Africa|Business|Cleaning|Electrical|Innovation|Manufacturing|Manufacturing |Products|Operations
Africa|Business|Cleaning|Electrical|Innovation|Manufacturing|Manufacturing |Products|Operations

Jonathan Shapiro

Jonathan Shapiro

Jonathan Shapiro

3rd December 2021


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Full Name: Jonathan Shapiro

Position and Company Name: CEO of LESCO Manufacturing

Main Activity of the Company: LESCO Manufacturing, a third-generation family-run business, is a South African producer and distributor of electrical products

Date and Place of Birth: October 11, 1990, Johannesburg

Education: Diploma in Assistant Bookkeeping and Marketing, from Boston College, and various business qualifications from the Gordon Institute of Business Science

First Job: I was 19 when I started working at LESCO Manufacturing, packing shelves in the warehouse and assembling products on the assembly line

Size of First Pay Packet: R6 500 a month

Career Path to Date: After graduating from high school, my desire for hands-on learning and curiosity for the intricacies of business operations led me to our family business, LESCO Manufacturing. I started out in 2009, cleaning the warehouse, packing boxes, arranging stalls and, afterwards, learning how to make products on the assembly line. I was promoted to sales director in 2013 and assumed the CEO role in 2017

Value of Assets under Your Control: Not stated

Number of People under Your Leadership: 140 employees at our two factories and at head office

Management Style: I maintain a decisive, flexible and fair management style that is deeply rooted in accountability and relevant innovation. I strongly believe in meaningful collaboration and ensuring every employee has an equal voice as well as access to diverse growth opportunities

Personal Best Achievement: Being appointed CEO of LESCO Manufacturing, CEO of the South Africa Israel Chamber of Commerce, global ambassador of the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, in Israel, and board member of Easterseals UCP

Person Who Has Had the Biggest Influence on Your Life: My mother, Sheryl Shapiro, for showing us what true strength and resilience are. Despite suffering from a rare immune deficiency all her life, she did not let this cast a shadow on her spirit, sense of determination and positive attitude

Person Who Has Had the Biggest Influence on Your Career: My family has had the most influence on every aspect of my life. However, I am especially inspired by my father, David Shapiro, the founder of LESCO Manufacturing

Person You Would Most Like to Meet: Elon Musk; despite his enviable achievements in a short space of time, he approaches business in a fun way – something that is very uncommon in today’s times

Businessperson Who Has Impressed You Most: Sipho Nkosi – he impresses me on many levels, and I was delighted when he accepted our offer to become LESCO Manufacturing’s chairperson

Philosophy of Life: Regardless of the level of planning you do, you are not always going to be in control. Focus on covering as many bases as possible, don’t take things for granted, and do your best to live your life with few regrets

Biggest Ever Opportunity: Being promoted to sales director at the age of 22 and doubling the size of the business in just four years

Biggest Ever Disappointment: Instead of holding on to disappointments, I believe in maintaining a mindset that seeks to draw lessons from such situations

Hope for the Future: Almost everything I do as a business leader and influencer is founded on creating meaningful, inclusive opportunities that enhance lives and livelihoods. I am therefore committed to LESCO Manufacturing always actively playing its part in helping remedy South Africa’s unemployment crisis

Favourite Reading: The Infinite Game, by Simon Sinek

Favourite TV Programme: How It’s Made

Favourite Food/Drink: Sushi and a nice glass of chilled white wine

Favourite Music: Hans Zimmer is my favorite composer and watching him perform live is on my bucket list

Favourite Sport: Boxing

Hobbies: Rock climbing and hiking

Car: BMW M240i

Pets: Two rescue dogs – Luna and Ollie

Miscellaneous Dislikes: Laziness and people who move at a snail’s pace

Married: Single

Children: None

Clubs/Organisations: I am a member of the global peer-to-peer network of influential business owners, Entrepreneurs’ Organisation, and of the fast-growing entrepreneur network, BeYourLegacy

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor



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