UJ Alumni Impumelelo Magazine Edition 8

Kush Padia Be humble – you will never know everything and must remain teachable to grow both as a professional and as a person, irrespective of your title or accomplishments. – Kush Padia.

“Another memory I hold dear is a promise I made to my Mum before she passed away unexpectedly in 1998 – she had a lot of respect for chartered accountants and always wanted me to become one. I made her a promise that I would see the path through, no matter what, and registered as a CA(SA) in 2013 (15 years after the promise was made).” Today, he can honestly say that there is never a dull day and there is always something new or different going on which requires him to stretch himself daily. He has a wealth of knowledge in short-term insurance and retail transactional banking, serving in leadership roles in both sectors within FirstRand Limited. “At FirstRand Short-Term Insurance I’m privileged to work with respected leaders in both transactional banking and short-term insurance. We develop solutions to meet the changing needs of our clients and is incredibly exciting as I’m involved through the full product development cycle, and not only at the end when it comes time to book the journal entries,” he says. He has also served as the CFO of Brolink (Pty) Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Santam Limited, and held leadership roles in Mutual and Federal and EY. Kush, who served as academic trainee in auditing at the University of Johannesburg for the 2010 student body, says future CAs must remember that there will be both good and bad days and commitment to the journey is

He also serves as the youngest member of the Board at FirstRand Short-Term Insurance Limited, an achievement he credits to hard work and his determination to grow the business responsibly. Kush has his suspicions but no certainty around who nominated him for the 2021 SAICA Top-35- Under-35 competition but hopes it will add some credence to his achievements and position him as an authentic, high performing leader for future opportunities. “I believe it was the difference made to the people and companies I’ve had the privilege of serving throughout my career which landed me as a finalist. I’m a deeply invested and driven person in anything I commit to – be it the growth and development of people in my circle or driving the sustainable profitability of a company. I have demonstrable achievements in these disciplines which seem to have resonated with the judging panel. “I remain humbled to have been in a position to serve both the people and companies I’ve led over the years and I’m thankful for the recognition afforded to me through this process,” he says. Kush vividly remembers sitting with his grandfather, an accountant, as he drew up his T-accounts and balanced his cash against the receipts he kept for his purchases. He was a respected businessman and would often help other small business owners make sense of their numbers. “I wanted to be like my granddad; understanding numbers and the stories they tell,” he says.

Kush Padia understanding numbers and the stories they tell.

A man of many talents, Kush Padia is not only a leader in the banking and insurance sector, but also makes his mark in wedding photography and clay target shooting. Kush Padia, Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer at FirstRand Short-Term Insurance Limited, has been described by others as a driven, motivated and astute leader who gathers insights from the financials to be a catalyst for growth and business process improvements.


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