July 06 2007
Bidvest's Brian Joffe produces business book
Nicole Rego, I-Net Bridge 2007/07/06 15:40:40
Brian Joffe, the entrepreneur who turned an R8 million start-up into an R80 billion a year
company, has at last produced the business book demanded down the years by followers of the
Bidvest success story.
But instead of a predictable 'how-I-dunnit' account of the growth of Africa's largest services and
trading group, he has produced a pictorial business book that catalogues 156 scenes of African
Joffe, a game-farm owner and gifted photographer, captions each photograph of wildlife with an
illuminating or sardonic quotation from a corporate or entrepreneurial luminary.
The mix is further enlivened with typical quips from the Bidvest founder himself.
The photographs were taken at various locations across southern Africa over a five-year period.
Jack Welch, Tom Peters and many other representatives of the business guru species make it
into the 216 pages of My Book by Brian Joffe, published in a limited edition by Phoenix Design.
Typical of the sometimes offbeat but always insightful treatment of business wisdom is the close-
up study of a huge yawning hippo with the caption:
"Never open your mouth at your first board meeting" said Brian Joffe.
Professor Andy Andrews, former head of Wits Business School, is one fan of the unusual concept
and the quality of the execution.
"It's a fantastic piece of work, typical of Brian Joffe's focus and dedication," he commented. Sasfin
Bank fund manager David Shapiro is another fan:
"Top quality photography matched with highly inspirational business quotes - just what you'd
expect from the motivational Bidvest founder."
The book was conceived as a gift for those who have influenced the author's life and was not
originally planned for commercial distribution.
Response was so positive that it is being distributed to a wider market.
A My Book website, brianjoffe.com is in preparation and the 'hard copy' version of this high quality
presentation book is being sold to raise funds to help develop a new generation of entrepreneurs.
Joffe, a former Entrepreneur of the Year, believes entrepreneurship is vital to job creation and
In less than 20 years, the author of My Book built Bidvest from a cash-shell into an international
trading, services and distribution group with revenue of more than R80 billion a year and 93,000
"Friends and colleagues have been nagging me for years to come up with my own business
I didn't want to follow the same old format, so I combined the task of passing on some business
insights with my love of wildlife and lifelong hobby of photography," said Joffe.