CIKO THOMAS

Entrepreneur

Ciko Thomas wears many hats, but he is best-known as Mr BMW and, lately, as Mr Volkswagen.

Together with his business partners, Thomas owns the first fully black-owned BMW dealerships in central Johannesburg. They have recently become the first black owners of a Volkswagen franchise, also in the inner city. Thomas also fronts a national advertising campaign for FNB, which financed their purchase. Multi-skilled, Thomas’s CV says he is a marketer with special skills in brand management, trade and sales operations, innovation and new product development.

He has worked at M-Net, South African Breweries and ABSA bank. He sits on the Sunday Times Marketing Excellence committee; serves on the board of the Communication and Advertising Forum for Empowerment and guest-lectures at two business schools.

He is also a director of IT company Faritec Holdings. Thomas was Black Business Quarterly’s 2005 emerging entrepreneur and he won the same accolade from the Black Management Forum this year. A BSc graduate from UCT, he also has an MBA from Wits.

Lunch spot: Koi Restaurant