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Entrepreneurial spirit

A common feature of the companies that make up the Group Enterprises Division is the entrepreneurial spirit that permeates them. True to form, Group Enterprises has explored new avenues of trade by concluding a joint venture with 7-Eleven Africa, as well as PNA a chain of newsagents, both of which have subsequently been disposed of. An off-shore convenience store venture in the Philippines was also terminated due to a perceived lack of viability.

The year 1999 was noteworthy for a number of reasons, one of them being the nomination of then CEO Sean Summers, as “Person of the Year” by the Institute of Marketing Management (IMM) – the very same award received by Raymond Ackerman in 1970.

Two key events involving the Ackerman family occurred in 1999. The first was the formation of the Ackerman Family Council, comprising Raymond and Wendy Ackerman, together with their children and spouses.

The amount of R30-million was made available for community upliftment – in addition to the Company’s investment of after-tax profits – through education, housing, social services and environmental conservation.

Pick n Pay’s internal computer network, Junxion, was launched in 1998, making it possible to enhance training and communication within the Company. Pick n Pay’s policy manual has since become a digital document, bringing it within easy reach of the majority of employees.

In 1999, company history was made with the launch of radio broadcasts to all Corporate and Franchise stores in the Group. With an audience of over 12.5-million customers monthly, the broadcasts function as an effective advertising tool that speaks directly to the customer.

The broadcasts have also proved an ideal vehicle for staff training and communication. In his first staff message of the new millennium, Ackerman was upbeat about Pick n Pay’s ability to survive and grow, by building on past experience and guided by lessons learned throughout the company's history.

Artist: Streetwires

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