Chelin’s vision and leadership led to the creation of Super-Brands which he then transformed into a focused group, specialising in the distribution and retailing of popular brands in South Africa. As the company’s CEO, Chelin built up Super-Brands from an initial team of 8 to over 400.
Chelin completed his BCOM Honours (cum laude), placing 1st in South Africa and earned a Chartered Accountant qualification in 2004 before enrolling with the internationally acclaimed, Edinburgh Business School’s MBA program. He also holds a Private Helicopter Pilot’s license and is an avid sportsman. With over 9 years of senior management experience, his previous roles included heading up a consultancy division on business growth at BDO Spencer Steward Inc, as well holding the position of Chief Executive Officer of the House of Paint and an executive at Chemical Specialities (Pty) Ltd (Chemspec). In 2012 he became a member of the Young Presidents Organisation and a member of the Institute of Directors in South Africa.
He was featured on the cover Entrepreneur magazine and has also featured in FinWeek, The Sunday Times, The Financial Mail and other noteworthy publications as well as having ask to present at various conferences including on “Building Brands in Emerging Economies” at the POPAI National Marketing at Retail Conference.
Chelin’s vision is to grow a remarkable portfolio of leading brands and businesses, all of which have exceptional market appeal and potential. He has a proven track record through his leadership, vision and understanding of strategic market issues and his insistence on best business practices. His steadfast belief in empowering people through a unique approach to management has created a company culture that is built on confidence, teamwork and exceeding expectations.
Chelin is responsible for the strategic direction, growth and executive leadership of the group.
McGrath is Non-Executive Chairman of the board of Super-Brands Holdings.
He brings over 25 years of experience in growing successful businesses from start-ups to eventual listings on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), including MB Technologies, which today remains one the largest IT distribution companies in South Africa.
McGrath was the Managing Director of two public companies that he founded, and was also responsible for the introduction and establishment of many IT brands in South Africa including, Epson, Fujitsu, Samsung, HP /Compaq, Pastel Accounting and Seagate.
McGrath is well recognised across South Africa and was previously named as “One of South Africa’s Marketing Giants”. He is an entrepreneur at heart and his passion for growing brands is felt throughout the organization. He is a crucial source of counsel for the business and its strategic direction. He brings drive and enthusiasm to Super-Brands and is well respected as a seasoned professional in the development of brands and their distribution.
Cuan Chelin and Mike McGrath partner to form My Appliances and successfully manufacture the first LCD and Plasma Televisions on South African soil under the SONIC brand.
My Appliances grows its portfolio of brands to include to Pedrini kitchen utensils and Swiss Diamond cookware.
Netbet CC is formed and enters the interactive gaming industry, successfully acquiring a Bookmaker’s license and partners with Sportingbet PLC (Europe’s largest online sportsbook) to successfully launch GreatOdds.co.za
Dunslaz Distributors (Pty) Ltd, the exclusive distributor for Dunlop, Slazenger, Karrimor & other sporting goods is acquired and renamed to Super-Brands (Pty) Ltd and the Super-Brands Group is formed.
Super-Brands is appointed as the licensee for Canterbury South Africa after the previous licensee is placed into voluntary liquidation.
The Super-Brands Group divests of the My Appliances business and related appliance brands to focus on the sports and leisure markets.
Handicaps Network Africa is formed in a joint venture with the South African Golf Association as the official provider of handicaps.
GreatOdds.co.za is renamed to Sportingbet.co.za and Netbet is granted the exclusive license to the Sportingbet Brand in South Africa.
Super-Brands approaches first Sportsmans Warehouse and then Mr Price Sport in a bid to start negotiating the acquisition of a retail brand. These fall flat.
Peggity’s Toys is acquired which also includes the Toy Kingdom and Past Times stores as a strategic entry into the toy market.
Toys-Brands is developed as a division focused on distributing toy brands and acquires the rights to international brands including Paddington Bear, Hape Toys and others.
Super-Brands sells its Sports Brands business of Canterbury, Dunlop, Slazenger, Mizuno, Karrimor & Skins to a JSE listed group for an undisclosed amount.
Sportingbet pays out its R1billion in winnings to South Africans
Toy Kingdom expands further, embarking on its national rollout by opening its first store in Gauteng.
Cuan Chelin, with Mike McGrath as his investing partner, founded the business in 2006 with the aim of building the largest and most profitable premium consumer goods distribution business in South Africa.
The initial business model of the organisation was focused around Sonic, a value for money television brand. Through the import of premium components, then assembling the units locally and distributing to retailers, Sonic was able to establish a value/best-cost position in a polarised industry of flat panel televisions. The company then looked into growing its interests in the home appliance category creating My Appliances (Pty) Ltd and acquiring numerous complementary brands such as Swiss Diamond and Pedrini. However, the outright dominance of premium international brands such as Sony, Samsung and LG, accompanied with the defensive position of chain retailers protecting their own brands led to My Appliances having limited success in growing their electronic brands offering. The group then looked into alternative markets to grow its footprint in the premium goods market.
Super-Brands is formed
The group prides itself in the strengths that lie in their marketing expertise, lean distribution and financial stability. Given the brand iconic nature of the sports industry and the opportunities that presented themselves, the group made a strategic shift in 2008 to focus on the sports and leisure markets through an acquisition of Dunslaz Distributors (Pty) Ltd. This was accompanied with the launch of South Africa’s first focused online sportsbook, GreatOdds.co.za and in 2009 by being appointed as the Canterbury licensee, after the then existing license holders were voluntarily liquidated.
Chelin’s vision and leadership then led to the creation of Super-Brands, which he then transformed, into a leading group, specialising in the distribution and retailing of popular brands in South Africa and providing sport and leisure services. The Group continued to build on its successes launching Handicaps Network Africa (Pty) Ltd (a joint venture with the South African Golf Association) as the official provider of handicaps and then made a strategic entry into the toy market with the acquisition of Peggity’s Toys CC which also included the Toy Kingdom and Past Times retail stores.
Continuing to expand
In 2013 Toys-Brands was developed as a division focused on distributing toy brands after acquiring the rights to leading international brands including Paddington Bear, Hape Toys and others.
In 2014 the company sold its Sports Brands distribution business of Canterbury, Dunlop, Slazenger, Karrimor, Mizuno and Skins to a listed group. The group now continues to grow its Toy Kingdom, Sportingbet and Handicaps businesses whilst seeking out additional investment and startup opportunities.