The Business Book Club Founder Jacques Velleman's Three Top Business Books Of All Time

The Business Book Club is run by CEO Jane Collett and was founded in April 2017 by Jacques Velleman, CEO of Centred, a leadership consulting firm based in Johannesburg. Last month, The Business Book Club launched its Cape Town Chapter on October 3, 2018 at Centre for the Book, National Library, Cape Town. The Cape Chapter will be headed up by Bronwyn Hesketh, well known entrepreneur, author and Marketing Director of Speakers Inc.

The next author to be interviewed in Cape Town is Heavy Chef’s very own CEO, Fred Roed, on November 7th at the Centre For The Book, in Gardens. Fred flipped the roles on Jacques by catching up with him for a few questions, prior to the interview on the 7th.

Jacques, why did you start the Business Book Club?

It is an extension of my love for books, reading and knowledge. One of our main objectives is to share knowledge, and what better way than through books.

Yup, agreed. Where was this love for books fostered?

My mom bought us books from a young age and took us to the library on weekly basis, in a small town close to the Natal Midlands called Greytown. I still remember my first books, The Noddy range!

What are your top three favourite business books, Jacques?

The first is “Stealing Fire” by Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal - great examples of teams operating in the flow.

Another is “The Five Dysfunctions Of A Team” by Patric Lencioni - the best model explaining how winning teams can operate (and written as a fable).

A third favourite is “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg, where he explains how habits work, brilliantly!

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Jacques, what is the most memorable event you've held through the Business Book Club?

The launch of The Business Book Club with Gareth Cliff was great. Then, the launch of Cape Town chapter with Richard Mulholland was very special. I also really enjoyed the launch with GIBS with John Sanei. All these launches indicated that people loved the idea of sharing knowledge and donating books. Jane’s most memorable event was definitely the Emma Sadleir book launch that we held some time back.

Do you think non-fiction authors in SA can actually make money? Or is it mostly brand building?

I have not heard of anyone that have said they made money from books. The authors that make money from books are the likes of John Maxwell, but he sells millions of books. It is a numbers game and to make money you need to sell a hell of a lot.


The Business Book Club meets monthly and a guest author is invited to showcase their book to share their knowledge. Through conversation with the author, interaction with the audience, and networking with entrepreneurs, knowledge is gained on how to grow and change in the business environment and gain leadership skills.

Attendees are requested (as an entry fee) to contribute a treasured used business book which is then donated to a worthy cause - currently, The Signature Library, Soweto and Masiphumelele Library in Noordhoek. The aim is to enable those less privileged access books to further their education and gain knowledge.

Book for Fred Roed’s launch and interview, featuring his book The Heavy Chef Guide To Starting A Business In South Africa, here.