Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba, to speak at Consumer Goods Forum in South Africa


Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba, is among leading entrepreneurs lined up to speak at the forthcoming Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) which is set for Cape Town, South Africa in about six weeks. , Cape Town will play host to scores of CEOs from the world’s most influential consumer and retail brands. The CGF Global Summit, expected to draw more than 800 delegates from over 365 companies from 40 countries will play host to scores of CEOs from the world’s most influential consumer and retail brands.

It will take place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from June 15 – 17, 2016.

(TOP: Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba).

The theme of this year’s Global Summit is ‘Seizing opportunities in the face of disruption’. Delegates and speakers will span the entire consumer goods ecosystem including retailers, manufacturers, service providers and trade associations. The Global Summit, which has become the industry’s most significant annual event, celebrates its 60th anniversary this year.

Apart from Daniel Zhang, other high-profile speakers expected to share insights at the event include Coca Cola Company CEO and Chairman Muhtar Kent, Tesco CEO Dave Lewis as well as a new generation of young entrepreneurs making waves of their own in the industry, including the CEO of Facebook Africa, Nunu Ntshingila and Affiong Williams, founder and CEO of ReelFruit, an emerging fruit processing company. With the CGF’s focus on collaboration, this will be an exciting juxtaposition of ideas coming together to create mutual inspiration – each side has much to learn from the other.

The Global Summit will focus on disruption in all areas of business, and the resultant opportunities.  Innovators, CEOs and leaders of new business models from both emerging and developed markets will come together to challenge delegates to see disruption from new vantage points.

Additional renowned speakers set to deliver exclusive insights at the Global Summit include Sir Martin Sorrell, Founder and CEO at WPP, on ‘Lessons to be Learnt from Disruptive Communications’; Doug McMillon, CEO Wal-Mart Stores, ‘Responsible on Retailing for the Modern Consumer’; François Pienaar, former captain of the South Africa Rugby team and Zelda La Grange, Former Private Secretary to the Office of the President Nelson Mandela.

Panel discussions scheduled for day two will see invited speakers debate and evaluate key issues facing the industry on a daily basis. Topics will include health and wellness challenges and ways in which the industry can do more to improve these issues through greater collaboration. The digital disruptors will also have their say on how integral digital platforms are key to the success of business today.

Other topics to be discussed include: ‘Positive Impact, Real Business’, where fearless young entrepreneurs from Africa share their stories and provide refreshing, inspiring and innovative concepts for emerging markets; ‘Retail Growth Success Stories’, bringing together both ‘digital natives’ and established retailers that have successfully embraced new models and addressed new markets and ‘Building a Sustainable Future’, exploring how companies can build sustainable futures by looking at today’s challenges and turning them into tomorrow’s opportunities.

In addition to the speaker programme, the CGF will host its Innovation Zone, called the ‘i-Zone’, showcasing the latest cutting-edge and creative ideas from the retail and consumer goods industries. This stylish display area offers a window to the most innovative concepts offered by members from across the world.

A key feature of the event is the Store Visits Programme. This top-class retail tour will offer invited participants the opportunity to participate in a custom-made retail tour that will showcase the very best of local retail. Guests will be given coveted access to senior industry executives and will be privy to some sought-after information regarding their business background as well as an opportunity to benchmark their own retail offer.

Peter Freedman, MD, Consumer Goods Forum, commented: “All industries experience waves of disruption but the consumer goods industry is arguably going through more disruption right now than we have seen in a lifetime. Digital is perhaps the biggest disruption because it affects how we produce, buy, sell and communicate. At the same time we are seeing disruption from new entrants – not just digital natives but also many others, ranging from the local “craft” industry to a new breed of emerging market-based multinationals. The Global Summit is the forum for our members to discuss how they can capitalise on the opportunities that lie beneath all disruptions. We will explore how the CGF’s mission to collaborate on consumer trust and industry efficiency can also unlock growth opportunities.”

The CGF works to create ‘better lives through better business’. Manufacturers and retailers partner with the CGF to develop common positions, drive business efficiency and positive societal change in four strategic priority areas for the industry: sustainability, health and wellness, product safety, and end-to-end value chain.

Consumer Goods Forum Global Summit convenes at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from June 15 – 17, 2016. Manufacturers, service providers and retailers within the consumer goods industry can register here to attend.

The CGF is a global, parity-based industry network that is driven by its members to encourage the global adoption of practices and standards that serves the consumer goods industry worldwide. It brings together the CEOs and senior management of some 400 retailers, manufacturers, service providers, and other stakeholders across 70 countries, and it reflects the diversity of the industry in geography, size, product category and format. Its member companies have combined sales of EUR 2.5 trillion and directly employ nearly 10 million people, with a further 90 million related jobs estimated along the value chain. It is governed by its Board of Directors, which comprises 50 manufacturer and retailer CEOs.