From Chemist to Business Strategist
Ezra Ndwandwe started his career in the world of science, taking up a position as a product development chemist and management trainee at Unilever after completing a Bachelor of Science at Wits University.
He spent two years in a management development programme, where his leadership potential was quickly recognised, resulting in his promotion to product development manager in the skincare field, a post he relinquished to join Reckitt and Coleman (now Reckitt Benckiser) as a development chemist. Not one to hang around on the bottom rungs of the management ladder, Ezra was soon promoted to R&D manager, and then regional processing manager, with Africa, the Middle East and Pakistan his prime responsibility.
Again, his potential for strong leadership and effective management was recognised, and Ezra became extensively involved in various high priority projects, including setting up new plants in South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Pakistan. Global recognition soon followed, and Ezra capitalised on his experience in understanding value-chain methodologies, becoming an expert in improving operational efficiencies and implementing effective turn-around strategies and change management initiatives.
This experience led him to a stint as a management consultant for a global consulting firm, where his skills were quickly snapped up by South African Breweries. He was appointed Depot Operations Manager. Ezra moved through the ranks quickly at SAB. His positions included Trade Marketing and Promotions Manager, Corporate Social Investment Manager, Executive Assistant to the Sales, Marketing and Distribution Director, and finally Operations and Projects Strategist.
Along the way, Ezra also obtained a Masters in Business Leadership from Unisa’s School of Business Leadership, as well as numerous awards while at SAB, including those for most improved and most effectively run operations.
By 2003, Ezra had a birds-eye view of operational strategy that was based on hands-on experience, and he made the move to starting his own consultancy – Ndwandwe Consultants - which advised corporates on how to get the best out of employees, with an emphasis on grooming black supervisors, managers and business leaders to take ownership of their careers. The business soon outgrew the consultancy title, and Dual Point Holdings was established, encompassing Dual Point Consultants, Dual Point Media and Dual Point Mining.
Not content with the status quo in terms of his qualifications, Ezra has registered for a Doctorate in Business Administration, with his thesis proposal: the alignment of business re-engineering and competitive strategy. He currently consults to various large organisations, including many multinationals, and also lectures widely at business schools on subjects including effective marketing, effective change management, project management, corporate strategy, managing transformation, business process re-engineering, organisational design, employment equity, diversity in the workplace and organisational development.