The Durban Business Fair is celebrating its 20th year. File Photo: IOL

DURBAN – The Durban Business Fair kicked off in Durban on Tuesday with the Durban Business Indaba. 

The DBF, an annual event, is celebrating its 20th year this year and it is an umbrella for a variety of other business events including the Business Exhibition and a Women Economic Empowerment conference as well as a Techzone. 

Also included in the umbrella is the Durban Fashion Fair, a filmmaking masterclass and a music production masterclass. 

At the Business Indaba a panel discussion featuring leaders in business spoke about a variety of issues that small businesses in the country face today. They also discussed the 4th Industrial Revolution as well as gave tips to entrepreneurs on how to improve their businesses. 

The panel included Sihle Ndlela the chief executive of Majozi Bros Company, Rajan Reddy from KwaZulu-Natal Oils, Joe Odhlambo from Agrement South Africa and finally Dr Daniel Visser a researcher from CSIR. 

Reddy said that people need to get their act together. Convince the person that you are not a risk. Don't worry about yesterday and focus on today. 

Lifelong learning

According to Visser: 

  • the 4th Industrial Revolution there has to be a lifelong learning. 
  • Skills area is huge to focus on things like: 
  • coding and will be with technology
  • 65 percent of kids in school today will not be doing jobs that I can exist and they finish school 
  • the fourth Industrial Revolution will create jobs for kids people and women.
  • Cannot run on yesterday tactics and existing today 
  • Spend time teaching employees about technology so that they don't get left behind.  


  • Quickly identify the need and get the right person for the right job. 
  • No space for academics in business. 
  • Need to see what capabilities that person has. Identify the right people and put them in the right jobs. 
  • Do training when established not at the beginning stages of your business. 


  • Companies that have people that could loose their jobs 
  • should look to fossil their workers or train then to move to another sector. 
  • Every industrial revolution has resulted in the loss of jobs. 

Youth need create your own opportunities – Sihle

Embrace innovation – Daniel

Keep it simple – Rajan

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