RAY LEVIN AND KIA MOTORS SOUTH AFRICA WIN BIG AT THE 2013 ABSA JEWISH ACHIEVER AWARDS
(SOUTH AFRICA) August 20, 2013 – The South African Jewish Report (SAJR) is the national newspaper of the Jewish Community in South Africa with a weekly readership of 50 000 people. Every year the organisation hosts an annual dinner to celebrate the achievements of influential Jewish businessmen in South Africa and this year marks its 15th anniversary. The prestigious gala dinner took place on 15 August 2013 at the Sandton Sun hotel, and was attended by approximately 600 people, including some of South Africa’s top Jewish businessmen.
This renowned event recognizes achievements in various categories and consists of three main business awards: Listed Company of the Year, Un-listed Company of the Year and Entrepreneur of the Year. A total of 250 nominees were received, and was narrowed down to 33 finalists. Ray Levin, CEO of Kia Motors South Africa (KMSA) was nominated in the Un-listed Company of the Year category, and ended up walking away with the top honours, sharing this prestigious award with Ran Neu-Ner and Gil Oved from The Creative Counsel.
When asked about this latest award, Levin simply commented: “What an achievement to just be nominated as a finalist for the Unlisted Company of the Year. To be selected as the overall winner is an absolute honour and I feel truly blessed to be recognized in the same space as previous winners such as Brian Joffe, Gill Marcus, Adrian Gore and William Kirsch to name a few. ”
Levin, who started his career as a professional chef, is known as one of the South African automotive industry’s most successful and innovative entrepreneurs. Over the past 15 years, Levin has expanded Kia’s footprint from 12, to over 68 highly profitable dealerships throughout the country. Since the establishment of the company in 1998, Levin and his passionate team have been able to transform the perception of the Kia brand to a highly desirable entity in the mind of the South African consumer. “The 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup was no doubt a turning point for KMSA. Since then, our company has grown incrementally, month by month”, Levin says firmly.
Over and above his business capacity as CEO of KMSA, Levin is passionate about giving back to the community and actively supports a variety of non-profit charities and CSI programmes including Shout SA, the Smile Foundation, CANSA and KMSA’s own CSI initiative, Kia Street Soccer. Kia Street Soccer is an initiative that focuses on youth development through various platforms, including life skills coaching, nutritional education and the development of sporting talent.
“As a South African, it gives me great pleasure to be enabled to assist different community projects that are in dire need of financial assistance. It’s KMSA’s way of saying thank you and giving back to the community.”, Levin concludes.