David White and Mike Miller - Helping Businesses To Enter The UK Space


David White, CEO of DRG Outsourcing and Chairman of BusinessFit in South Africa, visited the UK in March 2019 at the invitation of the South African Chamber of Commerce to attend the blacktie Gala Dinner hosted by Lord Peter Hain at the prestigious and historic House of Lords. David was hosted for the week by UK business partner Mike Miller, one of the founders of the South African Chamber and Director of the Chamber Business Hub. KZN Business Sense caught up with David and Mike at the Institute of Directors in London just before Mike took David to London Heathrow to catch his flight back to Durban at the end of the trip.

David, it's a long way to come to attend a dinner. Has it been a worthwhile trip?

White: The outcome of this trip exceeded my expectations in that it made possible many great meetings that will progress our new BusinessFit International project... helping South African businesses to successfully enter the UK market place and UK based businesses to successfully enter the SA market place.

So the Gala Dinner wasn't the only reason for coming to London?

Miller: In fact, there were three formal events for us to attend, a business dinner on Monday evening at the Hogan Lovell offices in Holborn, the black-tie Gala Dinner at the House of Lords on Tuesday evening, and a business breakfast at Freshfields in Fleet Street on Wednesday morning. The guest speaker at all three events was Kuseni Dlamini, Chairman of Massmart who gave his take on the current political and economic situation in South Africa which was very interesting.

He even managed to make the focus of each presentation different and was happy to participate in an honest and forthright Q&A afterwards. David and I attended several other meetings during the week which
all helped to move the Chamber Business Hub and BusinessFit International project forward.

White: I found the one-on-one discussions with various Chamber members at the three events invaluable in helping me to understand the needs of UK businesses wanting to enter South Africa and to see how this may be achieved through our Business Fit International business assessment process. I met several passionate people who all pledged to help and support us.

Miller: There was a conference call with the Chamber's Business Hub team of consultants all over the UK, all of whom had different skills and experiences designed to help South African businesses enter the UK space and to create a business platform in the complicated UK business environment. The call was initiated to introduce David, and to enable the Business Hub Team to better understand our unique Business Assessment approach.

White: Mike Miller also introduced me to the managing director of a major US film maker based in the UK and his financial director. The company is in the process of making a series of major films and TV shows in South Africa, and were having difficulty understanding the intention and practical application of B-BBEE in
the South African workplace. The company leaders were in fact so frustrated that were contemplating moving their film making to East Africa. We were able to explain how the B-BBEE structure and its flow through has been designed, and to show how BusinessFit is available to help them strategise and manage their B-BBEE Scorecard process for optimum efficiency and outcomes. This will be to the benefit of their quality film making and resultant boost to the local South African economy and creation of business and employment opportunities.

Did you meet with Sharon Constancon, the CEO of the South African Chamber?

Miller: We had a meeting with Sharon after the Freshfields breakfast which was very productive wouldn't you agree David?

White: Extremely useful and productive. In particular we talked about DRG's and BusinessFit's role in South Africa as Platinum members of the Chamber. There are a number of initiatives in the pipeline, all of
which will help to raise the profile of BusinessFit International and the Chamber Business Hub resulting in a multitude of new employment opportunities in South Africa.

Sounds like it was a very useful and productive trip.

Miller & White: Definitely! A profound networking opportunity.