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E12: Leveraging the high-level relationships

In this episode, we discuss funeral insurance products with Sitsaba Bekwa, Executive Chairman at ARELLA UMA. Arella is a start-up underwriting management agency (UMA) currently authorised to provide funeral insurance products across numerous consumer and business segments.

Sitsaba is the Executive Chairman of Arella and a formidable salesman having headed up the Marsh Africa sales team for 7 years. He was responsible for the sales strategy and marketing strategy in 7 African countries and for managing 14 sales staff. As an Executive Chairman, Sitsaba is responsible for the strategic direction of Arella UMA, including leveraging the high-level relationships he has built over the years in the industry.

E11: Be adaptable, work smartly, follow your gut, and always have an exceptional work ethic

In this episode, we discuss Bespoke Food & Beverage Programmes with Joanne Civin  Founder & Director at Flavourpro Consulting (Pty) Ltd.

Based in Johannesburg, Flavourpro is a unique consultancy business, that partners with clients to develop, implement and innovate bespoke food & beverage programmes.

Obsesses with passion, Joan comes from humble beginnings, which she believes has fuelled her to become the entrepreneur she is today. Being in the Food and Beverage industry for over 18 years has taught her many lessons, to name a few: be adaptable, work smartly, follow your gut, and always have an exceptional work ethic.

E10: Tackling the twin challenges of “Access to Finance”​ and “Access to Markets”

In this episode, we discuss South African entrepreneurship and how Marc Ashton and his team from Decusatio One are helping Africa invest smarter.

Based in Johannesburg, Decusation One assists entrepreneurs in tackling the twin challenges of “Access to Finance”​ and “Access to Markets”.

Passionate about finance and investment, Marc is an experienced financial journalist having worked for fin24.com, been editor of finweek for 3 years and run JSE-listed media group Moneyweb.

E09: luxury concierge services; Travel, Real Estate, Education, Personal Shopping, Art.

This episode we discuss luxury concierge services; travel, real estate, education, personal shopping, art, private parties weddings, & wine With Carolina Alvarez, Head of Service and brand relations for Africa at Quintessentially.

Quintessentially is a UK-based company founded in 2000, specializing in luxury concierge services.

Carolina biggest passion is travel, she has visited more than 100 countries in the world. Through Emirates Airlines and by relocating to Dubai, where she lived for almost 10 years, she became acquainted with the world of luxury. Carolina joined Quintessentially to assist the African division to improve and grow, presenting her with the perfect opportunity to combine everything she has learned so far on finest service, quality assurance and of course luxury travelling

E08: fluid and decentralised asset management within the crypto world

This episode we discuss fluid and decentralised asset management within the crypto world with Alexi Contogiannis, Chief Operations Officer at Cratos Digital Assets.

Alexi has over 16 years’ experience in financial markets. Having started at the National Treasury of South Africa he moved to Standard Bank CIB as part of the Capital Markets team.

In 2017, Alexi co-founded Alinea Investment Management with Nic Spetsiotis, initially focusing on alternative credit investments, this business has evolved with its clients’ needs and when they felt the market (and infrastructure) was ready for offering their clients crypto services, they partnered with the team at Cratos Capital to launch their venture – Cratos Digital Assets.

E07: Inter-Africa trade and the ICT Industry, with Sindi Mqutheni of Cugy Consulting

Sindi Mqutheni (MBA), CEO of Cugy Consulting, joins us for the seventh episode of the TBE podcast. In this episode, Sindi focuses on the topic of inter-Africa trade. In doing so, the conversation covers entrepreneurs in the ICT industry learning more and venturing into business in Africa, how original equipment manufacturers in the ICT industry create trade opportunities for SME’s in Africa, barriers to doing business in Africa and the role of the AFCFTA in this regard, and much more on the topic of inter-Africa trade.

E06: Leading an organization in the ICT Industry with Sindi Mqutheni of Cugy Consulting

Sindi Mqutheni (MBA), CEO of Cugy Consulting, joins us for the sixth episode of the TBE podcast. In this episode, Sindi talks about her experience as an entrepreneur in the ICT industry and where it all started, how the past year and a half accelerated the readiness and adoption of technology, the importance of the King IV report for both small and large businesses, as well as being a female CEO in the ICT industry and the challenges she has had to overcome in a largely dominated male industry. 

Financial Planning & Long-Term Investing with Yoss Reddy of GCI Wealth

In episode 5 of the TBE Podcast, we were joined by Yoss Reddy of GCI Wealth, a financial planning and investment group dedicated to ensuring the financial future of its clients.

GCI is a fully-fledged financial services provider founded over 20 years ago with a national presence of 15 offices around the country. They provide tailored individual wealth planning that provides a holistic view of one’s financial needs – looking at every cent you earn and asset you own and how to tailor these to meet your life’s objectives. Their comprehensive solutions range from investment planning, retirement planning, estate planning, asset management, risk cover, and group solutions for corporate clients. 

Advice for securing a financial plan

When asked if everyone needs a financial plan and what steps are involved in setting up a sound financial plan, Yoss provided an in-depth answer that took him back to the teachings of financial literacy during his school years. He raised the commonly asked question “Why didn’t they teach us this at school?” He acknowledged schools nowadays for teaching the power of savings and the impact of compound interest. However, highlighted that these lessons lack the basic tenants of financial literacy, and that everyone deserves the opportunity to learn how to manage their finances. 

Yoss went on to mention that once you have a foundation of financial literacy, you need a tool to put this into practice so that you can manage your money. Unfortunately, millennials are the poorest generation yet, and the concept of intergenerational wealth preserved and passed on for generations is not taken seriously enough. Therefore, understanding finances and having a holistic financial plan with a strategy that enables people to track and manage their goals is of utmost importance. Yoss went on to list the 6-step financial planning process:

  1. Establish a relationship with a financial planner. 
  2. Gather information from a financial planner and share your goals with them.
  3. The financial planner will analyse all data and advise on current status in relation to objectives.
  4. The financial planner will develop a financial plan for achieving goals.
  5. Implement the plan.
  6. Monitor the plan and set a predefined period of how often to review the plan to ensure you are on track to achieving your goals.

Wealthbit – GCI’s Market Leading FinTech tool 

Yoss further emphasised that “everyone deserves an opportunity to learn to manage their finances and to enjoy a healthy financial future.” In GCI’s attempt to democratise this, they have created a market-leading FinTech tool called WealthBit, free for anyone who wants to use it.

Essentially, it allows users to create a profile, insert their budget, appetite for risk, assets and liabilities, as well as the opportunity to make adjustments as time goes on. All this information is confidential, and the platform is independent, meaning users have the option to use a financial planner that is independent of GCI. The planner will simply pay a nominal fee for using the platform to conduct their financial plans for their clients.  

Yoss comments on the success of the tool thus far, stating that “Wealthbit has roughly 6000 users at present who make use of the platform, including some industry giants that have seen the beauty and potential of this fintech tool.”

Investment Advice: Immediate gratification vs long-term investing among younger generations

When it comes to investment advice, GCI advocates for investing over the long-term rather than chasing short-term gains. Yoss advises, “investing is a long-term game, following the philosophy of regularly putting a little bit away, which will give you net real returns that will get you to your goal. You will need a financial planner/a trusted partner in this field to provide you with the long-term advice that will get you to your goals.”

When asked if he thinks there is a correlation between immediate gratification and a lack of long-term investing among the newer generation of young professionals, Yoss expressed that everything becomes about instant gratification, and the culture now is ‘get rich quick’, but for most of us, these tips and tricks don’t work. Key advice Yoss was given during his youth, is that “building wealth is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s about making responsible decisions over the long-term that will firstly allow you to build wealth and secondly protect wealth for generations to come.”

Values, attitudes and behaviours drive different generations. If people understand the behavioural dynamics between generations, then we have a chance of solving this culture of immediate gratification when it comes to wealth and finances. “This is why having an online tool like Wealthbit and a financial partner is valuable, as it helps you keep track of your plans and where you are heading”, Yoss emphasises.

Flexible Office Space in Sandton

GCI has enjoyed an established relationship with TBE for approximately five years. Yoss highlighted the pandemic’s effect on commercial office space and how industry leaders with massive offices have realised that the remote working/hybrid work model that TBE offers is the way to go. He highlights the advantages of TBE’s office space as follows:

  • Fully serviced office space that allows them to do what they do best without worrying about the operations, infrastructure and daily maintenance.
  • Variety of prominent and beautiful locations to call home.
  • Prime locations around the country to suit every type of budget.
  • A workspace for staff to collaborate and innovate.
  • Flexibility that enables them to scale up or scale down. 

Yoss ended off by saying GCI has substantially grown over the past few years and will be looking to grow further with TBE.  

For more information, Yoss encourages all listeners to visit wealthbit.co, followed by www.gci.co.za

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