BACKSTORY: Vijay Jainundh
We question head of Paragon Debt Advisory Vijay Jainundh
What’s your one top tip for doing a deal?
Establish trust with your client, do some background work, show that you care and are intimate with all the details of the transaction at all times.
What was your first job?
I tutored at my university part-time where I’d earn R60 for a class, but my first official job was doing articles after university.
How much was your first pay cheque, and how did you spend it?
R4,500. I gave some to my mom and to my aunt, with whom I was boarding. The rest, I saved as much as I could. My objective was to save for a deposit on a flat that I wanted to buy when I entered my second year of articles, which I managed to do.
What is the one thing you wish somebody had told you when you were starting out?
Put yourself out there more. Share your ideas and don’t be afraid to take the lead.
If you could fix only one thing in SA, what would it be?
Education. Invest properly in education at all levels and prosperity will follow.
What’s the most interesting thing about you that people don’t know?
I have a passion for gardening and enjoy growing and caring for plants and sharing them with family and friends whenever they visit.
What’s the worst investment mistake you’ve made?
I started a small transport business to generate secondary income, focused on small trucks and local deliveries. I went on to buy a large truck and trusted a friend to acquire the vehicle on my behalf. Not only did I receive a vehicle that had many problems that could have been avoided had I inspected it myself, I had also incorrectly assumed that it operated similarly to one of my other midsized trucks. I eventually sold the vehicle at a loss.
What is the hardest life lesson you’ve learnt so far?
There is no quick money. Hard work and dedication always pay off.
What is something you would go back and tell your younger self that would impress them?
Keep hustling — one moment, one introduction, one lesson, one decision can completely change the course of your life. And keep making new friends.
If you were President Cyril Ramaphosa, what would you change, or do, tomorrow?
Make the decisions that are right for the country. Be quick about these decisions. Be bold. Fire individuals who are self-interested and nonperforming.
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