Charl Jacobs Biography
Charl Jacobs was born in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa in 1977.
He commenced his schooling at Voortrekker Jnr School where it became prevalent that he had leadership qualities, being voted class captain by his peers. His love for sport started before school already and by the age of 7 Charl was part of three sporting codes, namely soccer, athletics, and rugby. Having played u10 rugby at the age of 7, he easily adapted when his parents moved with the family from his birth city to a small town in the Eastern Cape called King Williams Town.
Charl attended a small Afrikaans school in KWT called De Vos Malan, where he excelled academically, culturally and on the sporting field and was given the honour of having the Head Boy responsibility bestowed on him at the end of Grade 6.
“It was at this point that I had to make a decision that changed my life completely.”
Having an affinity for rugby, the opportunity presented itself for Charl to attend the prestigious Dale College Boys High school, one of South Africa’s top all boys’ schools.
“Having to give up the honour of being head boy to attend a school where they spoke a different language and knowing that I am going in as a “ nobody” was intimidating but yet rewarding once I found traction with my peers.”
Once again, academics and sports afforded him the opportunity to make friends and contribute to the school positively.
“I have always loved having a purpose.”
Having come from a small school, Charl took the opportunity to take full advantage of all the cultural and sporting codes Dale had to offer, participating in Drama, Squash, Golf, Cross Country, Athletics, Cricket and of course Rugby.
High school saw Charl grow from strength to strength. Having breached the language barrier in his first year he ended up in the top 5 achievers of his grades academically for the early part of his high school career. The later part of high school saw Charl ending up in a Hostel as his parents moved to Cape Town, where Charl and his family still reside today. Hostel life allowed Charl the opportunity to mentor and influence his peers and scholars from younger grades positively. He served as a prefect, was vice-president of the Junior Town Council and Chairman of the Interact Committee.
After school Charl attended various Tertiary Institutions including Cape Tech, UNISA, Damelin and UCT studying various Certificates, Diplomas and Degrees. These include Financial Information Systems, Business and Entrepreneurship, Accounting and LLB.
Charl serves on various boards today and has founded several companies that employ thousands of people in different industries.
His love for business was evident from a very young age. For his 5th birthday his parents built him a sandpit in which he planted vegetables and sold it to the neighbours.
At the age of 9 Charl was producing mixed tapes for people to use in their cars and at the age of 12 started a DJ’ing business that saw several DJs working for him playing at functions in and around town.
Moving to the hostel certainly did not deter him from being innovative within his business strategy. Charl opened a tuck-shop and a hairdresser in the hostel and after successfully creating a need for it, sold the businesses to the next generation.
Whilst completing tertiary studies Charl worked as a waiter and as a rugby coach at several high schools in Cape Town.
“I still contribute a lot of my leadership development to my coaching career. I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to use rugby as a tool to sharpen my management skills.
I literally knew everything about rugby, so it probably hid some of my management flaws very well.”
Having founded the Phangela Group in 2000, Charl continued his coaching career and ended up coaching several provincial teams and club teams in Cape Town.
Phangela started out as a labour broking and a recruitment company focusing on the security industry. Having split himself in 2 for about 8 years Charl made the decision in 2008 to focus on business only. He grew the company from 150 staff members in 2008 to 5000 staff members in 2018.
Self-funded and with no investors Charl has since 2015 opened several other companies namely Quan Holdings, Zithande and Siyayenza. His love for sport is still on the forefront of his investment in young lives, having several bursary funds that give the youth a platform to succeed from.
There is no doubt that Charl’s business aptitude will see several other companies launch into the stratosphere. Charl’s personality is best described as a disciplined, goal orientated person who has a heart of gold. He very seldom talks about it but his involvement in charities and good causes has seen him become one of South Africa’s most generous business personalities.
Having done several personality indicators tests and aptitude tests throughout his career, Charl is described as the perfect Chief Executive Officer with a keen attachment and love for marketing, company culture and with an everyday endeavour of improving yesterday’s outcomes.
“ I purposefully challenge myself to think differently and when I am presented with a good idea, may it be from myself or others, I challenge myself not to like it before I take it to market.”
As a member of YPO, Charl wants to be known as a businessman who is less motivated by the coin and more motivated by the Quan, an all-encompassing love for success.