Dr Iqbal Survé shares his motivation for participating in World Economic Forum

Chairman of the Sekunjalo Group Dr Iqbal Survé.

Chairman of the Sekunjalo Group Dr Iqbal Survé.

Published Jan 15, 2024


By Gina Brown

In a recent interview, Dr Iqbal Survé, Chairman of the Sekunjalo Group, shared his motivations for participating in the prestigious World Economic Forum (WEF), which shed light on the event’s significance as a platform for global networking, a source of innovative ideas, and an opportunity to serve as an ambassador for South Africa on the world stage.

Firstly, Dr Survé emphasised the invaluable business networking opportunities that the WEF provides. He sees it as a platform where South African businesses can thrive, establishing connections with partners and exploring avenues for growth. As Chairman of the Sekunjalo Group, Dr Survé has successfully cultivated partnerships with 14 multinational corporations across Africa, including prominent names like Siemens, Nokia, Saab, and British Telecom.

Watch the full interview with Dr Survé here.

The WEF serves as an ideal environment for him to nurture these existing relationships and seek out potential new investments.

Beyond networking, the WEF is also regarded as a catalyst for innovative ideas and a glimpse into future trends. Dr Survé recognises it as a dynamic hub where leading experts and trendsetters from various domains converge to discuss the world’s upcoming developments. Engaging with professionals from consulting firms, corporations, and governments offers him invaluable insights into global trends. This exposure allows him to stay ahead of the curve, anticipating the world’s direction, both in terms of business and geopolitics.

Such a forward-looking perspective provides him with a distinct advantage in navigating the swiftly evolving global landscape.

However, Dr. Survé’s primary motivation extends beyond personal business interests. He embraces his role as an ambassador for South Africa on the international stage, acknowledging the underrepresentation of African and South African companies at the WEF, especially when compared to counterparts from global economic powerhouses like China, Europe, and the US. Dr Survé’s presence at the WEF serves as a unique opportunity to spotlight South Africa as an attractive investment destination. Throughout various presidential eras, from Nelson Mandela to Thabo Mbeki, Jacob Zuma, and Cyril Ramaphosa, he has consistently endeavoured to draw international investors’ attention to South Africa.

His primary focus centres on encouraging investments that can generate employment and stimulate the nation’s economy, with a particular emphasis on addressing the pressing issue of high youth unemployment.

Dr Survé also places a strong emphasis on harnessing the market economy as a force for good. While the WEF offers numerous opportunities for business-focused discussions, he extends his interests to exploring how businesses can exert a positive impact on society. His philosophy centres on “people before profits”, underscoring Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles. He believes that one of the most substantial contributions a business can make to society is providing employment, which in turn bestows dignity, pride, and the means to support families and communities.

Furthermore, Dr Survé contends that businesses possess the capacity to influence policies, shape environments, and contribute positively to communities.