Leadership Spotlight – Soraya Zoueihid, MD of British American Tobacco

Tell us about your company and your role?

I am Soraya Zoueihid, the Managing Director of British American Tobacco for the Southern Africa Area. We are a subsidiary of the London-headquartered British American Tobacco plc which is the second largest company listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. We’ve been operating in South Africa for over 100 years. We have a portfolio of more than 20 brands including some of South Africa’s best-known and biggest sellers, such as Dunhill and Peter Stuyvesant.

What is the best thing about running a business in Cape Town?

Cape Town is a dynamic, energetic, growing and vibrant business community.

What areas do you think need to be improved to enhance the business environment in Cape Town?

I think Cape Town has a huge amount of potential as a business hub. Traffic congestion could do with some improvement and more direct flights to international destinations would also be helpful.

How would you describe Cape Town’s business community?

Cape Town’s business community is particularly vibrant as a result of the bustling creative and tech sectors. People here have been very welcoming to me and there is a keen sense of co-operation between business and local government.

What do you think is currently required to develop a long-term vision and future strategy for the Cape Town city region?

Cape Town is already a very popular tourist destination and this can be further leveraged to attract business travellers to the city. First-class infrastructure and skills development are always key, particularly in telecommunications.

What are your favourite spots to visit in the Cape Town city region?

I love cycling, hiking and going to the beach with my husband and son and we are spoilt for choice with the natural beauty of Cape Town.  We also love accompanying my husband, who is a keen photographer, to watch sunsets from different places in the Cape.

What would you choose as a tag line for Cape Town as a business city?

 “Cape Town – making business a pleasure”

Whom do you most admire in the business world?

There are so many great businesses in South Africa, it is difficult to choose.  Mostly I admire those with an ability to quickly innovate and adapt to an ever-evolving world while making a difference and giving back to their community.

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