Matrix Warehouse managing director Jan Boshoff is a man who is easy to talk to and gives direct answers to questions – opting not to follow many other executives who use corporate spin in each sentence.
His unassuming attitude may hide the fact that he is a highly-accomplished businessman who helped to grow Matrix Warehouse into a computing retail powerhouse in South Africa.
Under his leadership, and with the help of his experienced management team, the retail chain showed exceptional growth – and currently has 84 stores across South Africa.
There are no plans to slow down, and this year Matrix Warehouse is set to open more stores and carry more products.
Boshoff’s path to MD
Boshoff did not follow the usual path to becoming MD of a large retail chain.
His first job was at the SA Police Service, where he was paid less than R900 per month as a student.
He then joined the competitive retail tyre industry in 2001, where he said he “learned valuable lessons regarding customer service”.
This stood him in good stead when he bought a struggling Matrix Warehouse franchise and turned it into a successful business.
The shop continued to show good growth, and Boshoff’s business ability caught the attention of Matrix Warehouse Group CEO Justin Lowe.
Lowe offered Boshoff the position of MD at Matrix Warehouse in 2006, which he accepted.
“I had a lot to learn, and with Lowe as my mentor it was a bit easier to transition into the position with the sound advice given on an ongoing basis,” said Boshoff.
“At the time, I truly didn’t understand how much I was learning by just watching and listening to him on a daily basis.”
Over the following years, he honed his business skills and learned a simple lesson: “The only thing that will advance your career is hard work and dedication for the brand you believe in.”
Best and worst parts of being MD
Boshoff said the best part of his job is building a company that works, and at the same time building up staff to a level that will see them accomplish their individual dreams.
The worst part is “removal of the ego”, he said.
“You can’t just rage out of impatience or get upset because other people aren’t working the way you want them to work,” said Boshoff.
“You can’t show your frustration – even if everyone else is. You can’t sit back and complain when times get tough. You must be the positive force that changes the tide.”
Boshoff’s tech and business choices
MyBroadband asked Boshoff about his business and technology choices.
Which smartphone do you use?
Sony Xperia XZ.
Which laptop do you use?
MSI GE72 2QC Apache.
What is the best gadget you have ever bought?
What is the worst gadget you have ever bought?
What Internet connection do you have at home?
10Mbps uncapped DSL from Telkom. We have no fibre infrastructure yet.
What is the best investment you have ever made?
My retirement fund.
What is the worst investment you have ever made?
Buying a bike (KTM Adventure).
What is the best business book you have ever read?