2015 Speaker Interviews
Greg Solomon | Chief Executive Officer, McDonald's South Africa
Greg Solomon joined McDonald’s in 1996 and built his career with the company, becoming the CEO and the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of McDonald’s South Africa Pension and Provident Fund. Greg was named the Institute of People Management CEO of the Year 2011. Retail Congress Africa asked Greg about the opportunities that lay ahead for retailers in Africa.
Michael Cotterell | General Manager; Online Shopping, Pick n Pay
Over the past 15 years Michael has been involved in all aspects of digital commerce. Prior to his work at Pick n Pay he ran the online B2B business for BT Retail in the UK where he introduced the first online only customer service model. Michael talked to Retail Congress Africa about his experience and vision for the future of online and mobile retail in Africa.
Frances Peacock | Head of International Growth, Yuppiechef
Frances focuses on expanding Yuppiechef distribution to the rest of Africa, working to optimise business opportunities across the continent and ensuring that the company's goals for international expansion are met. What does it take to make meaningful connections with customers in order to attract and retain them in the long run?
Geoff Whyte | CEO, Southern Africa, Nando’s
Suzie Wokabi | Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Suzie Beauty
Suzie Wokabi created Kenya’s first and most successful make-up and beauty brand “for the African woman, by an African woman” that is traded internationally across Africa. In an exclusive interview with Retail Congress Africa, Suzie talked about the opportunities and challenges of starting a retail business in Kenya.
Andrew Stark | Managing Director, Flight Centre
As the person in charge of managing the strategic direction of South Africa’s largest travel company, Andrew spoke to us about urgent changes that need to be addressed to attract top talent to a business that prides itself on nurturing customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Paula Disberry | Group Retail Director, Woolworths
Paula is responsible for the planning of the clothing and general merchandise division at Woolworths. Having previously worked at a number of international companies in Europe, North and Central America, Paula will speak at Retail Congress Africa about the uniqueness of approaching omni-channel retail in Africa.
Andy Higgins | Managing Director, uAfrica.com
The founder of bidorbuy.co.za, Africa’s largest online marketplace, Andy is known as the driving force behind a number of other successful E-commerce companies in the region. What are the important considerations when assessing the state of digital retail opportunities in Africa, and how will the retail landscape change in the future?
Amina Accram | Economic Journalist, SABC News
Amina has covered the retail sector across Africa for more than ten years. She worked for the United Nations in East Africa and is currently working for the SABC as an economics reporter in their radio division. Amina summed up her observations of the state of the retail industry across the region for an interview with Retail Congress Africa.
Jon Copestake | Editor, Costs of Living, Liveability; Chief Retail & Consumer Goods Analyst, The Economist Intelligence Unit
As Chief Retail and Consumer Goods Analyst, Jon guides global, retail and consumer goods products by writing a regular global outlook and special reports that affect the sectors. In this Retail Congress Africa interview, Jon outlines the major trends influencing retail in Africa.
Justin Smith | Head of Sustainability, Woolworths
Justin Smith is responsible for the strategy, structure and integration of more than 200 targets across Woolworths, promoting transformation in the areas of social development, environmental issues and climate change. Justin shared his insights on the urgency of implementing sustainability strategies in the retail sector.
Lynette Hundermark | Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer, Useful & Beautiful
Lynette, an award-winning mobile and digital strategist, shared with Retail Congress Africa her observations on the opportunities available in online and mobile spaces for forward-looking retailers. What steps can retailers take to proactively prepare for the shift of consumer shopping habits from in-store to on-device?
Michael Gamwo | Manager, International Trade - Africa, WEGRO Destination Marketing Investment and Trade
Michael Gamwo manages the International Trade - Africa unit at WESGRO, a government agency that promotes investment and trade in the Western Cape in South Africa. Retail Congress Africa asked Michael to outline his thoughts on the future of retail in the region.
Muchiri Wahome | Chief Executive Officer, Deacons
Retail Congress Africa speaker, and the CEO of the leading fashion chain in Kenya, Muchiri Wahome, shares his tips of running an ambitious and successful retail operation in the region. What are the hidden challenges and where is the real market opportunity coming from for the retailers looking to expand in East Africa?
Newton Siele | Country Manager East and Southern Africa, Novo Nordisk
Newton has vast experience working in Sub-Sahara Africa market, specialising in product introduction and market penetration across 19 countries in the region. He has also studied and written about the impact of entrepreneurship in Kenya. Find out what insight has he gained about running a successful business in East Africa in an interview with Retail Congress.
Titus Korir | Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Insight Retail East Africa
As the publisher of Kenya-headquartered magazine, Insight Retail, Titus is helping to drive innovation and business excellence in the sector across and beyond East Africa. In an interview with Retail Congress Africa, Titus talks about the importance of the region as a retail hub that is increasingly attracting international attention.