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School of Management Sciences


Undertaking thorough market research and knowing your customers is a vital aspect of business success. Two guest speakers, Kevin Abrahams and Ross Flood recently highlighted this to the first year business management students.

Kevin is the Founding Member of Frontline Research. He and his team have taken Frontline from a local P.E. agency to one of the larger players in Emerging Marketing Research, with ongoing projects across Africa, and recently in South East Asia. A key to the Philosophy underpinning Frontline's vision is the emphasis on understanding culture. Kevin became passionate about this while studying Anthropology, and became committed to the notion that to properly understand the Market environment, you need to understand the Cultural environment, too. This framework resulted in an innovative approach to Market Research, and today Frontline is retained by many of the larger Corporations in order to investigate markets, make meaning of them, and provide actionable information for Operational and Strategic planning.

Ross Flood has recently retired after 28 years with the Coca-cola system having worked for both the South Africa Coca-Cola bottlers and the Atlanta based Coca-Cola company. Roles have ranged from running Coca-Cola Bottling operations in the Eastern Cape and North West Province to General manager of a Franchise covering 70 % of South Africa's geography with a turnover of 5.5 billion rand. He has a keen interest in marketing and in particular understanding what it takes to successfully market brands to the rural markets in this country.

Kevin and Ross specifically highlighted differences in the business practices of local and foreign owned businesses in the townships and emphasised that if local traders wanted to continue operating successfully they would need to become more entrepreneurially orientated and less survival orientated.

ABOVE (from left to right): Mr Kevin Abrahams, Prof Shelley Farrington, Mr Ross Flood and Mr Riyaadh Lillah