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The Bridge International officially launches in Sydney with special guest Zondwa Mandela

The Bridge International formally launched in Sydney on Thursday 10th May, in a stunning location at the Pier One Hotel, fittingly on the water edge overlooking the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

In attendance were over 100 senior executives representing over 35 service brands in Australia, interested in the new partnering and outsource services being offered by The Bridge and its partners, CCI (, Career Box and Zendesk.

The two hours of conversation and debate were skilfully facilitated by Chloe James from Sky Business News and the RFI group.

Zondwa Mandela flew in from Durban, South Africa with the Group MD of CCI, Martin Roe and the Career Box Team, only the second time a member of the Mandela Family has stepped onto the shores of Australia.

Zondwa is the Grandson of Nelson Mandela, and Founding Director of the Mandela Legacy that supports the youth training organization Career Box.

The foundations mission is to empower youth through employment, aligned with the Career Box ambition to create 100,000 new jobs for African youth by 2020. CCI alone has been able to create over 8,000 jobs in the last few years as it has grown to be the largest BPO operation in Africa.

Two young African Graduates of Career Box, Pearl and Sbusiso, were brave enough to the audience about how the opportunity with Career Box and subsequently their employment with CCI has changed their lives, and the oives of their families. A moving discussion for everyone in the room

Zondwa talked openly about growing up in the Mandela household and the leadership lessons he learnt from his Grandfather

“My Grandfather was a very cool, calm and collected individual. He was always present. From start to finish you had is full and undivided attention, even if the Queen of England called”

The event focused on Corporate purpose and the positive social impact that Australian brands can have in the world. Mark Emney discussed with Chloe James about the story of Coles insurance and how the outsourcing to CCI not only improved customer service and reduced costs, but had led to over 500 jobs being created at CCI. The jobs were sourced from Career Box. Mark headed up Coles Insurance for three years.

This is a case study that is at the heart of The Bridge’s Triple Play Philosophy. Stuart Blake, the Cofounder and Director of The Bridge was responsible for the launch of Coles Insurance for Wesfarmers, leading the growth of this start up to become one of the fastest growing start up, challenger insurance brands in the world.

The Bridge International believes in the possibilities of the triple play: partnering to deliver a better customer experience, at a lower cost to serve whilst supporting their Corporate client’s social purpose.

Stuart and his co-founder, David McDonald talked about how their corporate hands on experience of working with Career Box and CCI have motivated them to launch The Bridge – and assist other organisations to realise this triple play.

The Bridge Tripe Play

“We have founded The Bridge International to help companies drive enterprise value by adopting our triple play partnering approach – simultaneously improving customer experience, reducing costs while making a difference to people’s lives. Why? Because I have done it before and seen the results.”

Tom Grealy, an expert in BPO partnerships talked about the partnering trends worldwide and how South Africa is positioned well for growth in this sector

“Offshore Partnering is becoming a key business strategy to disrupt or counter disruption. South Africa is well positioned to become a major player in this space, given their superior English language skills, competitive cost base, cultural alignment and investment in youth training and infrastructure.”

The event finished with a selection of specially picked South African wines to celebrate the launch of The Bridge International. There are over 3000 producers of wine in South Africa, but most is exported to the UK and Germany. There is low awareness in Australia of the quality of wine making in South Africa, similar to the low awareness of the quality of BPO services.

The Bridge can help raise this awareness and assist Brands in Australia not only to realize their commercial objectives but also help young people in Africa find jobs. Resolving the youth unemployment issues is key to growth and prosperity in South Africa.


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