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Ridhwan Khan of Mobicel Communications awarded EY Southern Africa World Entrepreneur Award for 2018

Ridhwan Khan of Mobicel Communications awarded EY Southern Africa World Entrepreneur Award for 2018

Davison Norupiri of Davipel Trading (Pvt) Limited receives the Exceptional category award; The Emerging category award goes to Deborah Merdjan, CEO of Camelot Group; For her outstanding contribution towards creating social and economic change as a founding member and CEO of WIPHOLD - and for the empowerment and development of women - Gloria Serobe is awarded the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award.

EY’s (EY.com) commitment to entrepreneurs, in both emerging and developed economies around the world, helps ensure that we are working with more of tomorrow’s global leaders, today. This year, Ridhwan Khan of Mobicel Communications was named winner of the Master Category in the EY World Entrepreneur Award. The winner of this category goes on to represent Southern Africa at the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Awards in Monte Carlo in June 2019, where he will compete with over 50 leading entrepreneurs from across the globe.

“Always look at failure as the beginning, and never as the end,” says Ridhwan.

Ridhwan Khan, 38-year-old founder and CEO of Mobicel, knew he was never going to be a suit-and-tie corporate worker, climbing his way up corporate ladder. He had his eye on something bigger, something inspiring, something fresh and disruptive. More than a decade ago, he set his sights on one simple but powerful core ideal: that in the information age, mobile devices are necessities, not luxuries. Having grown up in Polokwane, he knew well how inaccessible these necessities could be to many South Africans.

With his focus on lower income groups, Ridhwan had seen the gap in the market for an affordable cellular brand and was determined to bring accessible mobile connectivity to that market – at a fraction of the cost of established global manufacturers. In 2007, the new brand, Mobicel, was launched.

10 years later, Ridhwan’s efforts are paying off. Mobicel devices are now sold in more than 5 200 stores nationwide. The company is listed with all major South African cellular operators and has grabbed 18% of the South African cellular volume market share (and growing). It is South Africa’s leading and fastest growing cellular OEM and is expanding its reach internationally.

About the Exceptional category winner

“To be a successful Entrepreneur, you need to look at the world through new lenses all the time to be able to copy up with the dynamic global economic changes” says Davison Norupiri, founder of Davipel.

Davipel is a dried food manufacturing company established in 2002. The company started off its operations in the back yard of a factory packing and distributing basic food commodities like salt, rice and beans. Two years later Davipel ventured into snack manufacturing and soya mince processing.

A family business, today the company employs more than 600 people with a daily production capacity of 100tons of snacks daily and exports into 12 SADC countries. The business has built its own state of the art factory with equipment and machinery imported abroad and stand as the 3rd largest in the region. It has further expanded its growth by diversifying in Agro based milling, the only maize grit milling plant in the country with a combined production of agro based products to 250tons daily with a state of the art technology the only one in the region.

About the Emerging category winner

“Being an entrepreneur is about passion, creativity and innovation. You need leadership skills to drive your vision, and an ability to overcome business obstacles with courage and purpose” says Deborah Merdjan of Camelot Group.

Camelot Spa was created out of a consultancy opportunity with Sun International's first Health Spa at Sun City. Deborah identified a management opportunity of 5 Star Hotel Spa properties. Her franchise division which has grown to 31 properties to date, with a strong brand presence and new brands such as Cspa Wellness and Tite by Camelot Spa.

For the last 21 years, the award has been adjudicated by an esteemed panel of judges, and this year was no exception.

Master Category judges

Peter Mountford. CEO, Super Group and winner of 2016 Master Category Award.

Sipho Nkosi. Chairman of Talent Holdings

Catherine Townshend. Managing Director, Endeavor South Africa

Ivan Epstein. Executive Chairman, TriColour Investments and winner of the EY South Africa’s Best Entrepreneur Award in 1999.

Exceptional Category judges

Chair: Andile Khumalo. CEO, The Brodkast Group

Nadir Khamissa. Co-founder of Hello Group and CEO of Bedlam Inc. and winner of 2015 Exceptional Category Award.

Christi Maherry. CEO of Etion Secure (incorporating LAWtrust) a division of Altx-listed Etion Limited and winner of 2017 Emerging Category Award

Emerging Category judges

Nadine Todd. Group Managing Editor for Entrepreneur Media SA

Jean Chawapiwa. Country Director of WEConnect International in South Africa

Shiraz Gany. CEO of Petrocam Trading (Pty) Ltd and finalist in 2017 Master Category Awards

Lifetime Achievement Award

EY is honoured to recognise Gloria Serobe with the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award. The award recognises prominent business people whose enterprises have contributed significantly to the growth and development of the economies in their respective countries. Gloria has received many accolades and awards throughout her career - and has been widely recognised for her outstanding contribution towards creating social and economic change in South Africa, and for the empowerment and development of women, particularly those in rural areas.

“I am flattered by this award. As it is difficult for women to get the same opportunities in business as men, all we wanted to do as WIPHOLD was to create a critical mass of women in business, as opposed to each one doing their own thing. There must never be a time again when a woman who wants to open a business goes through what we went through,” says Gloria on accepting her award.

To read more about the winners and categories, please visit: Website – EY Awards (https://go.ey.com/2QsM0Bh)

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of EY.
Media Contact:
Zandile Maramnco
EY Africa Media Relations
Contact: +27 (0)82 544 8257
Email: media@za.ey.com

Very Important Note -
Please be aware of the following, when referring to the World Entrepreneur Awards Programme:
The phrase ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR is registered as a trade mark in South Africa in the name of Business Partners Limited. Legally, in South Africa EY are therefore entitled to use only the following replacement phrases - WORLD ENTREPRENEUR AWARDS, WORLD ENTREPRENEUR AWARDS PROGRAMME, WORLD ENTREPRENEUR or WORLD ENTREPRENEUR PROGRAMME.

About EY’s World Entrepreneur Awards Programme:
EY’s World Entrepreneur Awards Programme is the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The award makes a difference through the unique way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential and recognises the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global award of its kind, EY World Entrepreneur awards programme celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognising them through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 140 cities in 50 countries.

About EY:
EY (EY.com) is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

EY refers to the global organization and may refer to one or more of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. For more information about our organization, please visit EY.com. This news release has been issued by EYGM Limited, a member of the global EY organization that also does not provide any services to clients. Following on from EY’s successful integration in 2008 of 87 countries into one area from across Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (EMEIA), the firm has launched its Africa Business Center™ (ABC), which aims to enhance the effective and efficient links between its geographic reach and areas of expertise. The firm enjoys representation in 33 countries across Africa. www.EY.com/za
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