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Deon Morgan
Head of Business Development 

Deon Morgan has over 30 years’ experience in FMCG having worked in businesses such as Smollan, National Brands / AVI and Diplomat, where he is currently Head of Business Development. Since joining Diplomat in 2013, Deon has been exposed to the independent trade in a new way, as well as many route-to-market solutions. His ability to develop strong relationships, identify client’s pain points and satisfy their needs has allowed him to make an impressive contribution to the company’s growth.

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GG Alcock
Author, Entrepreneur and Informal Market Strategist

GG Alcock was raised in a mud hut in one of the poorest and violent parts of Kwazulu-Natal. In 1999, he founded Minanawe Marketing, an activations business which pioneered marketing to the informal mass markets. After selling the business, GG founded Kasinomics, which specialises in insights, route-to-market and consumer marketing to the township consumer and businesses. He is a thought leader on the trends and dynamics of informal economies and has written several books on the topic.

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Riaz Gani
Kit Kat Group

Riaz Gani, CEO of the KitKat Group, left his studies and joined his family’s business called Kit Kat Cash & Carry shortly after finishing school. Over the years, he developed a passion for vertical integration and diversification in all fields of business, and the family soon realised that a restructure was needed to turn the business into a corporate family-managed business. KitKat, under Gani Brothers Equity, is now one of the largest independently owned retail companies in South Africa.

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Andrew Weinberg
Retail Engage

Andrew Weinberg is a seasoned South African entrepreneur. Having started his first two businesses in second year varsity, Andrew has conceptualised, grown and sold more than six businesses in the past 19 years. He is currently the CEO of 2Engage – a leading customer engagement business which has a presence in over 160 independent retail stores nationwide, more than 1.9 million consumer members, and operates in eight African countries. Andrew is passionate about mentoring SMEs and entrepreneurs.

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André Lombaard
Customer Experience Executive

André Lombaard has 27 years’ experience in marketing services businesses with much of that time spent at Ogilvy South Africa. In 2019 he joined Smollan as head of the marketing cluster, a diverse group of specialist businesses focused on delivering a range of customer experience solutions to its clients. André is a sports fanatic, and enjoys playing golf, hockey and participating in mountain bike races.

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Richard Dunn
Chief Implementation Officer (Strategy & Execution), M4JAM

Richard is an experienced strategist with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry. He is skilled in negotiation, customer service and strategic planning. Richard is a strong business development professional who graduated from RAU with a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours). He currently oversees both strategic projects and the operational and execution departments within the M4Jam Group. 

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Thobeka Magubane
Retail Analyst
Trade Intelligence

Thobeka Magubane graduated with a BA in Political Science and Business Management at the University of KZN in 2019. She started her career at Trade Intelligence as client services administrator and moved into the research department where she now holds the position of Retail Analyst of the South African formal independent wholesale channel and informal retail. Thobeka is passionate about the dynamic informal market and all it has to offer South Africa in terms of job creation and growth.

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Andrea du Plessis
Senior Retail Analyst
Trade Intelligence

Andrea du Plessis has over 20 years’ experience in the FMCG industry, working as a training specialist in the retail trade. As Senior Retail Analyst for Trade Intelligence, Andrea reports on the corporate retail players, the formal independent wholesale trade and has a specialist focus on the Health and Beauty category. She also is a facilitator for the Trade Intelligence School of Retail.

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Natasha Smith
Managing Director
Trade Intelligence

Natasha Smith started off her professional career at P&G, where she learned the importance of ‘Touching and improving lives’. She has carried this ethos into the roles she has filled – from P&G to SAB, Carlsberg and now Trade Intelligence. She believes in the power of partnership between private and public, corporate and informal entities and regards such partnership as an indispensable part of building not only the informal sector but business in South Africa as a whole.

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Brian Makwaiba

Brian Makwaiba is CEO and co-founder of Vuleka, an e-commerce and fintech platform structured to support the entire trading ecosystem within the informal sector. Brian has extensive experience in innovation and brand building and was named one of The Top 50 Youth Entrepreneurs in SA (2015), one of the Top 15 Youth Entrepreneurs in Africa (2016), Innovator of the Year (2017), the Standard Bank Rising Star (2018) and one of The Top 20 Business Heroes in Jack Ma’s Africa NetPreneur prize (2019).

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Jessica Boonstra
CEO and Founder
Yebo Fresh

Jessica Boonstra, an engineer in information technology, spent the first years of her career working in logistics and project management at Shell in the Netherlands. She worked for several years at Ahold, one of Europe’s leading retailers, as Director – Strategy Office and later as Director of Online Business Development where she was responsible for launching new online retail concepts. Jessica and her family moved to South Africa in 2015 where she started Yebo Fresh in 2018.

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Abdirizak Ali Osman
CEO, SOMSA Marketing
and Distributors

Abdirizak Ali Osman is the CEO of SOMSA Marketing and Distributors. Before being named CEO in 2016, he was the Secretary-General of Somali Community Board of South Africa (SCOB), an NPO organisation that represents Somali migrants in South Africa. In his role at the board, Abdirizak was responsible for assisting Somali businesses in the informal market resolve their challenges and developing strategic intervention to address security challenges against vulnerable traders.

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Marné Dirks
Commercial Director: Primary Market Insights, Executrac

Marné Dirks is a 25-year veteran of the FMCG industry, having been involved in sales, operations, trade marketing, brand management and corporate strategy. His experience includes roles within Coca-Cola, SAB and Executrac. Marné holds a BCom (Hons) degree from the University of Johannesburg, as well as an MBL from Unisa.

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Eric Mutrie
Managing Director
Inzuzo Demand Creation

Eric Mutrie is a seasoned sales professional with 30 years’ general trade and route-to-market experience. Working for leading companies like SABMiller and Coca-Cola has been invaluable in developing his skills as a specialist in the largest market within South Africa. Based on the market opportunity and size, Inzuzo was formed to link suppliers and their brands to the consumers in this important channel.

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Gavin Wheeler
Business Development Manager, Twizza

Gavin Wheeler is the Business Development Manager at Twizza. Prior to joining the business he worked in the Coca-Cola system for 15 years where he enjoyed various roles in both Bottling Operations and the Coca-Cola Company. His last role at Coca-Cola SABCO was Regional Sales Manager and at the Coca-Cola Company he was Business Development Manager in the Innovations Department. In the early years of his career he worked in merchant banking and investment in the UK and South Africa.

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Uchenna Uzo
Lagos Business School

Uchenna Uzo is a Senior Lecturer of Marketing Management, Faculty Director and Retail Expert at Lagos Business School. He has received numerous awards for teaching excellence, including from the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD), and Academy of International Business (AIB). Uchenna's articles have appeared in numerous business journals. He is a consultant and academic director of the LBS Africa Retail Academy.

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Harley Caryer
Chief Growth Officer

Adept at developing new business opportunities in the data management and analytics arena, Harley Caryer co-founded DataOrbis. He has extensive experience operating in South Africa and internationally.


Wayne Lebotschy
Retail Growth and Innovation Director, DataOrbis

Wayne Lebotschy is an experienced and strong business development professional with a demonstrated history of working in the retail industry. He is skilled in market planning, retail, sales, retail category management, and store management.

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Graeme Brooks
Strategic and Creative Lead

Graeme Brooks is the strategic and creative lead at Barrows with 22 years in retail developing brand strategies and shopper experience design. Over the past four years he has been focused on the development of an agile in-store media platform through the integration of digital content and interactive brand experiences across multiple markets and categories.

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Musa Zwane
Product Manager

Musa Zwane is a Product Manager at Barrows. After 10 years specialising in design engineering and manufacturing, leading and working with multifunctional teams, he has shifted his focus towards the development of products and tools that can bridge the gap between formal and informal markets. For Musa it’s all about finding the right technology for the right market.

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Abdullahi Ibrahim
Managing Director
Hamafro Marketing

Abdullahi Ibrahim is the MD of Hamafro Marketing. He is also the National Treasurer of the Somali Community Board of South Africa.