Presented on behalf of Business Day by Arena Events — a division of Arena Holdings — and Cold Press Media, the conference gave delegates an opportunity to engage on 4IR technologies through panel discussions and presentations from South Africa's leading minds, as well as experiential activations at the exhibition.

Taryn Westoby, head of Arena Events, says that the support Business Day Focus 4.0 received meant that a larger venue to accommodate delegates and exhibitors had to be arranged as soon as the event was publicised in September 2019.

"The credibility of the Business Day title ensured that the highest calibre speakers were drawn to participate, which attracted partners and exhibitors who would reach a captive, highly-engaged audience of delegates," says Westoby.

"We were overwhelmed by how well the 4IR programme was received, but also privileged to bring the industry an event with quality content that is in such high demand by business leaders in South Africa," adds Westoby.

The event gave feedback indicating that:
  • 50 companies partnered with Business Day Focus 4.0
  • 19 brands participated in the exhibition, and
  • 298 delegates comprising CEOs, COOs, directors, managers and department heads attended the event.
Nompilo Morafo, group executive for corporate affairs at MTN — the headline partner for the event — says, "MTN is proud to have supported the Business Day Focus 4.0 conference — an essential and significant platform for organisations that understand the shared value that these discussions create — as an enabler for digital progression across Africa." 

"Digital and financial inclusion are at the forefront of our business strategy across our footprint, through the promotion of fintech and digital services. We are certain that the telecoms industry has a significant role to play in enabling 4IR on the continent," adds Morafo.

"According to the World Economic Forum, the telecoms ecosystem has provided the fundamental building blocks that are enabling this digital revolution to take place. Therefore, MTN will continue to support engagement opportunities, such as the Business Day 4.0 conference, that reinforce our ambition to ensure that everyone in the markets that we operate enjoys the benefits of a modern connected life," says Morafo.

Media personality and entrepreneur Andile Khumalo performed the MC duties, supported by panel moderators Dominic Gaobepe and Joanne Joseph. Godfrey Motsa, CEO of MTN South Africa, spoke on the role of government and business in enabling the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Musa Kalenga, CEO and founder of Bridge Labs, discussed whether South African businesses are ready for 4IR or not. CEO of Liquid Telecom South Africa Reshaad Sha highlighted the importance of connectivity and smart infrastructure as a critical component in keeping up with 4IR. Accenture's Kirtan Sita, MD of Technology, discussed the role of the platform economy in 4IR.

A panel discussion on redefining the future of business, and why organisations should embrace 4IR, included:
  • ABB Southern Africa's Shiven Sukraj
  • The Field Institute's Alison Jacobson
  • Investec's Devina Maharaj, and
  • the University of Pretoria's Professor Alex Antonites.
Focussing on business leadership in 4IR, Altron Karabina's Dave Ives stressed the importance for organisations to become smart and connected, and how automation will affect business performance and customer relations.

Life Healthcare Group's Suren Govender spoke on the future of healthcare and how personalised care will be made possible by technologies such as artificial intelligence.

Individuals can read more here about the insights shared by the speakers at Business Day Focus 4.0. Images from Business Day Focus 4.0 can be viewed online here.

Cold Press Media produced the Business Day Focus 4.0 publication for the event, which was given to each delegate at the conference and distributed in the Business Day last week. To view the digital version of the publication, individuals can click here.

Business Day, Arena Events and Cold Press Media would like to thank the following organisations for their support:

Headline Partner 
  • MTN Group
Platinum Partners 
  • Liquid Telecom South Africa
  • University of Pretoria 
  • ABB Group
  • Tshimologong Precinct.
Gold Partners 
  • Investec Private Banking 
  • MIP Holdings 
  • Dark Fibre Africa 
  • Wits Business School
  • McDonald's South Africa
  • Life Healthcare Group
  • Deloitte Consulting
  • Exxaro
  • Johannesburg Business School
  • Altron Karabina
  • IE University
  • Henley & Partners
  • BCX
  • Henley Business School, and
  • Little Green Number.
Silver Partners
  • Pragma
  • Commerce Quest South Africa (Pty) Limited (CQSA)
  • University of Johannesburg
  • Redshift Cyber Security
  • DHL Express South Africa
  • Etion South Africa
  • Thusano Group
  • Apex BI
  • Barloworld Logistics
  • Milpark Business School
  • Rikatec
  • Afrox
  • Petromarine
  • FlowCentric Mining
  • CZ Electronics
  • Lesedi Nuclear Services
  • Innovo Networks
  • IronTree
  • Ukwazi Operations
  • Interwaste
  • Webber Wentzel
  • Chrono-Logic Solutions
  • Cranefield College
  • Visa
  • Symbiotics
  • Quill Condition Monitoring, and
  • Nexio.
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