Featured OldRed - Josh Meltz

14 May 2018

Josh Meltz now 1When Josh Meltz matriculated from Redhill in 2009, “gap year” was on his mind. Turned out to be no ordinary gap year, though, as Josh used his time to educate visitors to Zambia. “It was time well spent, taking guests fishing and at the same time creating awareness about the richness of Africa and the mighty Zambezi,” he says, adding with the help of Josh’s dad Jackie Meltz, founder of MELTZ factory stores, the two young entrepreneurs decided there was a gap in sunny South Africa for methat it was a “very busy” seven months.

Josh achieved five distinctions for matric and went on to study economics and sociology, gaining a Master of Arts in Welfare Economics from the University of Edinburgh. During his studies, he successfully started and sold his first business and, together with friend Adam Duxbury, started “Granadilla Swim” - named for the iconic ice-cream vendors on Clifton 4th Beach who sell “a granadilla lolly to make you jolly!”

The two young entrepreneurs decided there was a gap in sunny South Africa for men's shorts – and a need to assist other entrepreneurs by donating 5% of profits to organisations involved in Social Entrepreneurism and enabling more people to become entrepreneurs.

Soon, the online store Superbalist took on the range of shorts and success followed their hard work. But what really drives Josh is his definition of success, one encouraged by the ethos of Redhill: “Success is about figuring out what makes me happy daily and what is going to make me happy in the long term. It involves my business and financial growth, but also my relationships and the way I conduct myself in my environment.”

As co-founder and CEO of  Granadilla Swim - the core of which is to “manufacture the best pair of swimwear shorts that you have ever seen with limited edition prints”  Many have watched Josh’s steady rise to business success and spoken of his greatness – which he sees in his own special way.  “To me, greatness warrants introspection and requires an acute understanding of one’s own relevance in the bigger picture,” he says. “It requires humility, too - greatness is about encouraging others to be good at what they do.”

 

It is this kind of thinking that Redhill instils into students – knowing what is important and understanding their own impact on the world around them. Josh says his honours degree in Economics from Edinburgh is a “big highlight” in his life and was probably the first achievement he had to work hard to attain. “But I am most proud of my relationships in life.”

A young man who follows through on his ideas, Josh has seen others with equally brilliant ideas stumble in business due to lack of confidence and ascribes his own success to having confidence in both his ideas and his ability to do the work necessary to realise success. “I’ve never doubted that I would finish what I start, so when I have an idea, I take action.”

Importantly, he urges young entrepreneurs not to give up if their first attempt is a failure. “You roll with the punches and often things work out entirely differently from the process you’d imagined –perseverance is vital.”

While some see “shorts and success”, Josh’s real passion is entrepreneurism. “I’m directed by happiness and the opportunity that being an entrepreneur gives me to work as many hours in a day required to be happy. I believe in working smart and focusing on what needs to be done, setting goals and rewarding myself with days off when I reach them.”

With Gandhi’s “Be the change you want to see in the world” a favourite guiding principle of his, Josh advises entrepreneurs not to over-think things, but to focus on achieving goals and not on failure.

Now planning to roll the brand out globally within the next 10 years, Josh and Adam have, at the core of Granadilla Swim, a strong desire to make a meaningful contribution to empowering South Africans. Says Josh: “I would like to put South Africa on the global map by creating products that can not only compete with but exceed their international competition.”

With a father who taught him to act without ego, Josh’s desire is heart-felt: His palpable love of South Africa and its people makes him keep striving for excellence that he can pass on to others.

It is this trait that makes Redhill particularly proud of Josh and the many other Alumni who make their mark on the world with competence, courage and compassion.

Josh Meltz then

Josh Meltz - Class of 2009

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