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 George Diab, co-founder & Managing Director, Tailor Me (Pty) LTD, 32

George Diab has always been a strong achiever, evidenced by the fact that he received high ratings for his performance throughout his articles, which he completed at KPMG.

Articles done, he was offered a permanent position at KPMG within the financial services division. He declined the position, instead making the decision to follow a career in tax, with a focus on international tax planning and structuring, also within KPMG.

At the same time, George and a colleague started what he called a “side company” specialising in bespoke suits, which they believed would provide useful first-hand experience in starting and running a business – while at the same time making bespoke suits available and accessible to the South African market.

Two years later and George was ready for something new, accepting a financial position at Bridge Corporate, where his aim was to get to grips with the operational and financial side of business. Sadly, soon after starting his job there, George found out that the company was in financial distress, which put a new light on things. He decided, however, to stay on at Bridge, fighting for the company as he believed this would add another level of experience to his resume.

Meanwhile, business at Tailor Me was growing at a rapid rate and George recalls that he would frequently finish work in Pretoria at 8pm, and then drive to Johannesburg to meet and measure clients for Tailor Me. Weekends too were full – George was meeting with suppliers and clients as well as spending time with the production team.

After a year, it become clear that the situation at Bridge was unlikely to improve and George resigned, ready to focus full time on Tailor Me. Within one year, there was no looking back. He hired three full time employees and rented a stylish showroom in Parkhurst. The biggest highlight, however, was that the company was managing to turn over R3.4 million in sales per annum.

“It has been so rewarding to watch the business grow into one of the leading names in men’s bespoke fashion in South Africa,” he enthuses. With a long-held focus on creating a quality product delivered by personal service, George reveals that Tailor Me will soon be launching a student initiative, which will allow the business to give back to the community.

Property has always been an interest for George and during this time, he has also completed a course in property development, and has sold two spec houses. He admits he finds the process of subdividing and rezoning the land (which he had to do during the construction) somewhat tedious, but says he particularly enjoyed the design and construction aspects of the projects. 

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