Herman’s academic dream was shattered in 1980 in his second year of a B.Admin. at the University of The North when the University was shut down due to political unrests. When the University was reopened after two months, he decided not to go back. Strong promises to send him out of the country for military training.
Late 1980 found himself a clerical job with Spar Pretoria where he worked for 7 months. Then worked 23 months for Motani Industries, which became his longest and last salaried job. During his spell at Motani, managed to buy a car, and two months later resigned and started his business career.
Sold different products on a commission basis from the boot of his car for close to two years. Products portfolio ranging from insurance, fire detection systems, linen, crockery, dinner services, etc. His break came late 1983 when he was exposed and sold hair products on a commission basis for one of the companies in Johannesburg. It took him 19 months to make up his mind to start his own hair care manufacturing business.
February 1985 the first bottle of Black Like Me products hit the South African market. Business started with three other partners and wife with a R30 000 loan, in a 200sm SBDC units in Ga-Rankuwa, in the then homeland of Bophuthatswana. Business enjoyed massive growth from inception. Built and moved to own factory in Mabopane by 1990. Mabopane factory was gutted by arsonist in November 1993.
July 1997 sold business to Colgate Palmolive
August 1999 bought business back from Colgate Palmolive
2001 launch products in London, UK
2002 took a decision to join the BEE arena. Formed Leswikeng Minerals & Energy (Pty) Ltd
January 2004 resigned as CEO of Black Like Me. Still remained as major shareholder
2004 elected as Chairman by the Cosmetic Industry in S.A. to guide the process to develop Black Economic Empowerment Initiatives.
To-date has invested in various sectors; mining, construction, exhibitions, real estate, security, aviation and information technology.
2005 sold 49.9% of Black Like Me to Amka Products
Black Like Me (Pty) Ltd - Non Executive Director
Leswikeng Group of Companies – Executive Chairman
Phatsima Group of Companies – Executive Chairman
Stocks Building Africa (Pty) Ltd – Non Executive Chairman
Maropeng A’africa Leisure (Pty) Ltd – Non Executive Chairman
asys Innovations (Pty) Ltd – Non Executive Chairman
Consolidated Power Projects – Non Executive Chairman
Riverside Auto Body (Pty) Ltd – Non Executive Director
JHI Real Estate (Pty) Ltd – Non Executive Director
Widney Transport Components (Pty) Ltd – Non Executive Director
Aerosud Holdings (Pty) Ltd – Non Executive Director
Field Band Foundation
The IQ Business Group – Non Executive Director
Edcon – Independent Non Executive Director
Growthpoint Properties – Non Executive Director
SMS Cellular Services (Pty) Ltd
Tulca (Pty) Ltd
P G Group (Proprietary) Limited
Gauteng Tourism Authority
1993 Oude Molen Reserve Order of Merit 1994 New Nation/Engen Businessman of the Year Southern TVL African Chamber of Commerce Marketing Person of the Year by the Institute of Marketing Management 2001 SABC/Tribute Achievers Award 2003 Award for Entrepreneurial Leadership by Henley Management College 2004 Free Market Award by the Free Market Foundation President’s Award by the Black Management Forum 2005 Honorary Award by UNISA: Outstanding Entrepreneur and Leader in the Business Environment.