How a self-taught hotelier proved the naysayers wrong

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When Adri Kruger’s husband was diagnosed with cancer four years ago, she was forced to consider what many entrepreneurs give little thought to – a succession plan.

“It became very difficult for me to give my full attention to the business, because my husband needed me more. I didn’t have a contingency plan for what would happen to my business if something were to happen to me,” recalls Kruger, the founder of Tzaneen Country Lodge, a four-star hotel situated in South Africa’s northern Limpopo Province.

Kruger later appointed Lorraine Ntimana – who joined the lodge as a receptionist about 10 years ago – as the general manager.

“When we started the hotel, I was over-protective and was trying to be involved in every little detail. I spent more time at the hotel than at home. I was the first one at the hotel in the morning at 6am and leaving as and when the last guest will go to bed, which was sometimes, especially with weddings, at 2am.

“Now I am slowing down. I let my general manager handle things basically. I know that I am getting better, especially having a team that was handpicked and trained by myself, but I am still very much involved in everyday business and looking out for my guests and staff morale.”

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