In a recent interview with Adriaan Scheeres, CEO of Pragma, he answered some questions about himself and Pragma.
Why did you start Pragma?
I did my final masters project in asset management, which sparked the idea of starting a consulting business in asset management. In June 1990, Arnold Botha and I founded Pragma.
Today Pragma is one of the leading asset management companies in the world. What is your success?
We soon realised that sustainable asset management was the real need, not only maintenance consulting. So we enhanced our service offering to an outsourced asset management service. The 2nd factor is that we focus on leadership development which enables us to confidently expand the company.
Are you surprised at the success of Pragma?
Yes and no. Yes, it always amazes me how much ownership our people take to make the business their own and grow it. No, our whole outlook is to grow value for our clients and that is what we do and what they value. We have a long term outlook because we create sustainable solutions.
How many employees and branches do you have?
We have 250 employees In South Africa, with offices in Cape Town, Midrand, Port Elizabeth and Durban. Pragma Acuity (based in Cape Town) operates globally. Pragma Brasil has 100 employees at two offices. We have Value Added Resellers situated in Ireland, Portugal and Australia.
What are the highlights for you personally with regards to the history of Pragma?
There are so many, but to mention a few I would say the launch of the Buro service (Asset Care Service) deserves the first mention; launching Pragma Brasil; competing with large international competitors on their turf and beating them to a multi country international contract; winning the BCTWF in 2009, Engineering category and repeating it in 2010; the graduation of our first Leadership Development Program candidates; the 10 and 20 year milestones; and every day.
What is your future vision for the company?
In South Africa we want to look after at least 2 or 3 of the key strategic assets. We have a big contribution to make and need to change the way our country view asset management. We want to make a difference in SA. We also aim to expand our global footprint in the BRIC countries before embarking on the rest of the world. I want to see us grow 3 times our current size within the next 10 years.
What is the secret to your success as a business man?
I trust people. I have a clear vision and ability to paint pictures for the team and then leave it to them to create and complete. Creating meaning within the organisation to ensure we deliver a meaningful service to our clients.
How would you describe yourself in a couple of words?
I am a visionary dream builder and an activator of new ideas and concepts. I am truly passionate about the things I engage with.
What is your philosophy to life?
My philosophy in life is to laugh a lot, love a lot and live well.