We question Rami Sassen, CEO of Teljoy.
What’s the most interesting thing about you that people don’t know?
I was hijacked and shot, and the bullet is still in my leg.
What is your biggest regret?
That I didn’t make the SA rugby Maccabi team when I was 20 and they chose a player who was not at trials. But I’m determined to participate at the Maccabi games one day.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Nike founder Phil Knight. I love people who believe nothing is impossible.
Tell us about a hidden gem in SA that not many people know about.
Having a coffee with friends at Loof Coffee in Norwood, Johannesburg, on a Sunday morning after a tough cycle.
What was your first job?
I worked at a pet shop when I was 15 years old. I love animals. I did it for free and was paid in kindness.
What are you reading at the moment?
Iron Cowboy: Redefine Impossible. 50 Ironman Triathlons, 50 States, 50 Days, by James Lawrence.
What’s your biggest indulgence?
A Bar One milkshake.
Which phrase or word do you most overuse?
You must set yourself a goal to ensure you keep on the path and stay consistent.
How do you handle stress? What are your top tips for dealing with stress?
Exercise. Train hard and have a great session while listening to brilliant, uplifting music.
Who is your favourite hero of fiction?
Bruce Willis as John McClane in Die Hard.
What’s the worst airport you’ve been in?
It would be in Zambia — but it was on the way to Victoria Falls, so it was certainly worth it.
What’s your one top tip for doing a deal?
Go hard but be fair and ensure that it’s a win-win for both parties.
What is the one investment you wish you had made, or made earlier?
I don’t think I have any investment regrets. Actually, I bought my first shares on the stock exchange in 1996 and later sold them and bought a Toyota Camry for my mother. The delight on her face has remained with me forever. So I feel really satisfied with the decisions I’ve made.
Nominate your eighth wonder of the world.
Running on the red carpet to finish an Ironman race with a personal best time.
What is your most treasured possession?
My wedding ring. The outside is my wedding ring from my wife, and the inside is my father’s wedding ring, which my mother gave to me when he passed away.
This article was first published by Financial Mail on 13 July 2017.