Praneetha Aniruth is a 46-year-old Tech Entrepreneur from Durban who is a Co-Founder of Carver Media and other startups. She comes from a background in marketing, broadcasting and corporate insurance. Praneetha entered the tech industry 15 years ago and specialized in Google Ads and Digital Innovation. Whilst her team works with both the corporate and big business sector, much of her time is spent helping small businesses use online tools to grow, increase sales and make money. She has spoken at many conferences, masterclasses and is a fierce advocator for women in technology. In February 2020, Praneetha was invited by Harvard University to be a part of the conference highlighting the “Changing Face of Entrepreneurship in Africa.
Vice – Chairperson
Head: Women In Business
Bhavna Maharaj is the CEO and founder of Firebrand Holdings. She responsible for the company’s strategy development and operations, including end-to-end management of Firebrands supply chain, sales activities, and support. She opens the line of communication between clients, customers, and businesses to get businesses back on track through strong business understanding to allow factory to fork thinking. With over 20 years in both public and private sectors, Bhavna has experience in management consultation, team building, professional development, strategic implementation, and company collaboration. She has a strong passion for supporting woman in business and developing skills of young woman in the industry.
Karusha Naicker is a sales, marketing and PR business consultant. Currently her specialty is in the corporate sector serving the short term insurance industry for Discovery Insure. She comes with a vast experience and accomplishments in the industry and has served as the President of the Insurance Institute of KZN, representing KZN and promoting KZN in the education and community outreach sector. She is also a small business owner of a Pet Food Store in partnership with her husband. Her passion is to accomplish anything without fear and intimidation and loves serving those in need.
Chivonne Brahmadu comes from a Corporate finance career which includes Duracell SA, Unilever SA, Investec and Sun International. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Enterprise Risk Management and has accumulated valuable work experience from various large corporates and medium size enterprises. Her current position is that of National Category Management Specialist: Liquor & Smoking for the Spar Group. Whilst she is an articulate professional who can tenaciously achieve goals, her passion lies in making a difference in people’s lives. She possesses excellent interpersonal skills and her forward thinking demonstrates her ability to effectively serve customers and develop strong working relationships. Chivonne also possess an imaginative and innovative talent in event management. In addition, to her corporate and charitable initiatives she channels her creative and entrepreneurial skills into a successful small business, ChocoTherapy.
Head: Health and Wellness
Prof Nesri Padayatchi is a Clinician, Epidemiologist and Scientist. She was the Deputy Director of CAPRISA, Centre for the Aids Program for Research in South Africa, and lecturer in the Department of Community Medicine at the at the University of KwaZulu-Natal Nelson Mandela School of Medicine with more than 33 years clinical and research experience in the management of TB and related problems. She served on several boards including the South African National and Provincial Advisory Boards for MDR –TB; the International Union against TB and Lung Diseases Ethics Advisory Group and the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society, and is a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa. She has recently retired. Her mission statement is ‘when life hands you lemons, make orange juice” and ‘Depression is a luxury I can’t afford’. Living her life with this philosophy has helped her to overcome many challenges. She would like to use her life skills to empower and instil confidence in others.
Head: Communications and Technology
Nureshka Viranna is a female Technology Entrepreneur based in South Africa. She is the director and co-founder of Shopli, a specialist eCommerce company that helps people sell their products and services online. She is recognised as an innovator in the industry and has helped many businesses start online stores, marketplaces, eLearning platforms, online malls and drop shipping stores. She is an advocator for women in Technology and strives to upskill and empower women in Technology. Her greatest accolade was being recognised as a Forbes Africa Top 30 Under 30 in the Technology category. Her innovative thinking, positive mindset, customer service, attention to detail and constant R&D is what sets her apart in the technology industry.
Head: Skills and Development
Nothando is a dynamic and well versed Enterprise and Skills Development expert. She comes from a background of human resources, within both the private and public sector spanning over 20 years. A creative and strategic problem-solver, she is passionate about people development and tackling challenges experienced especially by women and the Youth, the barriers of entry into being successful entrepreneurs and also encourages them to take advantage of the available virtual and digital platforms for when running their small businesses or even for those that are career seekers. This is by using her diverse transferable skills in coaching and mentoring them to take advantage of other digital and innovative platforms available with modern technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Co – Head: Community Outreach
Bronwen is a creative wordsmith and the founder of Verbosity, a bespoke content and digital consultancy. With a background in advertising and social media, she decided that 2014 was the perfect time to take the plunge and start her own business. Having worked alongside some of the biggest brands and agencies both locally and abroad, Bronwen understands the power of words and their ability to help our nation’s people tell their stories and articulate themselves. In 2020, Bronwen took on her most rewarding role yet when she became a mother to her son, Ryder. This reignited her passion for helping those less fortunate, particularly vulnerable women and children. Skills development remains a pivotal focus for her, and she hopes to use this platform and her abilities to teach, inspire and empower the next generation of South African talent, throwing open the doors of opportunity for all.
Head: Women 4 Women
Suvarna Maharaj is a proudly South African, Durban based attorney and Founder of Suvarna Maharaj Attorneys; an all Female general legal practice situated in Durban North. In her professional career, she has shared a passion for Family Law and the ever changing landscape of Bioethics in South Africa, which she grounded herself in whilst at University. This love of learning and the law has remained with her throughout her life. An alumna of UKZN, Suvarna qualified with her LLB in 2017 and went on to complete her articles of clerkship at Sunil Singh and Associates immediately thereafter; during which time she also achieved a certificate in Compliance Management from The University of Cape Town (UCT). More recently Suvarna has, as at August 2021, achieved a certificate in POPIA Compliance through LEAD (The Legal Education and Development arm of the Law Society of South Africa). An avid community service organisation volunteer, Suvarna has worked extensively with the Sri Satya Sai Organisation of South Africa and the Kwa Zulu-Natal Blind and Deaf Society to name a few. She is also part of many smaller initiatives and uses her legal practice to foster a culture of community engagement as her firm hosts many community–centred drives.
Tammy Lee Landsberg
Co – Head: Community Outreach
Tammy is a female Entrepreneur based in Durban, South Africa. Tammy is the Co-Owner and Founder of Eco Trend Africa. She comes from a background of Corporate Banking, Promotional & Corporate Branding. Tammy has a love for Earth and Humankind and with this in mind, she pursued her own eco-business in 2018, which developed from supplying stainless steel straws country-wide to over 40 retailers; to an online ecommerce eco-store; to providing in-house printing on promotional gifts to SMEs & Corporates. Tammy and her team offer organisations branded promotional gifts that customers, prospects, and employees will use and in doing so create conversation and brand awareness for her clients, while keeping their priority to the environment at the forefront of all their decisions and actions as a company. Tammy recognises that changing the environmental impact of consumerism starts with educating our youth and communities to put pressure on the businesses around them to innovate and provide products and services that are kinder to our Earth and our Health.
Perusha Govender is an economic development practitioner based in Durban, South Africa. Apart from business analytics, Perusha also has a strong marketing and communications background. She has successfully developed and project managed business retention interventions for businesses in distress as well as created platforms for businesses to expand and create / retain much needed jobs for the SA economy. Her skillset further includes Customer-Centric Design, Technical Analysis, Project Appraisal and Digital Transformation. Perusha has just completed her MBA with focus on Advanced Strategy and Investment and Portfolio Management and based her dissertation on the influence of the Fourth Industrial revolution on SMME manufacturers in eThekwini Municipality.