A familiar face in the Pietermaritzburg business community, Dem Kambouris was one of the people who helped to establish the Business Support Centre. Boasting a background in manufacturing as the former CEO of Preformed Line Products, and serving the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business with distinction, Dem is a highly-respected member of the city’s business community for close to 40 years.
A key attribute is Dem’s willingness to impart his considerable knowledge and expertise and has proved his value to the BSC over the past 10 years.
The value of experience cannot be measured
It is comforting to know that the city’s business community identified the need for intervention to promote emerging entrepreneurs long before the advent of black economic empowerment.
Motivated by a desire to make a difference, Dem Kambouris, Des Winship and Peter Warmington set out to establish the Business Support Centre (BSC).
“Twenty years ago, like now, there was a huge vacuum that we tried to fill by establishing an organisation that would identify, nurture and develop black entrepreneurs,” he said.
To this end, they persuaded Hulamin – in its original guise as Hulett Aluminium – to back the venture, and duly opened an office at the Tembalethu Community Centre. The organization experienced many challenges and Kambouris recalled robust debate around policy and direction.
“This was a necessary stage in the BSC’s evolution and we contributed to the debate enthusiastically,” he said.
But demands on his time from the forerunner of the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business and his role as CEO at Preformed Line Products forced Kambouris to resign his role at the BSC.
Asked what he considered the hallmarks of a successful entrepreneur, or at least one that has a reasonable chance of success, Kambouris said attitude, determination and perseverance.
“Attitude because with the right mind-set anything is possible, while determination and perseverance are just different words for hard work,” he said