South Africa

The 2007 A.T. Kearney Global Services Location Index

In my previous post I documented South Africa’s Ease of doing business rating. The A.T. Kearney Global Services Location Index (GSLI) compares 50 global offshore locations and it contains very interesting information about different offshore and nearshore locations. You can download the pdf here.  Quoted from the A.T.Kearney website:

Findings in the 2007 A.T. Kearney Global Services Location Index reveal that the relative cost advantage of the leading offshore destinations has declined almost universally. Nearly every country in the Index, even those that fell in the rankings, improved their absolute scores, thus confirming that competition among low-cost countries is intensifying. Increasingly, simply maintaining current performance levels is no longer sufficient for countries that want to attract (and retain) the fast-growing remote services business. In addition, this year’s findings suggest that while the wage advantage of offshore locations will continue for 20 or more years, this advantage will diminish as demand for skilled workers increases in offshore locations around the globe.   

In 2007 South Africa is ranked # 31 (moving up a few places since 2005), behind Ghana, Lithuania and Pakistan. Here is the top ten:

  1. India
  2. China
  3. Malaysia
  4. Thailand
  5. Brazil
  6. Indonesia
  7. Chile
  8. Phillipines
  9. Bulgaria
  10. Mexico.

Interesting reading. I don’t think anyone uses this for real decision making.

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It’s easier to do business in Saudi Arabia than in South Africa

The World Bank has very interesting indicators regarding doing business in different countries. Use this interactive Google Map to slice and dice indicators like Starting a Business, Taxes, Dealing with licenses and much more.The top ten countries according to the World Bank regarding “Ease of Doing Business Rank” are:

  1. Singapore
  2. New Zealand
  3. US
  4. Hong Kong
  5. Denmark
  6. UK
  7. Canada
  8. Ireland
  9. Australia
  10. Iceland

…and South Africa is ranked 35 behind Saudi Arabia at number 23.Update 2/20/2008: I also found the World Economic Forum‘s Global Competiveness Report for 2007-2008. On this list South Africa is #44 and Saudi Arabia is number 35.What’s your view on this?

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Global South Africans project

The Global South Africans (GSA) project recently launched their website. Quoted from the Welcome page:

GSA is a growing network of talented and successful South Africans who live abroad but still feel deeply attached to the country and want to contribute to the country’s growth and success.The initiative is being spearheaded by the International Marketing Council of South Africa, a public-private partnership dedicated to increasing global support for South Africa’s young democracy and for the continent of which South Africa is a part.There is a supply and a demand side to the GSA project. On the supply side, the idea is to empower network members to contribute in ways that suit their talents and desired level of engagement. On the demand side, we are marketing GSA as resource to South Africans who could benefit from the extraordinary range knowledge and connections the network represents.In coming months, we will be launching a more formal website. In the interim, we will use this blog to talk about how things are progressing, stimulate discussion and linkages and, we hope, generate a growing list of network contributions.A word about that word contributions. GSA isn’t about passing the tin cup. As we hope this blog will elucidate, it’s about knowledge transfer.

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Vinny Lingham – CEO of Synthasite


Recently Vinny Lingham stepped down from his post as chief strategy officer of IncuBeta, the online marketing company he co-founded, to concentrate on the interests of his venture capital company, Lingham Capital and more specifically on Synthasite. Lingham, along with his wife, Charlene, and a couple of friends started IncuBeta in 2003 and have grown the Cape Town company into a 50-employee operation with offices in the United Kingdom and United States. IncuBeta owns and manages several businesses, namely Clicks2Customers, a performance search marketing partner; SEM agency Quirk, ReveNews, and CostPerNews.


Another IncuBeta startup company, Synthasite, is now one of the primary investments of his venture capital enterprise, Lingham Capital, and one of the primary targets of Lingham’s attention. Synthasite recently received another round of financing worth $5mm.


Lingham is a mix of youthful energy and idealism, hard work, brains and national pride. He’s 28, works 60-70 hours a week, is a member of the Mensa organization, and loves South Africa.


Raised in East London, a city on the east coast of South Africa, Lingham received an information systems degree from the University of Cape Town and (Vinny corrected me: he dropped out because he didn’t have the finances to continue. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets an honorary degree from UCT) an honors degree in electronic commerce from the University of South Africa. He is a fourth generation South African with ancestors from India. He loves to read, especially novels by Dan Brown and Tom Clancy, and is a movie fan. He considers Virgin founder Richard Bransen and U2 lead singer Bono personal role models. (He admires Bransen for his passion and fun, and Bono for his work for Africa.) In 2006 Lingham was the winner of the Top Young IT Entrepreneur in Africa Award. He is also listed in South Africa’s who’s who database.


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Elon Musk’s Tesla ousts co-founder Eberhard

Jeff Nolan posted on the ousting of Tesla’s co-founder Eberhard. The San Jose Mercury broke the news. Here is the Tesla Motors press release, and the rumors on the Tesla Motors Club forum. In a previous post I mentioned that Elon Musk is the main investor and chairman of Tesla Motors. I want one, these cars are very cool and green…Dec 10, 2007 update: Here is another post from Good Morning Silicon Valley and also from the good people @ All Things Digital.

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South Africa’s wealthiest people in 2007

South African RandThe Sunday Times of South Africa recently announced South Africa’s billionaire’s club (In South African Rand, divide by ~7 to get to USD). You can find the article here (You may have to register to get to the list).Here is the top ten list:1. Lakshmi Mittal of Mittel Steel SA – ZAR27bn ($4bn),2. Nicky Oppenheimer of Anglo American – ZAR16bn ($2.3bn),3. Patrice Motsepe (African Rainbow Minerals and Sanlam) – ZAR13.5bn ($2bn)4. Rembrandt Trust – ZAR8.3bn ($1.2bn)5. Elephant Consortium (Telkom SA) – ZAR5bn ($700mm)6. Bill Venter of Allied Electronics – ZAR4.2bn ($615mm)7. Giovanni Ravazzotti (Ceramic and Italtile) – ZAR4bn ($586mm)8. Ackerman Family (Pick n Pay Holdings) – ZAR3.7bn ($542mm)9. Bruno Steinhoff (PSG Group and Steinhoff) – ZAR3.7bn ($540mm)10. Laurie Dippenaar (Discovery, FirstRand and RMB) – ZAR3.3bn ($483mm)Here is another list of South Africa’s wealthiest people. There’s some overlap.I wonder why Elon Musk (worth at least $300mm and should be in the top 20) and Mark Shuttleworth (sold to Verisign for $575mm) are not listed. Elon may not be deemed as a South African anymore. I think Mark still lives in South Africa.What to get on the list? Then you may find a few tips in this Secrets of a self-made billionaire Forbes article.Any one else that you think they missed?

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