Role of business is to do good, Pick n Pay founder Raymond Ackerman says as he turns 90

10 March 2021 - 07:00
By TimesLIVE
Pick n Pay founder Raymond Ackerman and his wife Wendy.
Image: SUPPLIED Pick n Pay founder Raymond Ackerman and his wife Wendy.

The role of business is to give back and to do good. It is not only about keeping prices down and fighting with suppliers to keep prices low, but also helping make changes that affect people.

This is according to Pick n Pay founder Raymond Ackerman, who turns 90 on Wednesday.

“For anyone starting out in the retail business, it is important to understand that to be successful you’ve got to care about your community, care about your society and care about your people. It doesn’t happen the other way around,” Ackerman said.

He said doing good was good business. “If we rebuild our economy on this basis, our future will be secure.”

Ackerman said to be turning 90 seemed “unreal”.

He said the past year had been brutal as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“So many families have been bereaved, so many breadwinners have lost their jobs, and so many businesses have gone under. At times the situation has seemed hopeless.

“Yet we are still standing. The way in which people have got on with life in the most trying circumstances, and cared for one another along the way, is a source of great hope for the future.”

Ackerman said he was proud of the way Pick n Pay and its customers responded to the Covid-19 crisis through the Feed the Nation programme, which helped to feed 20 million people during this period.

“It was a reminder of the principles on which Pick n Pay was founded, of caring for the community. The most exciting thing for me is that this principle has not only stood the test of time, it has been successful.”