Finishing strong: the story of a win win exit

Business man in a corporate office smiling

At Mergon, we believe that partnerships are not just about achieving short-term gain, but about building long-lasting relationships that create value for everyone involved. Mergon COO Gauché Radley spoke to this idea in a recent interview, highlighting some of the key principles underpinning our partnership approach. He shares the story of 4PL, a former Mergon investee company, and how we worked closely with them to divest our investment in a way that ensured their continued growth and success.

It’s a story that underscores our commitment to building partnerships that go beyond the bottom line and create long-lasting value. Here is an overview of this discussion.

‘We have seen the transformative power of partnerships where there is trust and mutual respect, and everybody benefits in the end,’ said Gauché. ‘Unfortunately, we have also seen another reality, where motives and models are flawed, and profit and impact metrics are prioritised above all else. This leads to power imbalances and the exploitation of relationships for personal gain, ending in a situation where the ‘winner takes all’.’

‘We want to partner in a different way,’ said Gauché. ‘To show up in a way that reflects God’s heart and aim to build something meaningful and long-lasting.’

A case in point

We often say at Mergon that we ‘stand alongside, not above’ our investment partners. But what does this practically look like in the way we engage with our investment partners? Gauché proceeded to illustrate his point by sharing the story of 4PL.

‘In 2020 we felt it was time to start making arrangements to sell our stake in the business. As in this case, even when the relationship with the CEO is strong, this is still a difficult conversation to have. It’s deeply personal, and it can create uncertainty. People become worried, ‘how are we going to look after ourselves once Mergon pulls out? Will the company just fold when the funding dries up?’

A seat at the table

Knowing that managing uncertainty is crucial in these situations, the team took the proactive step of involving the CEO in the discussion right from the start. ‘He was concerned about being swallowed up by a large trading company and losing his independence,’ said Gauché. ‘We assured him that we were committed to look together for a better parent for 4PL. That we wouldn’t force anyone on him but work with him and find someone whom he was happy with. Someone who was well positioned in the industry, who shared our mission and values, and could put more capital into the business. And that’s what we did.’

Having recognised the value of the CEO’s expertise and leadership, the team wanted to empower him in having a voice in decision making. Gauché explained, ‘We knew that, for the CEO to have legitimate influence and a real say around the table, he would have to have a significant stake in the business. We made shares available to him, which enabled him to become a co-entrepreneur in the business. Now he was in a good position – acting not only as the CEO but as a shareholder in the business and part of the management team.’

A win-win exit

Eventually the right investor came along. A season set aside for the CEO and investor to get to know one another, and only once they were confident that the relationship could work, did we proceed to the next stage of the exit process. ‘We were intentional during the negotiation process about taking every stakeholder’s interest into account’, said Gauché. ‘And in the end, it all went really well. We were able to exit the business in a way that left everybody around the table still making money and still building on influence and relationship.’

Today the business is thriving, with a net worth that has doubled in value since having sold our stake. The CEO is still running the company, with much relational influence. ‘There’s a lot of trust in the room,’ added Gauché. ‘And it’s a good feeling because we really added value to the company.’

‘In a world where wealth determines power and competition is fierce, we at Mergon want to approach our capital partnerships in a different spirit of humility, said Gauché. ‘True partnership has us seeking to learn, to listen and ask questions, and trying to understand the needs and unspoken expectations of everyone involved. When we see ourselves as stewards of God’s capital, we understand that these are God’s resources, not ours. We don’t need to do everything in our power to maximise the company’s bottom line. We can focus on creating environments where everyone flourishes and there’s mutual trust and respect in the room. This not only lays the groundwork for good business – it ultimately honours God.’

To learn more about Mergon’s investment approach and current portfolio, see here.

Pursuing partnerships in the Horn of Africa

Ladies with babies on their back looking out on a field in the horn of Africa

Located on the easternmost part of the African mainland, the Horn of Africa includes countries like EthiopiaEritreaSomalia, and Djibouti

The region’s waters have for more than a century provided a swift and strategic naval connection between eastern Africa, the Euro-Mediterranean region and the Middle East. In fact, it is estimated that 10 to 20% of global trade transits along the Horn of Africa’s shores. The myriad of foreign stakeholders has also deeply influenced the local political and religious landscape, making the region a complex one.

Religious tension and persecution

Apart from the geo-political factors, religious tensions in the Horn of Africa make it extremely difficult to share the Good News with those who have never heard the name of Jesus. According to Joshua Project, 29.5% of people groups in Ethiopia are unreached*. This number increases exponentially when looking at neighbouring countries Eritrea (52.9%)Djibouti (63.6%), and Somalia (90.9%). Within these unreached people groups, there are little to no Christians, discipleship groups or churches. 

In some geographical pockets of the Horn of Africa where people have had the opportunity to hear and accept the gospel, believers often face severe pressure, intimidation, and persecution to deter them and others from following Jesus. 

Somalia (#2), Eritrea (#4) and Ethiopia (#39) are three Horn of Africa countries that appear on Open Doors’ 2023 World Watch List (WWL) which highlights the top 50 countries where Christians experience the most persecution. The cost of following Jesus is high and persecution often takes on different forms including restrictions on religious freedom, imprisonment, societal exclusion, being denied access to education, employment and healthcare, or in many cases, death. It is truly one of the hardest places in the world to be a follower of Christ.

Yet, amidst these dark realities, the gospel is spreading across Africa. The 2022 Status of Global Christianity report reveals that Christianity is growing faster on the continent of Africa than in any other part of the world. Mergon Foundation’s relationship manager for sub-Saharan Africa, De Wet Spies, has seen this first-hand in his travels throughout the region, and more recently during a trip to the Horn of Africa. 

‘In this part of the world it’s not as straightforward as planning to do a specific number of ministry activities by a specific date,’ he says. ‘One has to have a deep understanding of, and sensitivity to, the various political and religious nuances. Our partners often face a myriad of challenges and tend to operate discreetly in a region that is very complex and sensitive. We see our role as purposefully coming alongside these leaders and organisations to resource, support and encourage them to persevere in the vision that God has called them to,’ explains De Wet.

Taking a longer view on partnership

Within the sub-Saharan Africa region, Mergon desires to see a healthy and growing expression of the body of Christ that is both deep and wide. In other words, seeing every believer getting to know Jesus better, becoming more like Him and following His example (deep), and every believer taking responsibility to finish the Great Commission (wide). This is one of the reasons the Foundation specifically aims to partner with indigenous ministries who understand their local contexts, make disciples, and provide sound biblical training as they knit new believers into the family of faith.

‘Over the years we have truly seen the value of partnership and of building authentic and trusting relationships with indigenous ministry leaders. When we work together in unity, following the Lord’s leading, He prepares the way and opens doors we could have never imagined,’ says De Wet. ‘Our partners are doing incredible work among the unreached people groups in the Horn of Africa as they make disciples and minister among women, students, prisoners and the persecuted church,’ he notes. 

Many of the Foundation’s partner ministries in the region focus on meeting the practical needs of people in unreached communities – be that through medical outreaches, drilling water wells, facilitating literacy programmes, or providing humanitarian aid. In many areas where there is hostility towards Christianity, ministries provide business training and capital for local leaders to start businesses. 

The power of prayer

‘Prayer is also a crucial need in this region and the stories that emerge as a result of persistent prayer are so encouraging,’ says De Wet. ‘One of our partners shared a story of a Christian man who would walk 10-12km every day to share the gospel in an unreached community. One day he met a man named Amadi who had fallen into severe depression. Amadi’s family feared for his life and tried everything, including sending him to the village medicine man who practised tribal spiritualism. Nothing worked. The Christian man began to pray for Amadi to which a family member responded “If Amadi gets healed, then our family will all follow your Jesus.” This sparked even more fervent prayer over a couple of weeks and indeed, Amadi was healed. When his family and the community saw his transformation, twelve of them immediately decided to become followers of Jesus!’

‘God is at work in the Horn of Africa and we want to partner with Him in what He is doing. Please join us as we pray for the unreached people groups in the region as well as for the followers of Christ – that they will remain strong in their faith and continue to share the love of Jesus which leads to freedom and life in abundance,’ concludes De Wet.

*unreached: Joshua Project defines unreached people as a people group among which there is no indigenous community of believing Christians with adequate numbers and resources to evangelize this people group without outside assistance.

A renewed focus on partnership and collaboration

With the haze of COVID-19 gradually lifting, early 2022 was an opportune time to pause and reflect on Nation Builder’s contribution and how best to position it to offer even greater support to the development sector in the season ahead.

A host of social stressors had been added to South Africa’s landscape over the past few years, due to the effects of COVID-19, riots, floods, loadshedding, rising unemployment and more. For South Africa’s social development sector and the country at large to cope with these massive challenges, it was clear to practitioners and grassroots leaders alike that greater collaboration was needed.

With this in mind, the Nation Builder community turned to the pressing question at hand: how could we adjust our approach and work together more effectively to see our impact go further?

The current landscape

Key people from the Nation Builder community were invited to gather regionally to discuss the current development landscape and envision a new season of impact for Nation Builder. A blend of social investors, NPOs and consultants, all of whom had walked a close road with Nation Builder over the years, reflected on the value of Nation Builder’s contribution to the social investment sector thus far, and then took time to consider what would most support the sector in 2023 and beyond.

Emily Wilkes, community manager at Nation Builder commented, ‘We knew that we needed to find ways to multiply impact. Trialogue had reported in its Business in Society Handbook 2022  that total CSI expenditure was R10.9 billion which represented a 6% nominal and an almost zero percent real change from the previous year’s spend. Going forward, ‘more would need to be achieved with less’ – greater collective impact would be required throughout the sector.’

In KwaZulu-Natal, as detailed in the Nation Builder blog post entitled Partnering in Crisis – The KwaZulu-Natal story, corporates, individuals and NPOs had pulled together to capitalise on shared resources, skills and experience, during the civil unrest in 2021. This is such a beautiful example of how collaboration and partnership can result in multiplied impact to address challenges too large to tackle alone.  

It is therefore clear that collaboration and partnership are essential in the season ahead, where our challenges may feel like Goliath at times.

Building a vision

With this context in mind, we asked: what needs to shift in our current season that will facilitate growth and greater community participation in the next? The overwhelming consensus was that we needed to focus on increased community ownership, mobilisation, and decentralised working groups

As a result, the work of Nation Builder will become more regionally focused in 2023, with each regional community taking ownership of driving context specific initiatives and bringing local organisations together in their area, whilst retaining the benefits of having a national footprint.

“Nation Builder has always prioritised stimulating constructive engagement between for-profit and non-profit entities, as opposed to the traditional siloed approach to problem solving, and we realised that formalising local ecosystems would allow us to bring all the role players around the table. Here, we could work towards ” said Wilkes.

Meyer Conradie, CEO of Mosaic and Wellbi, and a Nation Builder Task Team member, summed up this new vision when saying: ‘This decentralising move to a community-led and regionally-based community will enable higher levels of trust, as people interact and partner locally, and will lead to greater impact at a grassroots level, where challenges desperately need to be addressed.’

The way forward

The Nation Builder community has entered this new year with a real sense of excitement around what the next chapter holds, with local champions having volunteered to lead the work of nation building within each region, and so many people having raised their hands to volunteer their time and expertise to take Nation Builder forward.

There are currently collaborative working groups in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, and the Western Cape – with more regional groups being anticipated. Be sure to reach out to us should you want to join an existing group or start a working group in your region.

You don’t want to miss out as these are going to be highly impactful working groups in the year ahead.

Wilkes concluded, ‘We envisage these local ecosystems decreasing resource duplication in a time where every cent counts, and we look forward to them providing an emphasis on the development of community-led programmes, where the needs of the community are prioritised.’

For more information, visit https://proudnationbuilder.co.za/

To find out more about our Collabs, click here.

A Mergon initiative, Nation Builder has actively encouraged a culture of social investment and promoted best-practice in the social development sector for over a decade, motivated by the firm belief that every business can be a powerful vehicle for change.

Reaching the Middle East with the Gospel through media

Whether it’s television, radio, social media or podcasts, media connects us with the world and with one another. It sparks conversations and creates awareness about critical issues around the globe – one of the most vivid examples being the Arab Spring in 2011. Research during that time revealed that the week before the resignation of the Egyptian president, videos featuring protest and political commentary went viral, with some of the most popular videos recording nearly 5.5 million views.

The recent unrest in Iran is another good example of the power of media, with people smuggling footage of protests and shootings out of Iran at the risk of being arrested or losing their lives. Media has enabled the women of Iran to voice their fears and frustrations and many digital campaigns have gone viral as people around the world demonstrate their support of the freedom of the women of Iran.

From world news to the Good News: a different use of media

Christian ministries in the MENA region have also been leveraging media – but as a tool to share the good news of the gospel with those who are desperately looking for hope. For believers who live in restricted or hostile countries where it is illegal to be a Christian, media platforms often serve as a lifeline.

Some ministries have been broadcasting Christian television programmes since the 1980s in countries like Israel, Jordan and Lebanon. Over the years the number of Christian programmes and channels have increased immensely through the likes of Al Hayat Ministries, Sat7 and MohabatTV, among others.

These programmes offer content that helps Christians to unpack the Bible and answer difficult questions, as well as present the teachings of Jesus to those with no Christian background or upbringing. Media allows people to watch, listen and process the message of the gospel from the privacy and safety of their own homes. This is a great advantage in a region where Christians – a minority group in the MENA region – are often persecuted for their faith.

Stories from the field

Within the Mergon Foundation’s own partnership networks, there are inspiring examples of organisations that are leveraging media to give people hope and point them to Jesus.

Digital campaigns

‘By using simple digital ad campaigns and making use of Google’s keyword research, ministries can reach younger demographics with the gospel in innovative ways,’ says David Benware of Media Impact International (MII). 

During Covid-19, MII ran a simple carousel ad campaign in India, Turkey and Pakistan, targeting a specific niche.

Media In the Middle East

After just two weeks, the ‘Worry Free Campaign’ had led to 19,559 inbound messages of people responding to the ad, 1072 people in follow-up conversations with the call centre team, 209 gospel presentations, and 85 people professing their faith in Jesus.  

Another campaign example is MII’s ‘You are Free’ Campaign which covered three themes, namely ‘He heals your broken heart’; ‘He Heals your loneliness’; ‘He heals your hopelessness’. 

‘The best part about a campaign like this is that it is easy to change and adapt – without costing lots of money. If throwing the net on the one side of the boat, so to speak, isn’t working (ie. no clicks or engagements), a ministry can ‘throw the net on the other side of the boat’ by quickly changing the campaign. Digital doesn’t always have to be super expensive, but you have to be creative, innovative and invite the Holy Spirit in,’ David explains. 

Television: still relevant and powerful

Television is also a powerful tool to communicate the Gospel in Morocco. One ministry shares that 252 people committed their lives to Jesus after the airing of one single television show.

Another larger ministry did a survey to determine the viewership across various Christian programmes which they had co-produced and aired in Morocco. They rejoiced over the fact that these had 8,5 million viewers in the survey year and many had accepted Jesus as their Saviour as a result! One programme in particular, Let’s Be Clear, is so compelling because it is presented by a native Moroccan who converted to Christianity.

Brother Rachid hosting Let’s be Clear.

Bridging the gap between correspondence and follow-up

The evidence is clear that people in the MENA region are hungry for hope and truth and media is a successful means to introduce people to Jesus. The challenge, however, is often bridging the gap between correspondence (digital or telephonic) and follow-up (in-person connection and fellowship).

Media Impact International shares some typical questions and statements that their call centre team receives: ‘I am so depressed that I am unable to be happy anymore’; ‘I feel so lonely and no one is there for me’; ‘My life is not changing and I have no hope’; ‘My husband cheated on me so we got a divorce and I’m angry’; ‘How can I break my pornography habit?’; ‘Life is not worth living (suicidal)’;I have cancer. I’m so scared’; ‘Tell me what you people believe about Jesus’.

Heart4Iran (who runs MohabatTV) notes that, in their experience, mostly men call in saying they have noticed how their wives have changed as a result of watching their television programme. They are kinder and softer, and in response, the men often want to learn more about how they can improve too. In addition, many refugees call in, explaining that they have had dreams or visions of a Man in white telling them to love their enemies and they need to find out more about Him.

In the Arab context it’s rare for someone to make a decision for Christ on the same day they have heard the message of the gospel. Follow-up and building relationships are therefore critical because it takes time for people to think about and process it – there’s fear, societal pressures and the like.

Building a sincere friendship with a person who has just accepted Jesus into their life is a long-term process. Nothing is more valuable than discipling people, encouraging them to share the gospel with others, and walking beside them every step of the way as they face difficult circumstances and work through all their questions.

Though it is extremely beneficial to have teams on the ground who can make face-to-face contact with people who have responded to a media outreach, one of the key concepts we have also seen over these past years is that of powerful online Christian fellowship for those who prefer it or who are unable to meet other believers in person. It’s really about journeying with people – connecting them with supportive, loving communities as well as with new friends who understand what they are going through and who can encourage them in their faith.

Sharing our vision of Kingdom impact

Every company has an elevator pitch. With so many moving parts, you might say that Mergon needs a particularly tall building to do its pitch justice. We often hear the question asked, ‘what exactly do you do at Mergon?’ –  an understandable question, considering that Mergon is not your ‘typical fit’ in business nor ministry. We are an investment company – but not purely one; a foundation – but not only that. We partner with the business community to lead in social investment and shape the marketplace – but not solely for the sake of social development.

Mergon is rather a combination of all these elements, with a unique fit that has been shaped, we believe, over four decades by the leading of God. The path has been anything but straight and foreseeable, as God has widened our vision and taken us in often counter-intuitive directions.

In the early days Mergon saw its mission of Kingdom expansion as primarily being a funding conduit to a handful of selected ministries. This perspective has broadened, especially over the past decade, to reflect a more holistic understanding of our calling. Today we see ourselves as resource partners on the journey toward Kingdom impact. As Mergon CEO Pieter Faure puts it, ‘Everything about us – our activities, behaviours and approach to relational partnerships – pivots on this central purpose.’

So what does it mean to be a resource partner?

It means that we regard money as a critical resource, but not the only one. There are a host of complementary attributes we can bring to the relationship beyond finances, which include our networks, skills, knowledge and experience. Often these different types of ‘social capital’ cost little but have a disproportionate value for the leaders and organisations they serve.

In the investment team, we have brought mentors alongside business leaders to support them on their entrepreneurial journey. Through Ziwani, we provide practical hands-on resources as well as opportunities for Christian business leaders to connect and encourage one another to live out their marketplace calling in Africa. On the Foundation side, we create tools and opportunities for ministry leaders to grow in their leadership and organisational health and offer programmes like the ‘Healthy Leaders Journey’ for new partners to invest in their personal development.

Says Neil Hart, Mergon Foundation head: ‘Each of these leaders have their own unique story, hopes, and dreams. We want to know about them – as well as grow in our understanding of their culture, the context they operate in and the unique challenges they face. The more we can understand these realities, and sometimes relate to them, the better we will be in effectively serving our partners and strengthening their impact.’

What does it mean to be partners on a journey?

At Mergon we often refer to ourselves as ‘redemptive stewards of God’s entrusted resources’. Whether it be through our work at Ziwani, supporting and equipping the business community to shape Africa’s marketplace, or walking alongside entrepreneurs to build strong, scalable businesses – our purpose is to show something of God’s redemptive heart through partnership

We have seen how partnerships can unlock immense possibilities when people are willing to join forces and lay down their own interests in pursuit of a common goal. We’ve also seen how it requires of us humility, intentionality and perseverance. In a world where funding models and business relationships are often flawed, we have the chance to model something different – showing up in ways that reflect God’s heart.

True partnership, we believe, is not in giving a hand-out, or a hand-up — but rather in taking hands as we each bring something of value in order to bring about real change. ‘This requires us to extend respect, dignity and authenticity and to invite our partners to bring all of who they are to the relationship – their successes, their failures and their vulnerabilities,’ says Pieter. ‘This is a big ask, to expect of them to be real and to also step out on that bridge of relationship. And conversely, for us, to be trustworthy with their realness. Yet, as we better relate to their challenges, we can truly serve them.’

The reality is, none of us have all the answers to society’s problems. But the more that we can work together, and lock arms across industries and societal sectors, the more effectively we can carry the load and be amazed at the change we can bring. We can start to unlock our calling, which is to become catalytic in our partnership for Kingdom impact.

What does it mean to be catalysts for Kingdom impact?

A catalyst is a small dose of substance that, when released into the right environment, has the potential for a disproportionate effect. A small seed can sow a great harvest. Written into its design is the blueprint for an extraordinary acceleration of transformation and impact, fruitfulness and abundance.

‘In the same way, we aim to sow our ‘small seeds’ in order to be a catalytic partner that contributes to the multiplication and increase of the impactful work of our partner organisations across Africa and the Middle East,’ says Neil, ‘whether that be that in discipleship, education, skills development, training or caring for the poor, marginalised and vulnerable.’

Catalytic momentum is possible when we work together, acknowledging that each of our parts is small but essential in the bigger story God is writing.

Leading from the heart

In this interview summary with Ziwani’s Sibs Sibanda, Mergon COO Gauché Radley gives us a fresh perspective on what it means to ‘love your neighbour’ in business today. In a fast paced world of competition where winner takes all, he shares how ‘laying down power’ and ‘moving at the speed of trust’ will always get you further in the long run.

Setting the bar high

Since the beginning, God has invited us to co-labour with Him in the renewal of ‘all things’, beginning with our relationship with him, overflowing to our relationships with others and ultimately extending to the elements of culture and society at large. Central to this mission is God’s love.

Gauché reflected on this idea of loving people in the context of business: ‘In Psalm 24 the writer talks about journeying with clean hands and a pure heart, with no lies and no idols,’ he says. ‘That’s a pretty high standard. It’s one thing not to lie in business – but to negotiate with a ‘pure heart’? To appoint and sever employment relationships with a ‘pure heart’?! That’s a completely different way of dealing with people. It’s where you’re looking out for yourself as well as for the guy on the other side of the table.’

Gauché made this idea practical, sharing a recent example during Covid whereby the Mergon investment team was in the process of raising significant capital for the acquisition of a business in Denmark. Nearing the completion of the deal, with only a handful of legalities left to finalise, the team was confronted with a sobering reality: though profitability projections looked good in the immediate and long term, they would have to ride out a year of inevitable profit loss. ‘We decided to share this information with the investors,’ said Gauché. ‘They ended up pulling out. It was horrible.’ He added: ‘But fast forward a couple of years, and we were able to buy that same company in Denmark. It wasn’t simple – there was a lot of prayer involved and a lot of stressing, submitting and surrendering. What we could say though, is that throughout the process we kept a pure heart and clean hands – and that was worth it.’

Coming to the table as equals

Business can be a powerful vehicle through which we live out God’s commandment to love our neighbour as ourselves, as expressed in Matthew 22. For this to happen, there needs to be a level playing field where both parties can come as equals to the table. Gauché emphasised that part of our role as capital investors is to acknowledge the power that comes with money – and then intentionally lay that power down in the spirit of true partnership.

‘Trust creates speed in our business – and, in the end, it creates financial success too,’ said Gauché.  ‘For us the relational aspect – the partnership – is a fundamental part of our business philosophy, both on the investment side and on the giving side. When you have money, you can almost do anything you want. It’s undiluted, impersonal power – and the way you use that power really defines what your views are on partnership and God’s love in this world.’

Gauché noted that, over the past decade serving as King Price chairman, decisions have always been made in team, with room for robust discussion and disagreement. ‘Even though we have the majority seats on the board to get through what we want, we don’t abuse that power. We always invite discussion and argue our position with respect for one another’s views. We do not use money as a source of power to get what we want.’

Gauché noted that when partnerships are rooted in love, priorities shift away from the bottom line agenda and towards a more holistic, Kingdom perspective. This in turn produces a kind of counter cultural behaviour in the business world. As an illustration, Gauché shared a recent experience with members of the King Price executive board: ‘We were discussing the impact of COVID, the recent storms and riots – all the factors that have made for a rough ride for insurers in the last couple of years. You would think that the board would have first wanted to know more around profitability, share price and our financing arrangement. But their response was, ‘how can we serve the management team in this time’? We decided that in the next month we’ll get on a plane and go pray with the team. We want to create a circle around them and dedicate them to God, asking for God’s wisdom and help. These are the things that really makes a difference in people’s lives and change the way people think about business, said Gauché. 

Success is in surrendering

On the back of this example, Sibs asked how God has challenged Gauché’s notion of ‘success’ in business. ‘Given that God is love,’ he said, ‘how does that truth impact the way you personally define success and how you as a business regard what success is?

Gauché noted that it’s important for us as Christians to strive for excellence in all we do, especially when it comes to excellence in business. ‘If you’re a failed businessman, people won’t necessarily want to hear your opinion. So monetary success is part of our mandate and gives us a voice to speak into the world. With that said, Gauché continued, ‘Money does not define whether you’re successful or not.’ No matter how much you have of it, he reminded us through the famous words of John Rockefeller, you’ll always want ‘just a little bit more’.

Success is rather rooted in relation to our dependence on God. He reflected on a few vulnerable moments at Mergon when liquidity was at risk and there was very little to do other than to get on one’s knees and surrender: ‘In those moments we’d say to the Lord, You built this company – Mergon is yours, so you do what you want with it. It’s these points of true surrender that have brought forth much growth, where God has put more of his Kingdom into our hearts.’

Gauché ended with an encouragement for business leaders to strive for God’s definition of success. ‘Trust God to get out and walk on the water with Jesus. It requires a lot of faith and a lot of trust; you’ll have to keep surrendering. But in the end, I really believe it will be worth it.’

This article is a summary overview of the podcast entitled ‘Balancing Love and Power’, an episode of Ziwani’s latest podcast series, Monday Christian. To listen to the full podcast, visit here.