Q: Could you tell us about yourself?

My name is Graunt Kruger. I am the CEO and co-founding partner of the US subsidiary of Intellidex. We have offices in South Africa and the UK. We do financial services and capital markets research for clients around the world who have an interest in Africa. My focus is on strategy research in financial services.

Q: What led you to the work you’re doing now?

A number of sequential and parallel steps and interests have culminated in this work that I do now. Professionally, my path has been varied. Most recently, I was a banker for one of the big commercial banks in South Africa. I was interested in development finance and worked on projects for both the consumer and business markets. I joined the bank from a mobile telco to help create a low-cost bank for the previously unbanked using innovative technologies like cell phones. The other path was academic. I did a Ph.D. in financial services strategy looking at financial inclusion as a new business development approach in banking. While all this was unfolding, I’d also decided that I wanted to build my own research company. The Intellidex opportunity came at just the right time and is the culmination of many different strands of interest flowing together.

Q: If you could have three wishes, what would they be?

My first wish would be that we rid the world of poverty. It’s the greatest social injustice when people are not able to realize their potential because they do not have the opportunity.  My second wish is that all children are always safe. Nothing upsets me or breaks my heart more than stories of children hurt or suffering. Finally, that we could all fly. Wouldn’t it be fun if instead of having to get into an airplane to get somewhere, we could all just fly like some of our favorite superheroes?

Q: If you could go back and give yourself three pieces of advice when you started your project/organization/business, what would that advice be?

This project is only six months old, so it’s not that long a timeframe to reflect on. My first piece of advice is: Hindsight is always 20/20. Do the best you can with what you have. It’s impossible to predict the future, but if you keep doing great work, the future will unfold as it should. Second, take care of the boring business set up elements like appointing an accountant and tax consultants. You will need them sooner than you think. Third, you are going to get very busy with projects for clients, so make sure that you make time for the development work that doesn’t have a client deadline because that is what will open the pipeline for new clients.

Jacob Fohtung

Jacob Fohtung