Business, employers laud Pupkewitz

30 April 2012 | Algemeen
Adv Vekuii Rukoro, President of the Namibian Employers? Federation (NEF):The passing away of the NEF's Past-President, Mr Harold Pupkewitz, on Friday, 27 April 2012, represents the end of an era.

Uncle Harold, as he was affectionately known, by young and old, hailed from a family of entrepreneurs with exceptional business acumen. Harold's contribution to the growth of our national economy over the decades has been astronomical. This was possible because of his hard and smart work ethic, his self-discipline and above all a shrewd business brain that enabled him to steer an ordinary family general dealer into a billiondollar trading giant with national footprint.

Uncle Harold served as President of the NEF for a record nine (9) years after which I had the distinct honour to step into his "big boots" as the leader of the employers' organization. His tireless work on behalf of the Namibian employers will never be forgotten. Similarly, his contribution to the development of future corporate leaders for our country is forever assured with the creation of the Harold Pupkewitz Graduate School of Business at the Polytechnic of Namibia, which he funded with a N$10 million

Harold was an entrepreneur par excellence, a gentle giant of Namibian business, a formidable business leader, a highly respected business personality and an exemplary role model for many business executives.

The Namibian private sector has lost one of its own, someone who could always speak out his mind - softly, respectfully but firmly!

A Jew by origin, Harold kept a close relationship with Israel, a country he admired and which he had hoped Namibia will seek to emulate as it grabbles with socio-economic challenges of our times. For him Israel has always been a source of inspiration - "". the tiny country with only 7, 1 million people, no natural resources, enemies on every border and in a constant state of war ? which produces more start-up companies than Japan, India, Korea, Canada and the United Kingdom ... Israel has more companies on the NASDAQ than Korea, Japan, Singapore, China, India and all of Europe combined!"

On a more personal note, thank you Uncle Harold, for giving me what Tom Brokaw called "a playbook for every CEO who wants to develop the next generation of corporate leaders". I am of course referring to the book entitled "Start-up Nation: The story of Israel's economic miracle" which Uncle Harold gave me early this year as my inheritance. I shall treasure it and its huge relevance as we continue to think, plan and ACT to bring about Namibia's renewal.

May his soul rest in eternal peace.
Mrs. Martha Namundjebo-Tilahun on behalf of the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI): On behalf of the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the entire Namibian business fraternity, to express our deepest sorrow and enormous sense of loss in the passing on of an illustrious son of the soil and a distinguished business icon, Mr. Harold Pupkewitz or simply Uncle Harold as most of us fondly called him.

We are indeed celebrating the life of a man who was rightly seen by many as the face of Namibian businesses and a true business leader. His has life lived to the fullest, having dedicated his entire life up to the very end, to the building and sustenance of the Namibian economy. His passion for business and love for his country were indisputable and will continue to be felt in our society for many years to come.

Uncle Harold was a man of amazing energy and wisdom even when he became clearly ageing. He worked very hard every single day without rest until the end of his life. He was indeed the best example of hard work, effective leadership and utilisation of talent and skills.

Personally, I feel uniquely honoured and privileged to have an opportunity to work with him as a business colleague. He was an unequalled mentor and advisor on business and leadership matters. I truly value his enormous contribution to my own life and the success of countless businesspeople in this country.

Even though we are fully aware that there is no infinite life on this earth, we in the business community still feel that his death came too soon and too fast. We feel robbed off our greatest asset in Uncle Harold. We are deeply saddened and devastated by the end of this colourful life. But we are at the same time thankful of the gift which the Almighty gave to this country in the person of Uncle Harold.

We in the private sector pledge to continue from where Uncle Pupkewitz left off. In our mind, the best way to express our appreciation to what he has done for this country is to live up to his ideals of free enterprise system, good governance and the development of enterprises.

While his life has suddenly come to an end, we are confident that he has made every necessary succession arrangement to ensure that the Pupkewitz Group of Companies will remain a critical player in the Namibian economy long after his passing on. This is indeed consoling to us all as Uncle Harold's efforts will continue to be felt for many, many years to come.

May his soul rest in eternal peace!



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