The Strategists

Client reviews

I have worked with Abdullah, and the Strategists team, for the past couple years and their insights and facilitation have been great. Really enjoy their techniques used. Has always made a positive impact with his engagements, truly inspirational!

Zaid Moola

Head - Corporate & Investment Banking, South Africa at Standard Bank Group

Having been participant in many facilitated corporate strategy development sessions I’d always thought and felt comfortable with the thought that the facilitators needed to be good at what they did but they were meant to be almost invisible, in the background so to speak. That was until a session that was led & facilitated by Abdullah!

Abdullah not only challenged us to dream really big, think beyond today’s capabilities, imagine the ‘impossible’; he also made it feel incredibly achievable and therefore possible through a practical and guided process of thinking through the issues, helping us align our vision to high leverage actions that would contribute immensely to the manifestation of that vision.

So since that session, I’ve always judged strategy facilitators against that standard; looking for someone who:

  • Inspires big and futuristic thinking.
    makes you believe you can achieve anything.
  • Gives you the tools to back that confidence up.
  • A high standard indeed – all inspired by Abdullah.

Tebogo Mekgoe

Former COO Airport Companies South Africa and CEO of Orenda Advisory

I have worked with Abdullah for over 11 years now as faculty at Gordon Institute of Business Science, Co-founder and partner at Frontier Advisory as well as recently as CEO of The Strategist. Abdullah has designed international immersions for different organisations while I was at Gibs as well as for an annual innovation programme at Discovery.

Abdullah has also been a keynote speaker at the Discovery Masterclasses on innovation and design thinking, which have always been a great success. He also works closely with innovation teams within the innovation programme at Discovery in strengthening their business cases before presenting to the organisation’s executive team.

I truly enjoy working with Abdullah and partnering with him on different strategic projects and work we do at Discovery.

Khaya Linyana

Leadership and Learning Manager at Discovery Limited

I worked with The Strategists to define the country strategy for a bank. The Strategists were great to work with from preparing for strategy sessions to running the sessions.

They were thorough in their preparation and made the strategy setting process easier to manage and run. Their broad and holistic knowledge of banking and other industries was instrumental in our discussions.

The Exco team involved in the strategy setting process was quite a big team of senior individuals and they did a stellar job of guiding the discussions to ensure that we remained focus and touched on the right topics to get the desired outputs.

Having The Strategists onboard was definitely worth the investment and I would recommend any business that is serious about setting and executing a clear strategy to engage their services.

Michelle Munemo

Head of Segment : Foreigners and Diaspora Clients at Standard Bank South Africa

Abdullah is a towering strategist and communicator.

Every client of mine that has had the privilege of engaging with him, was impressed by his gravitas, his knowledge and world views.

He is a true innovator and disruptor and his story- telling prowess makes him very easy to relate to. He plugs in his knowledge, experiences and relationships masterfully as he connects the dots between business, government and societal imperatives, at local, regional or global levels.

Shireen Chengadu

Founding Director: Chengadu Advisory (Pty) Ltd

I have described Abdullah Verachia as one of South Africa’s finest business analysts . Well that was before when he was at Frontier Advisory and we engaged often on my talk show on SAfm radio . I remember telling myself “ this guy doesn’t just know his numbers , he is so articulate in expressing himself on air. He is an interviewers dream “

Since then he has moved into the master strategist space where he delivers world class strategy to turn businesses into world class business with his company www.thestrategists.co.za

He also excels as an educator at GIBS while his first book Disruption Amplified has taken his teachings and mentoring career to another level .

He is an outstanding speaker and recently spoke at the Champion South Africa Innovators Webinar where he shared his vulnerability and resilience from setbacks and facing the scourge of financial inclusion from Wits University to thrive on multiple fronts.

Abdullah Verachia is a Champion South African.

Ashraf Garda Champion South Africa

Conversation Strategist

For the past 8 years, the South African Graduate Employers Association has had a close relationship with The Strategists in guiding our members to consider new and emerging skills, practice and industry trends.

We value The Strategists’s contribution in supporting our work and thinking as we navigate the very complex future of building talent for the South African Economy.

Cathy Sims

Executive Director - SAGEA

Abdullah Verachia is one of the most versatile outside the box strategist South Africa and Africa has produced.

He has global stature and standing as well. What distinguishes Abdullah is a razor mind inside a humble person. If you want to strategies for the future Abdullah is your person.

Prof. Tawana Kupe

Vice Chancellor | Principal | Higher Education | University of Pretoria | Professor | Lecturer

I have worked with Abdullah during my time at GIBS in many different ways, and whether he is giving me advice or teaching as Faculty, he is always professional and well prepared.

I have admired his value system and his passion for the African continent and its people. Abdullah has shown to be valuable in many different situations, including but not limited to teaching, speaking engagements (across occupational levels), Digital Transformation and Change Management.

He has also helped GIBS leadership think about strategy, which he is particularly strong at, in a unique way to prepare the organization for the future.

Nishan Pillay

Director of Strategy and Planning: ASI Financial Services

I have had the privilege of working with Abdullah for more than a decade, having gotten to know him well as a respected professional, astute executive and sharp strategic thinker.

Abdullah’s work across industries and sectors gives him a breadth of experience that translates into rich and deep ideas and arguments that are backed by his capacity to get from “concept” to “delivery.”

Alongside my deep professional respect for Abdullah, I have the privilege of a long and growing friendship with a great guy.

Adrian Saville

Professor - Gordon Institute of Business Science

Abdullah presented his Disruption Amplified talk at the Professional Speakers Association of Southern Africa’s Speak to the Future convention.

His talk was measured and insightful. The trends he was highlighting were easy to follow. No-one moved while Abdullah spoke. He had complete command of the room, even virtually, and sharing some of his personal choices at this time displayed vulnerability that made him so relatable.

I would highly recommend Abdullah as a speaker to challenge the thinking of your delegates at any event.

Nikki Bush

Business Speaker

During my MBA at GIBS, I had the privilege of attending two courses taught by Abdullah.

His passion for his discipline was evident in the energy he brought to class. I was in awe of his vast knowledge ranging from emerging markets to disruption and innovation.

Abdullah brought to life the most pressing issues that all MBA students need to be thinking about in a way that was exciting and thought-provoking. He has an incredible network and was able to expose his students to captains of industry and thought leaders to enhance their learning.

Abdullah is an excellent facilitator, and through his humility, he was able to connect with every student in his class.

Neha Patel-Manga

CEO - Prudential Authority at the South African Reserve Bank

Abdullah is passionate and highly knowledgeable about his work.

He is someone with vision and a dedication to sharing this knowledge with the young people he engages with through his work with MUNSA.

He is fair, open-minded and easily connects with others. He has the character and disclipline of a great leader.

Mercia Maserumule

CSI & Sustainability Executive

Abdullah is a creative thinker and finds his passion in linking perspectives from different worlds into meaningful local solutions.

He understands team dynamics and therefore manages teams of people in a proactive way.

He also manages to stay focussed when doing his work and delivers high levels of professional service.

Bennie Anderson

Chairperson - The Da Vinci Institute

Abdullah and his team always displayed a very professional and polished approach to our interactions.

Abdullah has a very keen feel for the trends that are developing in the world and his insights were always provocative and compelling.

Zunaid Bulbulia

Former CEO: MTN South Africa, Senior executive and adjunct Professor

During the M.Sc. course at the Da Vinci Institute I met with Abdullah as one of our lecturers and in preparation for our international immersion to Kenya and India.

I was not only impressed by Abdullah’s expertise in Africa and India, but he also came across as a very knowledgeable individual that one can have a good intellectual discussion on a wide range of topics.

One can see Abdullah is a perpetual student, not only in the books that he reads, but also in being very inquisitive when debating on issues that are of concern to him.

Dr Pieter van der Walt

Group Information Governance & Privacy Officer at Discovery Limited

Abdullah is a leading global subject matter expert in his field.

He was our keynote speaker at our Leadership conference a few years ago.

The trends that he shared with us prepared us to be more effective leaders and to enable execution of strategy in our business. I strongly recommend him to any organisation that want to be future fit in their business segment. Thank you once again Abdullah!

Dev Chetty

Chief Executive Officer at Safrican Insurance

We have been working with The Strategists for the past 18 months with a focus on organisational strategy, cascaded down to divisional and departmental levels across the organisation.

The strategic acupuncture provide extreme clarity within the business and paved the way for an environment of collaboration, continuous improvement and success. We are now in the second year of the strategic review and are continue to the see positive impact of this process on our business processes.

What cannot be quantified on paper is The Strategists’s extraordinary levels of interest and care in their client’s businesses, their performance and the standard of service that they provide.

They are more than consultants, they are a business partner and I highly recommend them to anyone requiring outside facilitation to bring the team together through a refreshing reflective, interactive and engaging process.

Lisle Clark

Chief Executive Officer at Twizza (Pty) Ltd

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Abdullah on various international immersions during our time at GIBS, and subsequent to that he has been a keynote speaker for the SAVCA industry awards and our annual private equity conference.

Abdullah has an extensive network and a unique way of viewing the world. What I value most about Abdullah is the way he articulates complex constructs and strategy into everyday terms and examples, which makes it more implementable in a business and personal context.

Abdullah is not only a great source of information, but also a very approachable and likable person.

Tanya van Lill

CEO - SAVCA

WOW! At a time when we felt quite overwhelmed, The Strategists provided deep insight into our sector, the cognitive mindsets of our clients, the impact of technology as well as how to navigate all of this complexity.

We came in confused but left with a sense of purpose, an exciting strategy that has really shifted the market and a unified team. I am truly grateful.

A RETAIL COMPANY

Feedback from the CEO

We constantly faced concerns around our future relevance and impact.

The Strategists designed a structured and very well thought through strategy formulation process.

With deep industry insights, impactful facilitation and the ability to navigate organisational complexity, The Strategists allowed us to walk out with a clear and well-defined strategy.

The team has a clear sense of the immediate battle plan as well as the longer terms strategic priorities

A LEADING GLOBAL BANK

Feedback from the Group Head of Strategy

Thank you for taking the time out of your very busy schedule to assist us in de-cluttering strategy. You have this innate ability to cut through the clutter and provide much needed focus and clarity. But you do this through skillful facilitation and not presentation.

You certainly allowed us to drive the conversation around KPI alignment against a backdrop of our leading, top priorities. Thank you for the inspiration and the meticulous guidance through this journey. The role you continue to play with the team and I is highly appreciated.

Thank you for stretching our thinking, our ability to think outside of the box and to reduce this to critical, and yet sometimes small innovations to get us the desired impact and result.

A LEADING AIRPORT AUTHORITY

Feedback from the Head of Airport Authority

I cannot thank you enough for the last 18 months.

You came in, when innovation was a word, and you left with innovation as a culture and part of our DNA. You have re-energised the organisation. We have already implemented projects from the first CE challenge, with fantastic ROI.

Keep up the incredible work and the passion for innovation as the oxygen to strategy.

A LEADING FMCG COMPANY

Feedback from the CEO