With more than four decades of experience in marketing, Basil O’Hagan is one of South Africa’s leading marketing authorities. His specialty is building sales through strategic and neighbourhood marketing and customer service. He has worked in the corporate sector as an entrepreneur and as CEO of a listed company
After obtaining a B.Com degree at the University of Cape Town, Basil O’Hagan began his journey in marketing as a Brand Manager for Brook Bond Oxo, a Unilever subsidiary. He worked his way up to Regional Sales Manager, acquiring invaluable sales knowledge along the way, and ultimately becoming National Marketing Manager. In 1980, he was appointed Marketing Director of Royal Beechnut for South Africa.
In 1982 Basil launched his entrepreneurial career as a sales promotion’s specialist, developing more than 2 000 promotional campaigns over a ten-year period. His company, Basil O’Hagan & Associates grew to become the largest sales-promotions agency in South Africa by the early Nineties.
In 1993 he started the O’Hagan’s Irish Pub & Grill chain, which ultimately became one of the largest themed Irish pub and grill chains in the world. Basil won numerous accolades during the late Nineties.
Unfortunately, due to interest rates reaching 24% in 1998, as well as stock market crashes, O’Hagan’s suffered a fatal cash flow blow, resulting in the liquidation of the company. Basil came to accept that financial management errors were to blame for the company experiencing financial difficulties and he realized that he was the one who had to take responsibility and accountability for the fall. However, it was neighbourhood marketing and customer service that had made them successful in the first place. Basil went on to establish a new restaurant & pub franchise, The Brazen Head. It grew to become another much-loved South African brand. Basil remained at the helm until he sold the operation in December 2013.
Basil is a survivor, and coupled with a streetwise, “hands-on, in-the-trenches” approach gives him exceptional credibility as one of the most well-respected and sought-after neighbourhood marketing specialists in South Africa.
He has worked in the trenches as a store owner as well as in corporate boardrooms as CEO of a public company. He has worked shoulder-to-shoulder with owners and operators in many industries throughout South Africa and internationally.
Most companies today need a new pair of marketing eyeglasses. Many failed businesses would still be in business today had their owners recognized the power of their neighbourhoods. Unfortunately, they wasted time, and energy trying to lure consumers from far away rather than mining the rich potential in their own back yards. Basil O’Hagan offers a prescription that will renew your eyesight so you can see the unlimited power in the neighbourhood just beyond your door!