The founder of retail food giant, Pick n Pay, Raymond Ackerman turns 90 on Wednesday. The respected businessman bought the supermarket chain in 1967, which was then just four stores.
Today, there are over 1 900 stores in seven African countries. His staff around the country joined in to celebrate the milestone birthday.
The 90 000 staff members have paid tribute to their employer. He is one of South Africa’s most loved business personalities.
He is respected for his passion for consumer rights and for always fighting for what he believes is right.
In 1971 he publicly backed war against the government to bring down food prices to ease the cost of living for his customers.
Ackerman took a strong stand against apartheid, particularly on job reservation. He eventually got his way in promoting his staff based on merit.
He ran the business for over 40 years until he retired 10 years ago as chairman. He has grown the supermarket group into what this iconic brand is today.
As a 50 year tradition, Ackerman has celebrated his birthday with staff. However, due to COVID, he decided to take the party to them.
Birthday cakes were delivered to all stores. Ackerman was humbled by the well wishes. “I just want to thank all of you around the country for what you’ve done to help build Pick n Pay. When I look back at all the problems and troubles we’ve had, I just remember last year and the way you’ve all rallied around with COVID and really kept the company strong during a very difficult time. So, thank you all.”
Staff at the Garden Route Mall in George celebrate Raymond Akerman’s birthday:
Well-known for his philanthropy, he still endorses entrepreneurial, educational, and job creation opportunities. This is his message to young entrepreneurs.
“I would strongly advise any young person just saying what is the role of business, what is the aim of business. It’s not just to be a nice guy. It’s to give back, to do good. Not only to keep prices down but to be part of the changes and help make changes in the country.”
Over the years, Ackerman and Pick n Pay have received various awards. In 2014 he was awarded the Presidential Award of the Order of the Baobab – Silver. He will be celebrating his birthday at home with his immediate family.
Source: SABC News (sabcnews.com)