His experiences range from working 6000 feet underground, developing an education business with six campuses and 4000 students, some years in venture capital and his current financial services offering with more than $2.7B in settled residential loans. Rael has been involved in listed companies on two international stock exchanges and sees himself as a “serial entrepreneur.” Rael delivers talks, presentations and seminars on a wide variety of business topics. These are equally relevant at all organisational and branch levels and from small and medium-size entrepreneurial businesses, to large-scale corporations, franchise chains and buying or dealer group.
What do you think the challenges are in building a more harmonious South Africa?
“After having lived outside of South Africa for 19 years, I am less connected with the day to day challenges. I see a society that has shown incredible strength and movement towards a level of colour blind interaction. I think the reality of the rich getting richer and the poor poorer is pretty evident.” Rael says. Rael continues by saying, “The difference is that on the face of it – everyone is “happy”. Yes that’s a relative term – but there seems little anger or resentment – everyone seems to get on with it.” In his opinion, the challenges also include trying to create a society where people are in the positions they deserve based on merit – not skin colour or gender, Rael believes this will take another generation to achieve.
How do you and your organisation engage in this process of change?
In Australia, and as a speaker, Rael talks about diversity in business and organisations, as well as trying to achieve a cultural change and shift.
Can you briefly name a few of the opportunities you had while growing up?
Rael speaks honestly when he says that he had an opportunity by just being white and Jewish, growing up in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg. He mentions that he had no idea about the “real Africa.”
Any words of advice to those who feel as if all hope is lost?
Rael says, “The reality is that not all is lost – politically there appear to be winds of change with a loosening of the ANC’s stronghold on the political future. This should give the country professional politicians who will stop blaming the evils of Apartheid and start looking forward.”
He continues by saying that it is indeed a massive challenge – but it starts with one person talking to another – which will slowly create a movement.