Effective leadership, governance and market intelligence are key components for establishing economic convergence between the BRICS countries. Brazil, China, Russia, India and South Africa represent 23.6% of the world’s economy in 2017,
and over 40% of the world’s population. This was the focus of discussion at the recent launch of the BRICS institute. The BRICS Institute was launched on the evening of 14 June 2018 in Sandton. The launch included a Lifetime Achievement Award Ceremony for Professor Mervyn King. The award honors an individual’s longevity and contribution towards leadership, development and vision of a better world.
Economic convergence within the BRICS members is a way to develop South Africa’s competitive advantage, its abundance of natural resources and increased focus on financial services. South Africa needs to bring in technologies to maximise the value of the raw materials and increase manufacturing and finished product output.
Approximately 150 guests attended the launch from a variety of organisations in South Africa. Mr. Vivian William, founding director of Regenesys Business School, chaired the event. Dr. Marko Saravanja, chairman of Regenesys Business School, presented the lifetime award to Professor King, after which he delivered a short presentation on leadership and ethics. Professor King’s presentation was followed by a short address delivered by Dr Julian Naidoo, Director of the BRICS Institute. Mr. Philip Mbanyana, Director: Office of the Deputy Minister, Department of Trade and Industry concluded the speeches for the evening.
According to Professor Mervyn King good faith, cared skill and diligence are important elements of leadership as seen over the centuries though the stages of industrial development. How companies make profit should be based on ethical considerations. King further emphasized the importance of sustainable development, trust, image and business quality. During his speech King highlighted the three critical dimensions for sustainable development: economy, society and the environment. He explained that acting in the best interest of the company requires from leaders to do away with self-interest and self-concern and focus on leadership capacity and accountability. Leaders should focus on the long-term health of the company, integrated thinking and transparency. King concluded his talk by saying corporate governance is a journey, not a destination.
Dr. Julian Naidoo, Director of the BRICS Institute mentioned that the programme will unlock economic potential between the BRICS countries and will make it possible for interested parties to visit other member states. Naidoo mentioned the importance of driving commerciality to something more practical. He emphasized serious convergence between BRICS countries in order to accelerate development. It is important to gain sector based market intelligence, shared for mutual benefit, in order to do business in the BRICS countries. Intensive sector information is required to drive economic development. Naidoo is convinced that the BRICS programme will ensure that participants keep up with the 4th industrial revolution, cutting edge technologies and exploring the future through advanced learning.