One of the most exciting projects on the overlap of retail and banking.
What have you done in South Africa?
We worked for one of the retail finance companies, RCS. That allowed us an insight in both the retail banking world as well as regular retailers. We travelled extensively got a great picture of what makes the South African retail tick. And we worked for Mr Price, also in their retail finance department. Retail finance is crucial in South Africa, without it no retailer would survive.
Do you speak the languages?
English of course, and Afrikaans is a sister company to our native language Dutch. There are many more languages in South Africa and we must admit that we don’t get buy in them.
How far along the trend of retail-development is South Africa?
There is an intriguing mix between a well-developed, western retail infrastructure for the middle class and the informal retail-world for the 50%+ unbankable South Africans.
What company would you still like to work for again in this country?
Would love to work for Checkers or Pick ‘n Pay.
Can you name a project in South Africa that you are particularly proud of?
That must be RCS. These retail credit company, owned jointly by Foschini and Standard Bank, takes care of retail credit in more than 7000 retailers or across southern Africa. Retail giants like Makro or Game, but also smaller retailers and automotive retailers. Together with their management team we travelled all over the country and got the pressure cooker insight in what makes this country tick. They were really happy with our work as can be seen in this interview. (Schalk van der Merwe)