It would be unthinkable today, that somebody would reach the retirement age after working for one single company during most of the active years of his life.
I have worked for the Rembrandt Group for almost 30 years, starting as a sales representative and retiring as Divisional Director, after working up through the line with the same spirit and enthusiasm of the first day I joined the organization
The inspiring force was Anton Rupert and the motivating way he conducted his business, generating employee loyalty and the idealism of a romantic crusade to accomplish assigned tasks.
The fact that Anton Rupert became one of the most successful entrepreneurs of this country, and the world, did not change his down-to-earth, almost humble way of dealing with everybody, that stimulated an atmosphere of commitment and dedication among employees and business partners.
The last time I saw him was in the early 2000s, at Court House, Saxon Road in Sandton, where I had my office for almost ten years.
It was shortly after the Rothmans/ BAT merger and Anton Rupert had insisted on having a meeting with the cigarette company’s longest-serving employees to explain the reason why his company had merged with the British based outfit.
Besides being a visionary entrepreneur, that created a business culture with an unparalleled humane attribute, he was a philanthropist and a passionate conservationist.
He dedicated most part of his life helping worthy causes, one of them, according to his business partnership philosophy, was supporting small business, as an essential key to success.
In these difficult times that we are facing, it is significant to acknowledge that Anton Rupert’s legacy lives on when his family decided to commit R1 billion to assist small businesses and employees affected by the coronavirus tragedy.