Isaac O. Shongwe

Isaac O. Shongwe, Chief Executive Officer, Barloworld Logistics Africa (Pty) Ltd., Benmore, South Africa. A native of South Africa, Isaac Shongwe is the Chief Executive Officer of Barloworld Logistics Africa, and he also founded Letsema Holdings, a strategic management consulting firm.

Isaac grew up on the tough streets of Alexandra, sold apples to make a rand and once dreamed of being a bus driver. He now heads one of the top logistics businesses in South Africa and serves on the board of R43-billion Barloworld.

Isaac's "rags to riches" journey included a BA honours from Wesleyan University in the United States and an MPhil in management studies at Oxford University (through a Rhodes Scholarship). He also has a diploma in marketing from Wits University.

Isaac founded and chairs Letsema Holdings, a successful investment and management consultancy group, and is the current chief executive of Barloworld Logistics Africa (where he started in 2005 as executive director for business development and transformation). Last year he became the first black executive director of Barloworld Limited. His personal philosophy is to make each opportunity count and to live life by "giving rather than taking".

He is also founder and chairman of Letsema Investments, a blackempowerment investment company engaged in a range of ventures. Isaac sits on several boards including DNA Supply Chain Investment Co., Social Venture Investment Trust, the Maths Centre for Primary Teachers, and Wesleyan University. He has worked on National Industrial Strategy Formulation projects in South Africa and has been a special adviser to the Department of Trade & Industry. From 1988 to 1993, he worked for various companies owned by Barlow Rand Ltd., and was a management trainee for Riggs National Bank during his college days in the U.S. In 1988, Isaac was named a 21st Century Trust Fellow, in recognition of his potential as a future leader in his country, and in 1996 was named a "Global Leader for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. Isaac graduated with honors from Wesleyan University in 1987, then received a degree in marketing from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and a M. Phil in Management Studies from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

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