With a strong work ethic and a contagious upbeat attitude, Verosha Rangayah worked her way up from a small town in KZN to a career in banking and more.
Verosha Rangayah features at Sasfin Asset Managers as an asset management administration supervisor and works closely with the fund managers to ensure that funds are operationally well managed.
Her journey, however, began in the small town of Tongaat on the North Coast of KwaZulu-Natal, a town she says most South Africans would associate with sugar. “And they will be right because we are sweet people.” It was the place she grew up in, and soon after finishing her final matric paper, she left the small town for the bustling city of Johannesburg.
That move was a defining moment for her. As the youngest of four girls, she was spoiled, sheltered and protected. She was, however, also ambitious and wanted to venture out on her own. “It was such an immense transition; I didn't even realise it at the time. To go from a small conservative Indian community into a megacity where you have to adapt to a fast-paced lifestyle was challenging. I had to learn to be resilient and independent. At that young age, I think it was the best decision I made because it shaped me into who I am.”
Her courage to leave home at such a young age comes from her late father. “I picked that up from my dad,” she says. “My dad was very courageous and did the same when he was my age. He also travelled a lot and made strides from a young age.”
She landed in Gauteng and set out to find a job. “When I arrived in Johannesburg, I was gainfully employed at a high-end jewellery store, which had watches that retailed for R600 000 at the lower end. At the time, you would get 10% commission for every sale. As a 17-year-old, I thought, wow! 10% of every R600 000, I’m going to be super-rich and quickly… only to find I didn’t sell a single watch, nothing at all. Although disappointed, that's when I realised, that sales is not for me.”
She left the store and landed an entry-level position at one of the big banks of SA, working her way through her BCom Financial Management degree.
If she could give her 17-year-old self-one piece of advice, it would be not to worry about all the challenges that were to come. “Everything's going to unfold the way it should and all in God's time.”
“Everything is going to unfold the way it should and all in God's time.”
One of the most painful parts of her move was being away from her family. “You miss so much.” In addition, she had to figure out how to live on her own, cook and get her driver’s licence. This, on top of working and studying at the same time, a choice that made her stronger and resilient.
She balanced work and studying by making sure she put in the hours every single day towards studying and always keeping her goal in mind. “You have to keep your eye on the prize and push yourself through.”
Even though she was miles away from her family, her parents were always her biggest supporters. “They were extremely supportive, loving and caring. And they trusted me. They knew that they raised me in a way that I would be able to venture out on my own and still speak to those traditional values they raised me with.”
One of those values is a deep connection to her Hindu faith and prayer. “I have a little lamp which my mom gave to me when I left for Johannesburg. In Hindu tradition, we light our lamp daily and this is where you pray and express gratitude. It's something that I do every day that keeps me grounded and gives me faith when I need it.”
Verosha joined Sasfin just over a year ago, mentioning one of her highlights to be the culture which fosters collaborative relationships that stands out for her. “Everybody in the company is extremely helpful, extremely kind. It’s family oriented.” In addition, getting to work with some of the best fund managers in the country and learning from them is one of her most rewarding aspects of the job.
While she gets to learn from the fund managers, she is also able to impart her knowledge to the team that reports to her, one of which is a graduate. This opportunity allows Verosha to teach the team the intricacies of operations within the asset management space and simultaneously prepare the team for future opportunities. It is especially rewarding when you can identify a spark in someone and know you are playing a part in the success of their career. “
Verosha has settled nicely into her Joburg corporate life and stays grounded by taking moments throughout her day to stop and appreciate the little things. “I find such joy in the smallest of things. I start work pretty early and to get myself motivated for the day ahead, I find comfort in knowing that when I drive off, I’m going to be greeted by a beautiful sunrise and be entertained by birds chirping. Those sort of little things energise you for the morning and the day ahead.” Stopping and noticing things before rushing to the next thing, Verosha says, does something to your soul. “Happiness arises in the present, don’t stress about yesterday or tomorrow. If you can take each day and find something that you are happy about, something that you are grateful for, your mindset is going to be completely changed.”
“Happiness arises in the present. If you can take each day and find something that you are happy about, something that you are grateful for, your mindset is going to be completely changed.”
When asked if one can have it all, Verosha says it’s all relative and comes down to being content with what you have. In that respect, she believes she has it all. “I have the most amazing family and friends. I have a support system that is unmatched. For me, valuing those relationships is key for me and my success. You need to surround yourself with likeminded people who push you to do better and who you can also push to do better. Someone who wants the best for you, is what’s best for you.
“Surround yourself with likeminded people who push you to do better.”
When it comes to success, Verosha measures it not in what she has, but what she can do for others. “I don't associate success with material things at all. Success for me is when you are at a point in life where you are able to provide assistance to others who need it. It's a service to humankind.”
It’s something that her father instilled in her. “My dad always instilled in us to show kindness and respect to others. You have to be kind to people and be of service to people.”
Kindness is also a characteristic she believes is most important for leaders to have. She says in order to be a good leader, you need to be kind. “You need to pay attention to people so that you know what they are going through and be able to connect with them.” She adds: “Through kindness, compassion and passion for your people, you can successfully lead them in the right direction.” Kindness and warmth accelerates trust and yields successful results.
“Through kindness, compassion and passion for your people, you can successfully lead them in the right direction.”
Looking back on her journey from small town girl to big city career woman, Verosha is proud of how far she has come. “I've been very fortunate in that some of my work roles have allowed me to travel as far as South Asia. I have been afforded many wonderful opportunities throughout my career. So many doors have been opened leading me here, now .” Those opportunities are a testament to her work ethic. “I've conducted myself in a certain way such that people know what to expect, if anything is required. It is this work ethic that has opened many doors for me.”
Content with what she has, but always striving for more, Verosha is ready for a future filled with more open doors and possibilities, “all in God’s timing”