“Businesses fail through incorrect planning!” – Tips from Bathobile Chime, Divisional Director at Cushman and Wakefield: BROLL

“Businesses fail through incorrect planning!” - Tips from Bathobile Chime, Divisional Director at Cushman and Wakefield: BROLL

Written by Staff Writer

Aug 10, 2021

By Charndré Emma Kippie


MBA and RICS Candidate, Bathobile Chime, hails from Johannesburg, and is the Divisional Director at Cushman and Wakefield: BROLL. BROLL is the Affiliate Partner of Cushman & Wakefield in South Africa and across Sub-Saharan Africa. Cushman & Wakefield | BROLL (CW | BROLL) provides strategic advisory and occupier services through an incontestable integrated platform covering the entire sub-Saharan Africa region.

The partnership combines Broll’s well-established operations and market-leading track record of Occupier Services across Africa with Cushman & Wakefield’s global reach. This symbiotic relationship optimizes Broll’s expansive knowledge of the African markets with the weight and expertise of a global player. Their combined service offering covers end-to-end corporate real estate solutions for businesses across all sectors, including advisory and transactions, workplace consulting, project management, estate management, data management, technology and finance, as well as treasury services.

Taking on this role – a woman in leadership – Bathobile Chime is a guru in the real estate industry, understanding the ins and outs of property and real estate solutions, and working with leading private and public sector clients. 



What got you into the field you’re currently in?

I was in a queue at Wits to deregister from Actuarial Science half way through my first year and had no idea what I was going to study next. I asked a girl behind me (who later became a good friend) what she was in the queue for and she mentioned she was deregistering from her architectural degree and signing up for Property Studies. I had never heard of the degree until that day, and I thought to myself, why not, let’s see where this goes and I haven’t looked back since. 


What excites you the most about your role?

Two days never look the same. We work with a myriad of private and public sector clients and so the challenges and nuances of those businesses changes the outlook of my days. It is both challenging and fulfilling, 


In what ways do you think your organisation/business is enhancing the South African economy?

Most South African businesses have some level of requirement for real estate. At Broll, we provide extensive experience and capabilities in transforming, managing and restructuring property portfolios for both public and private sector clients. Through property advisory services and better management, we help businesses focus on their core activities so that their portfolios are fit for purpose and achieve the best value possible.


Do you think your field is diverse in terms of gender equality? 

In more recent years we have seen more and more women enter and participate more meaningfully in the property sector, but unfortunately empowerment of women in this sector has lagged behind. In a recent webinar hosted & facilitated by Nonhlanhla MayiselaWPN National Chair & CEO, Izandla Property Fund, the state of gender diversity in the listed real estate sector was discussed highlighting the challenges and gaps in the sector, we still have a long way to go to achieving diversity in this sector.


What are your top 3 tips for ensuring the success of women in your field?
  • Mentorship by bigger businesses and funding institutions
  • Access to funding
  • Business opportunities for SMME’s to execute work and build portfolios 


What have been some major obstacles in your career, as a woman, and how did you overcome them?

I feel like I’m on a permanent quest for the elusive work-life balance. With a family of 5 the facility to work remotely has opened up new opportunities for balance and I certainly am making the most of this opportunity. There is still a lot of learning and support required to facilitate this balancing act and I hope to tell you soon that I’ve overcome it, for now, I’m taking it one day at a time. 


What are your goals for the future?

For now, my plan is to finish my MBA. I’ve had a few personal barriers to finishing and mentally I’m now ready to get this one in the bag and complete it.


What important/life-changing books have you read?
  • The Art of War by Sun Tzu
  • The First 90 Days by Michael Watkins
  • Connecting the Dots – John Chambers


What advice do you have for young women entrepreneurs who aspire to work in your field?

Being an entrepreneur is challenging, and being a woman entrepreneur adds another layer of complexity due to the additional roles a woman needs to play. So, my advice is to PLAN, PLAN, PLAN!  It is so important to plan throughout your business journey. So many new businesses fail through incorrect planning or no planning at all. If you have no experience, that’s okay.  Go and learn or find people that are more skilled than you to guide you.



*For more, check out our bumper 16th edition of the Standard Bank Top Women Leaders publication on Issuu – Digital Publishing Platform – here

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