While SABC’s popular soap opera, ‘Generations’, has a long history, having been on screen since 1994, that pales in comparison with the generations involved in Christensen Tools. John Christensen says he was practically born into the company, which his grandfather began some 50 years ago. “I am a third generation member of this family business, which supplies quality tools and toolkits to customers, primarily electronics technicians. We supply to professional people that need to use our tools daily in their work. There has been something of a shift towards more repairs and maintenance for electronic items, and our customers know that our longevity in the market will give them peace of mind,” says John. He suggests that his grandfather saw a gap in the South African market when electronics manufacturing was in its infancy, and he found agencies overseas and began importing and distributing tools. “I came into the business after school and obtained what I call a ‘poor man’s MBA’. Working under the guidance of my grandfather, by living and breathing the business in practice – and we all know that life lessons learnt are immeasurably useful.” Asked how he plans to improve a business with this level of staying power, John says that he firstly want to boost the company’s BEE status to Level 1, by finding the right kind of investor. “Other than that, I would like to see the business grow from strength to strength, and one way of doing this would be to become part of a larger, listed company, so that is something also worth considering,” he concludes.