30-year growth story



Bidvest's 30-year growth story is testament to the success of our business philosophy, which we have stood by since formation in 1988.

For 30 years, Bidvest has worked to develop businesses that stay true to the concept of providing goods and services with a focused business-to-business (B2B) philosophy.

Our vision

It is the visionary insight of Bidvest's founder and former CEO, Brian Joffe, that must be lauded for the Group's success. He played an instrumental role in the Bidvest team that developed and built today's Bidvest portfolio. He guided the team on the path to transforming entities into the significant businesses that make up the Bidvest Group today.

Staying true to the business philosophy that was nourished since the Group's onset, there are a few strategic essentials the team always considers when acquiring or building a Bidvest business. These are to find and acquire assets that provide goods and services with a focused B2B philosophy. The businesses are then "Bidvesternised". This is a term used internally, which essentially means providing everything needed to grow the business, to achieve certain financial hurdle rates that collectively deliver industry-leading annual growth rates and shareholder value, year-after-year.

The key component of this strategy is that the original entrepreneur continues to make the decisions and grow the company along the same lines that attracted Bidvest in the first place. Importantly, the management team retains autonomy in its decision making and day-to-day running of the business, to ensure agility and focus.

Bidvest is today structured into seven divisions: Automotive, Commercial Products, Electrical, Financial Services, Freight, Office and Print and Services.

Bidvest provides the enabling environment of capital allocation, funding, strategic guidance, incentivisation, succession and compliance framework, as well as building a camaraderie among the Bidvest team to ensure understanding and commonality.

Proudly Bidvest

This culminated in the "Proudly Bidvest" concept, which became a major step in building togetherness for the Group. "Proudly Bidvest" united many employees internally and was later branded, alongside Group company names, resulting in the formation of a livery that is easily recognisable by many stakeholders, to form a common perception of Bidvest.

The pivotal steps shown below, and which occurred over the past 30 years, created one of South Africa's largest and most diverse operating groups. These businesses were all founded by South Africans as entrepreneurial start-ups and grown to a level where critical mass, funding and strategic agility became necessary for their next phases of development and advancement, which Bidvest was able to provide.


30-year growth story