As we continue to grow our team at Sasfin, we’ve been selective in choosing to work with people who understand the beating heart of South Africa and how our local entrepreneurs and small and mid-sized businesses are essential to our social and economic growth.
Sanjeev Bessesar, our Head of Small Business, is the perfect fit for our culture. Hailing from humble beginnings in Durban, Sanjeev’s parents always made him believe that anything was possible, and he moved to Joburg shortly after matric to pursue his dreams.
Those dreams brought him to the banking sector, and 15 years later, to us. Sanjeev is passionate about banking, people and customer service, and has been exposed to many facets of banking, including working with high net worth individuals and private clients. His experience has drawn him to small businesses and how they can be supported to follow – and achieve – their dreams, and the solutions that we create and deliver to get them there.
I sat down with Sanjeev to chat about SMEs, and experienced first-hand, his infectious energy and positivity around the sector we love.
What most excites you about working with small businesses?
The people behind small businesses are the pioneers of our country. It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to work with them, and more importantly, to provide solutions that support them and help them to grow.
How does your experience working with high net-worth individuals align with supporting SMEs?
Most businesses aspire to grow. Working with private clients is predominantly focused on growing wealth. I’m excited about using what I’ve experienced around growth mindsets to provide small businesses with the stepping stones to grow and reach their desired milestones.
What are the biggest areas of support that you believe SMEs need from a banking partner?
Financial and business management are key. While small business owners are specialists in bringing their products and services to market, they often don’t have a background in financial and business management. Through the right tools, advice and products, we can support our clients in running successful businesses.
How do you view Sasfin’s role within the SME landscape in South Africa?
I believe we have an imperative role to play in uplifting South Africa’s SMEs and promoting economic stability. As an agile, entrepreneurial bank, we not only understand SMEs and the challenges they face (and the support they need), but we can also quickly and efficiently adapt to their changing needs.
What advice would you love to share with small and mid-sized business owners?
SMEs are the cornerstone of the financial freedom we need to uplift our country. I commend SME owners for their tenacity in getting their businesses off the ground. Thank you for your resilience, keep working hard and finding opportunities in the challenges and remember, there is always light at the end of a tunnel and partners who will walk alongside you.