LEAD: Top 35-under-35: 2017 FINALISTS

Beyond phenomenal These are the game-changers, the out of the ordinary under 35 CAs(SA) for 2017

Kubendren Pillay (32), CFO at TB/HIV Care Association

Describe yourself in a few words. I can see the bigger picture and like to understand how things work.

Your favourite hobby? I loved playing action cricket (which I haven’t done in a while!).

The greatest lesson learnt in your life? Empathy is a key component for creating harmony.

Your secret key to success? Think things through and simplify.

Which mantra do you live by? The golden rule: treat others like you want to be treated.

The best advice you would give someone leaving Grade 12? Don’t stagnate; keep pushing yourself to the next level.

Your favourite gadget? The X-Box.

 

Surene Beagly (32), Management Accountant at Kheth’Impilo Aids Free Living

Describe yourself in a few words. Enthusiastic, caring, determined.

Something most people don’t know about you? I studied speech therapy for a year before I changed courses to B Accounting.

The greatest lesson learnt in your life? Always consider a situation from the point of view of all parties involved.

Your favourite holiday destination and why? I grew up in Namibia and every time I go back I realise that there is something incredibly special about the vast open spaces, the gentle pace of life, and the generosity of the Namibians.

Something you can’t live without? My Kindle.

Your favourite gadget? My Nespresso machine!

 

Monique Keevy (35), Senior Lecturer at University of Johannesburg

Describe yourself in a few words. I am organised, balanced, strong-willed, conscientious, honest and meticulous.

Your favourite hobby? Hiking.  My husband and I were fortunate to recently have hiked to the summit of Mount Fuji in Japan.

Something most people don’t know about you? I am a closet- case musical watcher. I have loved musicals since I was a little girl and some of the songs still manage to help me with the monotony of the day – like getting medicine into the kids while singing ‘a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine goes down’.

The greatest lesson learnt in your life? Be yourself and be humble. ‘Pride comes before the fall.’

Your secret key to success? Having God in my life. I cannot do it alone.

 

Robin Herselman (34), Group Finance Director at International Facilities Services (IFS)

Describe yourself in a few words. I’m a relater, someone who likes to build deep relationships with a trusted group of people. An active person that enjoy sports, particularly ones that get the adrenalin going and heart racing.

Your favourite hobby? Kite surfing, mountain biking and surf ski paddling.

The greatest lesson learnt in your life? A great cliché: ‘people are the greatest asset’. Very little can be achieved on your own, which makes it fundamentally important to surround yourself with great people and to look after them. Leadership comes with the responsibility of making decisions with a realisation of how it will affect those around you.

Which mantra do you live by? It all works out in the end. If it hasn’t worked out, it isn’t the end.

 

Michele Tagliatti (29), Financial Manager at Liquid Telecommunications South Africa (Pty) Ltd

Describe yourself in a few words. I’m a hardworking, goal-oriented person with inward focus. I work hard / play hard and as such, balance between work, sport and family is an important aspect of my life.

Your favourite hobby? Playing sports. I play competitive hockey, squash, archery and indoor cricket.

Something most people don’t know about you? I enjoy collecting snow globes from countries I travel to. Your secret key to success? Work hard and build relationships with people. Be decisive and be ethical in all decisions you make.

Something you can’t live without? My miniature toy Pomeranian, Monty.

Karen Odendaal (33), Head of Department: Accountancy Studies at Monash South Africa

Describe yourself in a few words. I am a family-oriented person, highly motivated and always striving to be the best I can be and achieving the best possible results in every aspect of my life.

Your favourite hobby? Playing squash; it’s my absolute favourite!

Something most people don’t know about you? We live on a farm in the Cradle of Humankind and have an ancestral village located on our property. Also, I am the proud owner of seven rescue dogs and a talkative African Grey parrot that says ‘Ons gaan nou braai …  Pappegaai-braai.’

Which mantra do you live by? Whatever you do, do it with all your heart.

 

Husain Coovadia (30), Senior Lecturer at University of Johannesburg

Describe yourself in a few words. I am innovative and push boundaries.

Your favourite hobby? Travelling and experiencing  new cultures.

Something most people don’t know about you? I have played tennis from the age of four.

The greatest lesson learnt in your life? There are always key moments in life that present opportunities. Do not be afraid to own those opportunities.

The mantra you live by? Learning never stops.

The best advice you would give someone leaving Grade 12? You flourish as an individual when you are out of your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid of these moments; rather embrace them.

Your favourite holiday destination and why? Kota Kinabalu inMalaysia. The marine life is amazing.

 

Clifford Mack (33), Head of Strategic Projects at Nedbank Insurance

Describe yourself in a few words. I don’t easily back down and in everything that I do I have a positive outlook that what I seek to do will succeed.

Your favourite hobby? Hard to choose! I do cycle and read a lot …

Something most people don’t know about you? I am a surviving sibling of three. I carry my two late sisters in my heart: this makes me appreciate the life I have today and try to do more.

 

The greatest lesson learnt in your life? Don’t forget to notice the value and personal growth the people in your circle of family/friends/colleagues have gone through in their lives and realise that they have stepped up a level in whatever they are doing.

Your secret key to success? I wake up at 4 am and plan to get focused on the day’s priorities.

 

Dawie Swarts (28), Group Financial Reporting Manager at Growthpoint Properties Limited

Your favourite hobby? My PwC secondment to Chicago ignited my love for travelling and I have been planning the next holiday ever since. I have visited over 30 countries – next up is a yacht week in Croatia.

Something most people don’t know about you? I am an avid wine collector and also I collect investment art.

Your secret key to success? Stay humble and true to yourself. Treat everybody from the tea lady to the CEO with the same amount of respect.

The mantra you live by? ‘You have to accept whatever comes your way and the only important thing is that you meet it with the best you have to give. Nothing more, nothing less.’

 

Julian Palliam (33), Administrative Managing Director (AMD) at Metso South Africa

Describe yourself in a few words. Tall, dark and handsome… no seriously  –  I would say fun, smart, hardworking and with just the right amount of stubbornness.

Your favourite hobby? Volleyball. Indoor or beach, it’s amazing.

The greatest lesson learnt in your life? It does not matter what others think of you, what does matter is what you think of yourself – be humble and always remember to count your blessings.

The best advice you would give someone leaving Grade 12? Be patient with yourself and believe in yourself and your abilities. Your hard work will pay off.

Something you can’t live without? My family. They are my smile in the morning, my strength through the day, and my peace at night.

 

Janice Sambaza (34), Senior Associate – Industrials at Musa Group

Describe yourself in a few words. I am God-fearing with a passion for life, people, innovation, continuous development and entrepreneurship.

Something most people don’t know about you? I own a wedding gown business in Zimbabwe.

The greatest lesson learnt in your life? With perseverance and determination, you can conquer all.

Your secret key to success? Then it won’t be a secret –? I believe I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.

The best advice you would give someone leaving Grade 12? Be true to yourself. Select a qualification that represents who you are and what you are passionate about.

What is your favourite holiday destination and why? Engelberg, Switzerland. The simplicity and natural beauty of the village, breath-taking views, and warmness of the locals.

 

Averen Deonanan (35), Head of Finance at Allen & Overy (South Africa) LLP

Describe yourself in a few words. I am a driven, ambitious and dedicated individual who is passionate in all that I do. As a person, I am sociable and love sport, the outdoors and spending time with my family.

Something most people don’t know about you? I come from humble beginnings.

The greatest lesson learnt in your life? Change is certain. Embrace it and let it be the source of your growth.

Your secret key to success? Create value in all that you do and you will always be invaluable to your team and organisation.

Your favourite holiday destination and why? Thailand. Who can resist a good massage and a delicious Nutella pancake?

 

Damian Judge (34), Financial Director at Kaymac Pty Ltd t/a Kaytech

Describe yourself in a few words. I am a passionate, young, yet experienced executive who aims to continuously add value.

Your favourite hobby? Road running and golf.

The greatest lesson learnt in your life? No matter the challenge, with the right support you can accomplish anything you put your mind to.

Your secret key to success? Energy and focus – we all have potential but without focus and adding energy to that focus very little can be achieved.

The mantra you live by? Keep adding value in everything you do.

Favourite holiday destination and why? Game reserves in general. Being in the wild is a great way to recharge your battery and escape from the general stress of life.

 

Darren Lang (28), Director at Excel Academy

Describe yourself in a few words. Peak performer; decisive; solution driven. I work smart, not hard. I maintain strong values at all times.

Your favourite hobby? Triathlon – swimming, cycling, running.

Something most people don’t know about you? I have a bowl or two of chocolate cereal most nights before bedtime. I can’t wait for breakfast.

The greatest lesson learnt in your life? Being a good person with good values and morals should be entrenched in a human being’s blueprint, which one must be sure to always live by. Also, add value to people’s lives and the money will follow. In other words, don’t chase the money.

Your secret key to success? Primarily my wife. Also, sensible time management, working with a powerhouse team and asking lots of questions.

 

Vangelis Kyriazis (27), Co-founder of Syft Analytics

Describe yourself in a few words. I am passionate for enabling small businesses to succeed.

Your favourite hobby? Touch rugby.

Your secret key to success? Hard work and surrounding myself with good people.

The mantra you live by? No one ever injured their eyesight by looking on the bright side.

The best advice you would give someone leaving Grade 12? Never give up and get as much small business exposure as possible.

Your favourite holiday destination and why? Samos Island, Greece. Good weather and good food.

Something you can’t live without? My Macbook Pro.

Your favourite gadget? Nutribullet.

 

Shivani Ramdhani (33), General Manager: Group Finance and Group Investor Relations at AfroCentric Group

Describe yourself in a few words. I am an extremely friendly optimist who believes in living life to the fullest.

Your favourite hobby? Baking delicious treats for my family. I recently started to learn the game of golf.

Something most people don’t know about you? I had a very humble upbringing and was raised by my mum after my dad passed away when I was just 5 years old. The journey was difficult, but I look back on those days with fond memories as it has moulded me into who I am today.

 

James Wilkinson (33), Group General Manager: Business Improvement at Distell Group Limited

Describe yourself in a few words. I am very self-determined – both in my personal life and at work. I am tough on myself, and those that I work with, about being outcomes and results oriented  –  you  may call it competitive, I guess.

The greatest lesson learnt in your life? Your parents are probably right most of the time.

Your secret key to success? I don’t think there is necessarily a secret key to success – I don’t even think I have a good definition of it for myself yet.

The mantra you live by? All good is hard. All evil is easy. Dying, losing, cheating and mediocrity are easy. Stay away from easy (Scott Alexander).

 

Logamal Ramiah (33), CFO at Netsurit

Describe yourself in a few words. I am a fun-loving, energetic woman with a strong sense of purpose.

Your favourite hobby? Cooking and gardening.

Something most people don’t know about you? I love to try something new – last year I did bungee jumping between trees (I screamed so loud that my team got extra points).

The greatest lesson learnt in your life? Fail fast and move forward.

Your secret key to success? My perfectionism and determination to never give up.

The mantra you live by? Don’t tell me it cannot be done – because I will.

Favourite holiday destination and why? Mauritius – I got married on the island.

 

 

 

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