In our blog-series “WE MADE IT” we introduce our clients and their companies. Usually emigrants and company founders come to South Africa with a vision. At IBN Business & Immigration Solutions we accompany and counsel them to realize their idea. Regularly this process is crowned with success, like the following example of the bakery retail chain “Royal Bavarian Bakery”.
Harald Mittag is an associate of the bakery “Artisan Breads” and the retail chain “Royal Bavarian Bakery”. If you have visited the Waterfront you certainly have seen the local store there or even tasted those delicious pastries they offer.
IBN: What was the reason you decided to leave your homeland and why was your choice South Africa?
Mittag: Everyone who once spent his holiday at the Cape Province might be aware of this feeling. You will be unavoidable fascinated by the overwhelming beauty of this country. The metropolis Cape Town is embedded in a breathtaking landscape. There is an indescribable variety of cultures, different people, dishes and lifestyles. Who wouldn`t want to stay here? Furthermore, I was searching for new challenges while I was planning to leave Germany. In the Cape Province you can combine a high quality of living with the possibility to convert your dedication into actual success. So, by this time I have been living in South Africa for 12 years.
IBN: How does your dedication in South Africa look like?
Mittag: I am an associate of two South African registered companies. That is on the one hand the large bakery “Artisan Breads”. On the other hand the bakery retail chain called the “Royal Bavarian Bakery”.
IBN: What makes your work special here in South Africa and what sets you apart from the competitive products and services?
Mittag: We have started by zero here in South Africa. The company was completely set up from scratch. The special thing about our work is that we can pass our craft and knowledge to the South African employees. Thereby we create an expertise that will stay as a well-founded knowledge in the country and will provide a reliable basis of existence for the South African employees. Not to be disregarded for sure is the evidence for German quality and dependability we generate with our products here on site.
Mittag: I would mention the high quality of living, which in the Cape Province is coupled with an extraordinary kindness despite of the partly existing poverty. The Happiness of the population is more noticeable than in Germany. All this leads to developing a huge motivation to contribute actively on South Africa`s progression.
IBN: Which experiences have you made while you were settling or founding your company in South Africa?
Mittag: A huge factor are the legislative regulations that succumb a relatively high changing rate. You always have to keep it rolling to be on the safe side with the current state of legislation. With all the propositions you have to calculate the partially long processing times of the authorities and local banks. Sometimes it just takes a little longer to process a request. But if you include this in your strategy you will be well prepared. Commonly underestimated is the present lack of qualified staff in large parts of the country. South Africa wants to affiliate with the highly-industrialized countries in the world but it is not equipped with the necessary qualifications. The likes of us become aware of this because there are not any apprenticeships here which are very important for our craft.
IBN: What is the difference between your life in South Africa and your homeland and what do you enjoy most about South Africa?
Mittag: Since my time here in South Africa I can fully confidently say that I sense a higher level of joy and motivation for the same intensity of labour. This is probably based on the circumstances that the people here treat each other even in difficult situations with respect and kindness. The population actively lives by the cultural diversity this country has to offer. The acceptance between the different cultures and religions is obviously higher than in Germany. Apart from that I sense it pleasant that there isn`t any indication of an envious society.
IBN: What do you not like about South Africa?
Mittag: That is very quickly said. The unreliability and the unpunctuality of the people here bothers me.
Mittag: The long distance from family and friends is the only drop of bitterness. Apart from that there is nothing I miss from home. Not even the native food. By this time there is plenty of epicurean specialities around the Cape Province!
Mittag: They should act on the classical device: think first then act! In this country as well you should draw up a comprehensive plan before you jump into action. The necessary formalities that have changed a lot in the past five years should be clarified before resettling in South Africa.
IBN: What are your plans for the future?
Mittag: I just want to work successfully towards the future on what I started. That might sound modest, but it is an enormous challenge.
Mittag: The IBN Team was and is a great help. Without their assistance in the advice before establishing the business, the securing of all relevant legal an organizational requirements and even arranging contacts to new business partners and service providers, we would have reached our goals significantly later and with major difficulties. To be up to date on the latest developments about the legal and regulatory changes, we have constantly kept close touch with IBN, even after the termination of the founding formalities. This way we can be sure that our companies will continue to operate successfully on the market in the future.
At this point, we would like to to thank sincerely Mr Mittag for this Interview and wish him all the best for the future!
V & A Waterfront Location:
Shop FC 07 Victoria Wharf V & A Waterfront
Monday – Sunday 9 a. m. – 9 p. m.
+27 (0)21 418 4127