Tiaan Geel heads the Vitalis Group as its MD and oversees the Group’s strategy. He started his career in the business turnaround space as a result of what his father experienced. When he turned 14, his father’s first big solo venture went through a liquidation after operating for only 18 months. This experience had a profound impact on him and how he saw the business world.
The experience ignited his passion for understanding the inner workings of the business world and consequently drove his need to understand how organisations operate. Tiaan learnt the rules of entrepreneurship from his father and grandfather and remembers their favourite saying:
“You need to understand what money is and how it works, only then can you build”
Tiaan first wanted to become a chemical engineer after attending an engineering week at the University of Stellenbosch. His father had other ideas of what the future had in store and enrolled him for an Accounting degree at the then UPE, now known as the Nelson Mandela University. Although he was not too happy about the decision, Tiaan soon realised that the world of finances intrigued him a lot.
Tiaan’s journey in the financial sector took him on a path to finish his M.B.A. at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. Here the subject of Entrepreneurship most of all sparked his interest in the knowledge of growing a venture from humble beginnings to a large corporate.
He realised early on in order to grow a business successfully, you have to get the right people on your team.
Tiaan quickly identified the need for a comprehensive business-services offering. Over the course of almost 2 years, he approached many entrepreneurs with his concept of a comprehensive business offering. He wanted to expand the VITALIS brand and build service businesses with like-minded partners.
Many entrepreneurs were asked to join the idea of building something bigger. Unfortunately, very few entrepreneurs were actually interested in sharing resources and skills to build a bigger business. Finally, in early 2017, Tiaan found the right partners for the businesses, and so the group grew.
Tiaan has been assisting businesses to devise and implement turnaround strategies and improve their operations since 2009. Tiaan is a 3rd generation entrepreneur whose father and grandfather both started businesses from scratch. They were both successful entrepreneurs and small business owners. Tiaan helped them in their businesses since the age of 12, counting stock and serving walk-in customers. In later years, this grew into discussions about various topics such as business strategy.
Areas of Interest
- Business Strategy
- Turnaround Best Practices
- Business Rescue
- B.Com (Rationum) Law
- Certificate in Business Rescue Practice
- Business Accountant (SA) (SAIBA)
- Professional Turnaround Practitioner (TMA-SA)
Group Company Responsibility
- Vitalis Holdings
- Vitalis Consulting