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Gavin Watson

Founder and CEO, BOSASA Group

“Gavin Watson leads by example. Accessible and passionate about people development, especially that of women and previously disadvantaged individuals, he builds teams and mentors all staff. WATSonline, his personal communication channel, inspires employees to set goals, pursue personal and spiritual growth and advance their careers.”


Gavin Watson is the founder and pioneer of the BOSASA Group of Companies, which he heads as Group Chief Executive Officer.

Steering BOSASA from inception, he transformed it into a world-class force with characteristic innovation and entrepreneurship. Watson’s strategic vision delivers continued growth and profit through full facilities management and integrated information technology solutions for clients.

Gavin Watson leads by example. Accessible and passionate about people development, especially that of women and previously disadvantaged individuals, he builds teams and mentors all staff. WATSonline, his personal communication channel, inspires employees to set goals, pursue personal and spiritual growth and advance their careers.

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The commitment to equality, which prompted Watson and his brothers in 1988 to join KWARU, a “black” rugby team and an illegal action at the time, still informs his business philosophy. He insists on social justice and empowerment in all BOSASA operations. Every venture must serve the country’s interests and be socio-economically sustainable. In 2015, he was honored with the Trailblazer of the Year award for paving the way for transformation and empowerment in business and society at the Primestars Step Up 2 A Start Up Entrepreneurship award ceremony, which celebrated achievements by entrepreneurial youth.

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Watson’s convictions have made BOSASA Group one of the few South African companies whose staff complement and operations demonstrate true Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment throughout the group. His commitment to skills development, education and training gave birth to WATSON Corporate Academy where employees enjoy regular upskilling and professional development.

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Watson has mastered identifying profitable and multi-dimensional economic opportunities that fit the group’s strategic vision and ethos. Having nurtured teams into profitable companies through the intricacies of a transforming South African economy, he thrives on ventures with high barriers to entry. Specialising in integrated knowledge management systems, BOSASA consistently provides service excellence.

Watson’s unique background and track record equip him to mediate between government, local and international organisations and businesses. Familiar with the leadership, dynamics and operations of both the private and public sectors, he commands respect for translating visionary innovation into both profitable and ethical business practices.

Gavin Watson embraces every challenge to develop new solutions for clients and sectors. His patriotism infuses BOSASA’s social responsibility projects. No wonder that many who work with him and under him call him Nkokheli (leader) or Tata (father).