The best way to impact and empower the country is through education, says Kershen Pillay, CEO of Masifunde Training Centre.

The centre is an accredited educational institution that offers programs to learners who wish to achieve qualifications and skills in the financial services sector. Masifunde means “together we learn” is a proudly owned black enterprise that was first opened in 2005 with a staff of four.

Within 24 months the company grew from that tiny staff and 400 students to nearly 30 employees and 2 000 students.

Masifunde does not take more than 2 200 students in an academic year, to keep its quality and customer service levels.

Pillay has had experience in the financial sector. At at the age of 23, he was heading the learning and development division of a macro-financial services organisation. “Although I was making steady progress in my career I had a feeling of restlessness, a feeling that more needs to be accomplished,” he said.

It is currently forecasted to achieve cumulative profits of R45 million in five years, and then R60 million (based on their current growth rate).

Over the next five years, Pillay is aiming to create articulation pathways for professionals within the financial sector that is growing individuals form a matric qualification to degrees in insurance and banking.

The young entrepreneur counts his parents, his wife, Warren Buffet, Nelson and Winnie Mandela, German zookeeper Jan Zabinski and mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan as his role models.

Pillay has previously been nominated for the Top Empowered Business Leader of the Year award, the Top Entrepreneur of the Year award and the National Business Awards in 2017.