Meet Ian Fuhr: The man behind beauty brand Sorbet

Ian Fuhr is the man behind one of the biggest beauty brands in South Africa – salon chain Sorbet – an industry which he unexpectedly entered into in his 50s, after a successful career in the retail space.

Sorbet has skyrocketed in a crowded marketplace – and Fuhr acknowledges that while the brand’s products and services might be easy for their competitors to replicate, “it’s very difficult to copy a culture”.

Fuhr has been described as a “serial entrepreneur”, but he tells Nikiwe Bikitsha that he has always been driven by one guiding mantra: “People before profit.”

Success is the concept of people first - not just the customers but the people working in the business.

Ian Fuhr - Founder & CEO, Sorbet

From just four stores in 2005, Sorbet has grown to 178 stores across South Africa and four stores in London – and Fuhr attributes much of that success to his staff, and the brand’s “servant leadership approach” – which sees management "serving the people who are serving the people".

I changed my management style from top down, demanding… to bottom up nurturing and uplifting.

Ian Fuhr - Founder & CEO, Sorbet

In this week’s episode of Face to Face With Success, Fuhr talks about what drives him, and gives insight into the hurdles he had to clear to forge a successful national brand.


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