Deloitte SA Blog


What are SA consumers’ Festive Season shopping plans?

holiday survey - blog image

In an effort to assist retailers to reasonably predict, potentially influence and respond to holiday spend, Deloitte posed a number of questions directly to South African consumers, to understand their holiday spending plans. The results of the survey are revealed in the Year-End Holiday Survey 2014: Savvy Spenders on the rise report

Key findings:

  • Consumer perceptions about South Africa’s economic outlook – Contrary to the last three years, fewer young South Africans (between the ages of 18 and 34) on average have a positive view of current economic conditions. Consumers are debt strapped and this will drive spend on necessities (such as groceries) rather than non – essential items.
  • Christmas gifts in the stocking this year – High on the gifts to have this season, and likely to be representative of the consumer perceptions about the economy, is cold hard cash, with 39% of respondents expecting it as a gift. However, chocolates are still a firm favourite coming in at second place with 38%.
  • Festive season purchasing behaviour & sentiment trends – Consumers are a lot more cautious about how they’ll be spending their money this festive season, with 72% of survey respondents saying they will decrease impulse spending, and 49% saying they will be using loyalty points a lot more in 2014. Supporting this is consumers’ expectation of retailers to invest in providing lower prices as this becomes more of a priority (rated highest in ranking compared to other expectations of retailers).
  • Changes in where and how South Africans will do their holiday shopping this year – Omni channel shopping is gaining popularity, and an increasing number of consumers are buying products online compared to previous years, with 51% reported to have used their smartphone to purchase a product.
  • Use of social media in gathering and sharing product information – Consumers are becoming much more empowered when making purchasing decisions. During the 2014 festive season, 71% of consumers will use social media to search for and compare products. This is really indicative of the tech savvy nature of our consumers of the future (16 – 24 year olds) and retailers need to prepare for and cater to this target market.

Download the full report and infographic here 

Join the conversation on Twitter @DeloitteSA #savvyspenders

Should you have any queries or comments, please send an email to

How to make sure you have the most capable people in your insurance company

Group of college students outdoors studying. Image shot 11/2007. Exact date unknown.

Recruiting beyond the risk averse: Modernising graduates’ perception of insurance is a report based on a survey which explores the aspirations, goals, and motivation of business students looking at careers in insurance. In an environment of relentless Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity (VUCA), the report aims to uncover underplayed strengths and address weaknesses in order for insurers to better attract talent.

Globally, the findings show that insurance is not a popular career destination for business students and that the industry may not be attracting talent with the creative or innovative skills to safeguard its future success. In South Africa, insurance is more popular with business students than in most other countries surveyed. However, its popularity is falling and is much less popular than other business sectors.

To attract graduate talent, insurers should do better at exploiting their strengths, which they currently underplay. Understanding the mind-set of business students and their attitudes to insurance is a first step, and this report explores these issues.

The key findings of the survey include:

  • Security is sought more than innovation or exciting products
  • Insurance-inclined students want to develop and be experts
  • Work-life balance declines in importance, but still the top career goal
  • International opportunities provoke little interest amongst the job security-conscious insurance-inclined
  • Seeking friendly colleagues, but not team-work
  • Financial strength, prestige ranked ahead of ethics and social responsibility

Read the South African report

How do you make sure you have the most capable people in your organisation?


Graduate Recruitment in Banking: Facing the credibility crunch, explores what banking-oriented students want from their career and how banks measure up to those expectations. What stands out from the research is that globally, banking has been usurped from its position as the number one career choice for business students. The findings also dispel a few preconceptions about what students want out of a career in banking.

In South Africa, banking has been a consistently popular career choice among business students over recent years, and has not suffered the reputational challenges faced by other countries worst hit by the 2008 global financial crisis. This could be because South African banks have been one of the most innovative in the world. A fact that’s been recognised by students. Although banking as a career has increased in popularity compared to last year, it is still below its 2010 peak.

Other key findings from the global report include:

  • Banking has been toppled from its position by FMCG as the most popular career choice
  • The software and computing services sector is continuing to rise in popularity among business students
  • Work-life balance remains the most popular career goal
  • “Professional training and development” topped the list of attributes that students found attractive in an employer
  • The banking sector was viewed by business students as less likely to offer a friendly work environment than the average employer

The findings from this report are a wake-up call for banks, whose popularity has fallen sharply since the global financial crisis. There is also a growing gap between banks’ image as employers and their needs in an environment of relentless Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity (VUCA). The banks’ only advantage may be their people. This survey highlights the need for banks to respond positively in order to attract the best talent.

Click here to read the South Africa report

Bridging the gap between retailers and Africa’s consumers – Retail Congress Africa 2014

Rodger George1

Deloitte was once again, a proud associate sponsor of the Retail Congress Africa, which was held for the second consecutive year on November 18th and 19th, at the Sandton Convention Centre.

This year’s Retail Congress Africa brought together senior retail leaders and industry experts from throughout Africa and across the globe, who spent some time addressing the challenges and opportunities retailers have available to them on the African continent.

Some of the key risks to doing retail business in Africa that emerged at the conference were:

  • Regulatory environment – a major challenge
  • Leveraging local resources
  • The role of leadership
  • So how does one go about bridging the gap?

Rodger George, Deloitte East Africa Advisory leader, gave a talk based on the newly launched Deloitte Consumer Review – Africa: A 21st Century View, which was well-received, and proved to be a significant crowd puller at the Deloitte stand.

Rodger opened by discussing trends that he’s seen in recent times in a number of African countries. Some of his main observations include the prevalence of mobile usage, particularly the use of SMS and the infiltration of smartphones (estimated to reach a third of Africa’s population by 2017).

Download the full Deloitte Consumer Review: Africa – A 21st Century View report here:

Other articles you may find interesting

Headstart: A new approach to leadership development

vuca3 VUCA – an environment of relentless Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. How do you set the tone at the top in a VUCA world?

Market perceptions of leaders move share prices and the Deloitte publication, The Leadership Premium: how companies win the confidence of investors, reveals just how much. The report puts a hard metric on the “intangible asset” of leadership, revealing that, in some sectors, good leaders can account for more than one-fifth of equity value.  In interview after interview, analysts told Deloitte that the quality of senior leadership helped decide the long-term potential of a stock. The gap between the value of an effectively-led and ineffectively-led company could, says the paper, be as much as 35.5 percent. So how do analysts judge leaders—and how can companies bridge that gap?

The past few years have seen a greater focus on leadership and leadership development than ever before. But investment in leadership programmes, leadership retreats and e-learning tools doesn’t seem to be paying off in tangible and sustainable results.  This is according to a report released by the Deloitte LEAD team titled Head start: A new approach to leadership development. How do you ensure leadership development programmes benefit organisations in the long term? How do you sustain behavioural change? The answers, says the Deloitte LEAD team, lie in understanding leaders’ minds.

Click here to read The Leadership Premium: how companies win the confidence of investors

Click here to read Head start: A new approach to leadership development

Contact us to learn more about VUCA

Fraud, bribery and corruption: Protecting reputation and value

caught in the middle

In support of International Fraud Awareness Week, Deloitte Risk Advisory has published a series of articles, the second of which has been introduced below. This article lists ten areas that executives and the audit committee should evaluate to help mitigate reputational risks of fraud, bribery and corruption.

Click here to read the article

Fraud, bribery and corruption: Protecting reputation and value 

Imagine two similar companies that are alleged to have engaged in a significant incident of fraud or corruption.

Company A takes a proactive approach to managing fraud and corruption risks, has world-class — but not infallible, anti-fraud and anti-corruption processes ingrained in its control processes; has a good relationship and strong record with its regulators; has robust plans in place to investigate potential wrongdoing and is capable of implementing crisis communications to help protect the company’s reputation.

Company B takes a reactive approach, is confident in its ability to deal with issues as they arise, and is a follower rather than a leader in implementing risk management and anti-fraud and anti-corruption processes.

As an investor, which company would you believe better protects your investment? As a senior executive, or audit committee member, which entity would you judge to be better able to demonstrate that you have fulfilled your responsibilities?

Of course, there is no guarantee that a better-prepared company will experience a more favourable outcome than one that chooses a reactive approach. However, experience suggests that companies that manage their risks proactively or use predictive technology may be less vulnerable to having their reputations harmed by allegations of wrongdoing, falling behind in the news cycle of reactions, and losing the support of regulators, customers, suppliers, investors, the general public, and even politicians.

Global media and the Internet enable news to travel faster and reach more people than ever before. The international nature of business and growing collaboration among regulators worldwide can expose companies to a greater number of regulatory regimes. These factors may increase both the likelihood and the potential impact of alleged wrongdoing on a company’s reputation and shareholder value. Executives and audit committee members should consider how their company manages its risks of fraud and corruption and whether today’s risk environment merits a more proactive approach.

Click here to read the article

Technology Fast 50 Africa Winners Announced

The Deloitte Africa Technology Fast 50 Programme is the region’s most objective industry-ranking to focus on the technology field, recognising technology companies that have achieved the fastest rates of revenue growth in Africa over the past five years. The Deloitte Africa Technology Fast 50 Programme for 2014 has come to an end and the winners have been announced!

Click here to learn more about the Deloitte Technology Africa Programme 2014

The competition was very tight and the nominations received were all of exceptional quality.

Congratulations to the Top 5 Deloitte Technology Africa Fast 50 winners!

Ranking Company Name Country Growth
1 Interswitch Limited Nigeria 1226%
2 Techno Brain Kenya 621%
3 Everlytic South Africa 606%
4 T.A Telecom Egypt 560%
5 Adapt IT South Africa 295%

Click here to learn more about the other companies who were ranked in the Programme over 2014.

“We have seen phenomenal growth from all of the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Africa entrants and are very enthusiastic as to what this means for the technological development of the African continent.” says Kamal Ramsingh, Technology Leader, Africa at Deloitte. “Deloitte and our partners feel that we need to reward companies who have achieved the status of high growth leaders because they have demonstrated innovative strategies, sound management and marketplace vision”.

We are truly excited about the results of the 2014 Deloitte Africa Technology Fast 50 Programme and are confident that the 2015 Programme will be even bigger and see more teriffic results from our continents technical entrepreneurs.

How do you future proof your organisation? Get fit for VUCA


The rapid speed of change in business is no state secret. Military planners, amongst others refer to the current environment as VUCA. In this context volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity change the dynamics of engagement and in Financial Services, disruptors are intensifying, requiring a decisive focus on Human Capital.

  • How do you lead your people though change effectively?
  • How do you derive value from the hurdles of regulation?
  • How do you make sure you have the most capable people?
  • How do you set the tone at the top?
  • How do you get your HR function to lead you though a VUCA world?
  • How will your people make or break your expansion into new territories?

Do you have the answers?

Deloitte named leader in Global Risk Management Consulting Services


“Of the industry recognition Deloitte has earned over the years, this placement from Gartner ranks among the top,” said Adel Melek, Managing Director, Enterprise Risk Services, Deloitte Global.

The Gartner report evaluated seven global firms and networks on three dimensions of risk management — framework, metrics, and systems. Within the quadrant graphic included in the report, Deloitte member firms’ risk management consulting services were positioned highest on the “ability to execute” axis and furthest on the “completeness of vision” axis.

Deloitte integrated its risk and security capabilities into one RM practice a few years ago and this is what has placed Deloitte as number 1. Deloitte considers this positioning as a ‘Leader’ as a reflection of its member firms’ commitment to helping clients integrates risk management into the business.

Key Strengths in Deloitte’s Possession 

  • Market responsiveness — Deloitte is usually quick to adapt and adjust to market conditions when compared with its peers. The company has strong strategic alliances and continues to close gaps of capabilities through working with organisations such as Kaggle (a data analytics firm) and Singularity University.
  • Vertical/industry strategy — Deloitte has invested in building capabilities in highly regulated industries, such as financial services, consumer, energy and resources, healthcare, life sciences, and the public sector, as well as for supply-chain-dependent enterprises.
  • Operations — Deloitte leverages its Centre for Corporate Governance, its GRC COEs, and its specialist and vertical-led COEs, such as its Centre for Risk Modelling and Simulation. These centres encapsulate digital studios, security and forensics labs, analytics labs (for example, Highly Immersive Visual Environment [HIVE]), and Greenhouses across the world.
  • Product or service — Clients recognise Deloitte’s strengths in thought leadership, RM experience and brand reputation. Deloitte also has chief risk officer (CRO) and chief information security officer (CISO) outreach programs through its risk academy education programs within its global leadership centre, Deloitte University.

Expertise and professional advice is essential. Deloitte has specialists across many business models that can help with all aspects concerning Risk and Advisory

Click here to read the report 

Navigating your SAP Development Team down SAP River

Large and medium enterprises are sunsetting their “systems of record” and embracing the more futuristic “systems of engagement”. To do this businesses have to embrace In-Memory solutions with a rich User Experience (UX). It was only a matter of time when the application development environments and tools caught up to help deliver these In-Memory solutions with a rich UX.

Enter: SAP River.

In fact SAP River has been in quiet hibernation from early 2010. The SAP River Development Language, or RDL, leverages the SAP HANA platform in order to offer powerful integration; with rich UI elements as a standard. Recently named SAP Web IDE (Integrated Development Environment), it is an approach to develop entire business applications native to SAP HANA. Traditional SAPUI5 and Fiori like applications are easily developed from this.

From a technology viewpoint, the answer today seems to revolve around creating the art of the possible and allowing business to engage with their systems, using smarter and similar applications which run in real-time. SAP River thrives in use cases which involve brand-new data models and highly complex data processing from multiple sources.

Comparison between traditional ABAP on SAP HANA and SAP River (Web IDE) on SAP HANA:

  SAP ABAP SAP River (Web IDE)*
Architecture Applications follow a traditional 3-Tier Architecture Applications follow a 2-tier Architecture
Programming Language Traditional ABAP/ ABAP OO with options to use SAP HANA River; server-side JavaScript  and SQL/SQL Script
Development Tools Eclipse-based ABAP Development Tools Eclipse-based SAP HANA Studio  and web IDE

* SAP Web (Integrated Development Environment)

There is no doubt the In-Memory solutions with rich UI’s are here to stay. Business leaders are quickly recognizing that there is a need for very simple, user-friendly applications that can be quickly optimized for advanced In-Memory technology.

IT leaders and Business leaders alike need to be aware that they must have the necessary skilled resources available to them, in order to take advantage of these In-Memory systems of engagement. The risk businesses run is falling victim to not knowing what is possible with the state of the art software they own.

It’s very clear that leaders of today should start thinking about how their organizations can be better be equipped to take advantage of this.

For more information and experienced insight you can contact Arun Jagroop or Michael Bell

Vote by clicking on the badge below

SA Blog Awards Badge

Subscribe to our blog

Subscribe to our newsletter

We share topical, role specific thought ware no more than once a week.

  • Click here to subscribe
  • Download our apps

    You can keep up to date with all the thought leadership and insights posted on this blog via our mobile apps.

  • iPad
  • Android
  • iPhone
  • Subscribe to our RSS Feeds

    Switch to our mobile site