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Biography of Raymond ACKERMAN

South Africa > Business : Raymond ACKERMAN

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Born on 10/03/1931 (format : day/month/year)

Biography :

Raymond Ackerman (b.March 10,1931), ,is a South African tycoon.He's a founder and owner  of the
Pick' n Pay chain. He has achieved phenomenal success as a businessman, and he's known to almost every South African.For Raymond Ackerman and his wife, business and philanthropy are intertwined. They've been very successful in business and they have also made it a point to be successful in philanthropy. Pick 'n Pay has pioneered certain retailing concepts in South Africa, for
instance the Hypermarket and generic or "No Name" brands, and were the first to launch these concepts successfully in this country.

"Building a successful business is 90% guts and 10% capital”. This is the firm belief of Raymond Ackerman, founder and Executive Chairman of what is today the most successful retail supermarket chain in South Africa, Pick ‘n Pay.

In 1967, Raymond left an established retailing firm in Cape Town and started a retail corporation with the purchase of four small shops. Under his leadership, Pick ‘n Pay grew rapidly and in the 1970s branched into the hypermarkets that offered South Africans one-stop shopping. Pick ‘n Pay is now one of South Africa’s pre-eminent FMCG retailers, consisting of over 450 stores including 121 supermarkets and 14 hypermarkets. Operations are in food, clothing, and general merchandise sectors as well as financial services. The company operates throughout South Africa, southern Africa and Australia.
Raymond Ackerman lives by his philosophy "Your mission must become a passion you believe in".

Raymond Ackerman was honoured by an award from the Woodrow Wilson Centre on 31 July 2008.Trevor Manuel Finance Minister and businessman Raymond Ackerman were both honoured with awards from the United States' Woodrow Wilson Centre at a gala dinner held in Sandton, Johannesburg on Wednesday. Manuel received the Award for Public Service while Pick 'n Pay Chairman Ackerman received the Award for Corporate Citizenship. Presented by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars of the United States' Smithsonian Institution, the awards were bestowed in honour of Manuel and Ackerman's respective contributions to the development of South Africa. The two are the first South African recipients of the Awards. "The entire Republic of South Africa has benefited greatly from the distinguished careers of both honorees. They have been leaders in their respective fields in achieving South Africa's remarkable transition to democracy over the last two decades and have made important contributions to the country's social welfare and economic wellbeing," said Lee Hamilton, president of the Woodrow Wilson Centre.

Though not the original founder of Pick n Pay (the store was founded by Jack Goldin), it was under Ackerman's leadership that the store flourished into one of Africa's largest supermarket chains with more than 50 000 employees across the continent. Ackerman was honoured for his entrepreneurial leadership and for his role in spearheading business recovery in the new South Africa.

 By the 1970s, the Ackermans -- Raymond, his wife Wendy Ackerman, and their four children -- established their first philanthropy, the Ackerman Family Educational Trust, by donating two per cent of their personal shares to the foundation. Dividends from those shares were then allocated to fund various educational causes. Recipients of the Ackerman Family Educational Trust include roughly 60 students each year, who receive scholarships for tertiary education, and educational organizations such as the READ Educational Trust and institutions for mentally and physically handicapped people.


During his retailing career Raymond Ackerman has received several
business awards.  In 1965 he was awarded as one of the first "Four business awards. 
Outstanding Young South Africans" (FOYSA Award).  During the 1970s
and '80s Raymond Ackerman received a number of Awards.  In 1986 the
Rhodes University conferred on him an Honorary Doctor of Law degree. 
In 1987 he received the Paul Harris Fellowship Award from Rotary
International.  In 1993 "Advertising Age International" named Raymond Ackerman as one of the "World's Top 40 Marketing Superstars".  In
1994 the Argus named him "Businessman of the year" and the Herald Times awarded him "Business Achiever of the Year".
In 1996 the Indian Academy of South Africa, on behalf of King Goodwill Zwelithini, awarded him for his "Outstanding Business Leadership for Commitment to improving the quality of life in South Africa".  In 1999 Lions Clubs International named him a "Melvin Jones Fellow" in recognition of his dedicated humanitarian services.  The Institute of Marketing Management, awarded him with the "IMM Millenium
Achievement Award" in recognition of all he has done for the betterment of South Africa in so many areas. He was also chosen by the public as one of the "100 most influential South Africans to have shaped the twentieth century", his story appearing in a t book entitled "They Shaped our

During the latter half of 2001 Raymond Ackerman received the "Pioneer Award" from the SA Council of Shopping Centres for his contribution to the development of the Retail Industry.  He also received a second "Paul Harris Fellow" Award from Rotary International.  A "Protea Award" was awarded to him
by the Association of Marketers for his public and
personal service to the Marketing/Communications Industry.
The Sunday
Times awarded him the "Lifetime Achiever" Award -

He lives near Cape Town and his hobbies include reading, golf, snooker and skiing.


Last update : 09/06/2008

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