Century City office) where I was responsible for middle market business development and delivering management consulting solutions. My key responsibilities were: < internal focus
  • Identify and pursue business opportunities for both Advisory and Assurance in the Western Cape Region.
  • Managing the Advisory delivery teams on business improvement projects.
  • Driving the overall design and development of the National Mybusiness@PwC practice management portal.
Client Focus
  • Facilitation of business strategy design and execution interventions.
  • Facilitation of ERP and other business technology selection processes.
  • Business process and system alignment to optimise the return on investment made in technology.
  • Developing and implementing People Performance Management systems and processes to support business strategy execution.
September 2013 to Current
I started my journey with Grovation on 1 September 2014 and become the managing director in January 2014. My key focus areas are:
  • Business Strategy Development
  • Strategic Technology Enablement
  • Business Improvement
  • Finance Function Improvement

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Industry Experience

Agricultural Industry
  • KLK Landbou – ERP selection, Business strategy development and People performance management
  • De Keur Estate – People performance management
  • JD Kirsten – People performance management
  • Robertson Winery – People performance management
  • Weltevrede Wine Estate – Business strategy development
  • Knorhoek Wine Estate – Business strategy development
  • Bosman Family Vineyards – ERP selection
  • Wellington Wines - Finance function improvement
  • Freshworld Group – ERP and Treasury system selection and implementation support
  • GWK – Commodity Trading and Risk Management (CTRM) and Data analysis platform selection
Retail and FMCG
  • Shoprite Checkers – Business recovery and continuity planning and System integrator selection
  • Pioneer Foods Group – IT outsource partners selection
  • Red Bull Holdings South Africa – Business process mapping and Microsoft Dynamics AX implementation
  • Parmalat South Africa – Business process review and re-engineering
  • Checkout – Business strategy development
  • KWV – System and process alignment

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Financial Services
  • Remgro – Treasury and consolidation system selections
  • RisCura – ERP selection
  • Freshvest - Private Cloud, ERP, CRM and Treasury system selection and implementation support
  • Vodacom – IT systems review
  • B2Gold Namibia – ERP selection
Manufacturing and Engineering
  • CTE (Commuters Transport Engineering) – Business process review
  • Netafim – Business strategy
  • Terason – Business strategy
  • Isofoam – Cost structure improvement
  • Agrico – ERP selection and implementation project governance
  • AAT Composites – ERP selection
  • Tessara (Grapetek) – ERP selection and BluePrint design support
  • Megalite – ERP selection, implementation support and advisory to the executive committee
Hospitality and media
  • Protea Hotels – Finance function improvement
  • Media 24 – Finance function improvement
Non for Profit
  • Ikamva Labantu - Finance function improvement
  • K2 Association - Finance function support
Software development
  • Spinnaker software (Arch Retail Software) – Strategy development and independent advisor to the executive committee and board
  • K2 Association - Finance function support
  • Farm management systems – Independent advisor to the board
  • Farsoft - Independent advisor to the board
  • CS Property Group – Strategy development and business improvement support
  • FivePM Group – Advisor to the executive committee and board

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  • 2013 Master Classes in Strategy (University of Stellenbosch Business School)
  • 2013 Trusted Business Advisor (PwC Business School)
  • 2008 Professional Accountant (SA) (SAIPA)
  • 2006 Honours Bachelor of Accounting Science (Unisa)
  • 2004 Bachelor Degree of Accounting Science from the University of South Africa (Unisa)
  • 1999 Entrepreneurialship and Small business management (N3) certificate (Tygerberg College)
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