Picture: Vijay Morarjee
Picture: Vijay Morarjee

What’s your one top tip for doing a deal?

It is essential to balance expectations and your ability to deliver as agreed.

What was your first job?

My first paying job was during high school. I worked as a night-shift casual worker over the school holidays for Republican Press, inserting the leaflets and special offer merchandise into magazines.

How much was your first pay cheque, and how did you spend it?

I honestly cannot recall. The week’s wages were handed to us in brown envelopes — this was in the 1980s — and I gave it to my mom for safekeeping.

What is the one thing you wish somebody had told you when you were starting out?

If you take feedback personally, you might lose the lesson in the emotional cloud.

What’s the most interesting thing about you that people don’t know?

I worked night shifts as an armed response controller in a security company while at university.

What’s the one investment you wish you had made, or made earlier?

I wish I had made a much earlier, more disciplined start in saving for retirement. At a certain age you have the uncomfortable view looking back and wishing you could have made some different choices.

What is something you would go back and tell your younger self?

Two things spring to mind: honour your parents and the elderly. Time with them is so precious; you only realise this when you are much older, and sometimes you have lost the privilege of having them around. Also, never make someone feel like less than the person they were before having the conversation with you.

What is the hardest life lesson you’ve learnt?

Looking after one’s health and spending time with loved ones are not negotiable but so easily overlooked.

Was there ever a point at which you wanted to trade it all in for a different career? And if so, what would that career be?

Yes, there was — I really wanted to be a teacher. I guess it was driven by the gratitude I felt to the committed teachers who played a role in my journey and an inexplicable level of fulfilment in being part of someone’s growth.

If you were President Cyril Ramaphosa, what would you change, or do, tomorrow?

I would embrace public and private sector partnerships. Our future depends on harmonising these partnerships.


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