SOUTH AFRICAN executive, Antonio Fourie, who was recently named chief executive officer of Zimbabwe’s largest conglomerate Innscor Africa, has defended his appointment saying he has what it takes to take the group through its next growth phase.
Fourie left his position as chief executive officer of South Africa’s Ellerines Group in February 2014, after it was placed under administration, the same time he left his seat on the troubled African Bank Limited and African Bank Investments Limited boards after a career spanning 20 years at some of the country’s leading retailers.
Zimbabwean media and analysts have questioned Fourie’s Innscor appointment, pointing to his Ellerine’s and African Bank associations and the fact that he is a foreigner commuting from South Africa a reported three times a week to run the diversified group.
However, in an interview, Fourie said Innscor’s growth ambitions tied in well with his profile.
“If you look at my particular skills set and the particular needs of Innscor at this point in time seem to align well,” he said.
“Innscor is at a time where it has reached crossroads.
“It has many years of growth since its founding, it has gone through hyperinflation, through dollarisation and now it has got to a point where it has to embark onto the next phase in its next journey.”
Fourie said under his leadership, Innscor would intensify its aggressive growth thrust, eyeing sectors and markets.
“We have got quite an ambitious growth agenda which involves increasing in scale quite substantially both organically and acquisitively across industries that we have already invested in and across borders too,” he said.
“We definitely have businesses where the model is replicable beyond the borders of Zimbabwe so we have lots of growth opportunity here and in the larger African region.”
Fourie said Innscor was scouring Zimbabwe and the region for more opportunities.
“We have our sights set on a number of growth opportunities within Zimbabwe,” he said.
“We are doing extensive research on various industries in Zimbabwe to see where the opportunities are beyond where we are.”
— The Source