Carl Bates is a global entrepreneur, speaker, author, mentor and director. Currently based in South Africa, he is a dynamic entrepreneur from New Zealand who guides small to medium businesses to achieve Extreme Business Success

He is passionate about empowering business owners to break through the barriers that confine them to a life of long hours, hard work and little reward. Growing up in a family of entrepreneurs has inspired and enabled Carl to transform the attitudes and practices of business owners around the world. He challenges them to create a business legacy they can be proud of and supports them to see the potential and the possibilities for their own business. Carl is always focused on ensuring areas of growth are identified and shareholder value is maximised.

Considered an international expert on the education and implementation of enterprise governance in small and medium businesses and privately-held companies, Carl is a sought after keynote speaker and strategic advisor for a variety of organisations and companies. Carl has conducted seminars for diverse audiences, from MBA students and university graduates to industry associations and chambers of commerce. He has also spoken globally at many conferences and business expos.

Carl graduated with a Bachelor Business Studies First Class Honours Degree (Accountancy) and a Graduate Diploma in Business Studies (Finance) from Massey University, New Zealand. He was named a Massey Alumni and a Freemason Scholar and was awarded the Allan Gibson and New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants Wanganui Branch Scholarships. Carl is also a member of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Carl's inherent commercial nouse enables him to inform and empower fellow business owners.

While his depth of understanding and insight leaves his audiences inspired and motivated to climb to new heights. Widely travelled, and with a huge variety of interesting life experiences, his array of anecdotes adds to his colourful ability to share knowledge and provide value.

“Carl is an excellent presenter and clearly gets the message across. He pulls no punches and gives great examples.”

Tim DeGroot, Director, Baseline Training & Consulting, Brisbane, Australia

International Speaker

As a globally recognised speaker, Carl’s speaking tours have taken him throughout New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and the United Kingdom. Carl’s entertaining style, vast business, personal and family experiences and knowledge enable him to captivate attention while delivering a powerful message.

He challenges his audiences to shift their thinking, increase their vision and take their businesses to the next level. Speaking with authority and from his areas of expertise, Carl both delivers from his repertoire and tailors speeches for the requirements of a specific audience. His unique combination of business nous, a direct approach and thought provoking insights always make for a memorable and business changing experience.

Conferences, workshops, industry associations, public lectures and events Carl has spoken at include:

- a University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business Alumni function
- United States of America Consulate business event
- Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal
- The Association of Service Professionals – Western Cape Conference
- Pharmex (Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand Trade Show & Seminar)
- Insitute of Directors of Southern Africa events
- The BIG Entrepreneur Seminar
- the Activate Program - Grow Wellington
- numerous chamber of commerce functions

"Reluctantly I accepted an invite to listen to a Kiwi speaking, and boy was I surprised! Carl impressed me with his insights into entrepreneurship and business leadership. He conveyed his message in an easily digestible, humorous and understandable manner - very much unlike their rugby skills..."

Dawie Roodt, Chief Economist, Efficient Group, South Africa


The groundbreaking game rules and insights contained in Carl's book have inspired thousands of business owners to embark on the journey towards Extreme Business Success

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"In the end I was won over by Bates’s business philosophy. For business owners, it’s a worthwhile and quick read that could change the way they think about their businesses and how they operate them." Read the full review.

Trevor Neethling, Business Day, South Africa

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“I should have read Carl Bates’ book Traversing the Avalanche before starting out in business. It would have saved me from making so many silly missteps and badly flawed assumptions. You can’t make a success of business by reading a manual on the subject, but you can avoid major pitfalls. Carl Bates helps you skirt them. Read the book... and take a few notes while you’re at it.”

Reg Lascaris, Co-founder TBWA Hunt Lascaris & author of 'Lessons From the Boot of a Car'

“Traversing the Avalanche is a practical guide that should be of great assistance to the shareholders and directors of SMEs and private companies to understand their respective roles.”

Professor Mervyn King SC


Carl's extensive experience leading a variety of different businesses and industries, as well as his global perspective makes him the ultimate business mentor!

Carl is the first to admit his failures, or 'learning cycles' as he calls them, and it is through these experiences that you are empowered not to make the same mistakes and ultimately achieve extreme business success faster.

As a mentor, Carl is known for his unique ability to slice through the noise and focus attention on the underlying issues. His questions and insights enable those he mentors to address the key problems and identify solutions that facilitate real change. Carl's guidance results in the removal of the fears that can paralyse a business' leader and the unlocking of real business value.

Given Carl's full schedule, travel and various company board meetings and speaking engagements he only mentors a maximum of ten entrepreneurs, chief executives or managing directors at any one time!

Carl also does not just work with anyone, he selects individuals who are clear on the fact that they want to succeed in business and have the energy, motivation and drive required to succeed.

"Carl sees things from a different angle. It is refreshing and helpful for my business and me. I enjoy the time that I spend with him as my mentor because it gives me the focus I need to plough through and achieve maximum success as an individual and as a director in my business."

Sean Levy, Managing Director, Personalised Image Printers, Johannesburg, South Africa


Carl’s ability as a company chairman has been demonstrated in numerous roles. He has particular interest in companies that have a group structure and are in rapid growth or turn-around phase.

Carl is an experienced independent director and chairman with great insight into the operation of companies and how they can create long-term value for stakeholders, clients and shareholders. He is a strategic thinker and astute businessman, with a strong understanding for the numbers. Having been appointed as a director for the first time at the age of 18, Carl has over thirteen years of practical governance experience.

He was first appointed as a director of the Brightwater Centre, a specialised aged-care facility in Palmerston North, New Zealand in 2001. Two years later he was appointed as a director of the Arena Manawatu, New Zealand’s largest multi-stadia complex, also becoming chairman of the finance and audit committee. After his appointment as a council member of the Universal College of Learning (UCOL) in 2003, Carl has not looked back. Since this time he has been a chairman and director of various other private companies.

Watching the growth of management teams, experiencing the success of the companies in which he is involved, and providing critical guidance through challenging business circumstances drives and motivates Carl to excel in his governance responsibilities.

Sirdar Global Group (and subsidiaries) as an Executive Director

Blue Jandal Properties Limited (and subsidiaries) as an Executive Director

Deltamune (Pty) Limited as the Independent Chairman

Status Staffing Solutions (Pty) Limited as an Independent Chairman

Corruseal Group (Pty) Limited as an Independent Director

"As a director and chairman, Carl brings his extensive personal experience and unique energy to the board. He does not shy away from challenging management and other directors, while setting an example of how to navigate difficult discussions in order to achieve a positive outcome. Carl's stewardship of a structured governance process has raised the level of our board discussions and translated directly into the creation of long-term value for shareholders."

Richard Franklin, Director, Halls Investments, Johannesburg, South Africa

Get in touch!

If you would like to book Carl for your event, or have would like to get in touch for any reason, please use the form below.