23 Jan An Interview with our Directing Ant – Pavithra Pillay
Pavi is a business professional, with a background in Human Resources, Project Management, Financial Planning, and in Business Strategy, Process and Development.
Pavi formally joined Afro Ant in July 2018, when we partnered with GoldenRule, in her then-capacity as Executive Special Projects; The Afro Ant-GoldenRule working relationship dates back to 2016. In October 2018, Pavi took on the challenge as our Managing Director and, now that she has had a few months to settle in to her new role, we thought it was a good time for you, and us, to learn more about Afro Ant’s new driver!
Learn more about the Afro Ant Team…
What do you think is the most valuable contribution a boss / manager / leader can make to their organisation?
To empower people. To never lack enthusiasm. To always communicate the vision and goals of the business. To practice trust. To listen. Most importantly, to develop our strengths, together.
What do you like best and least in a work environment?
Best would be a positive and high performing team environment and least would be lack of trust and lack of teamwork.
“An unwavering belief in the brand” was the motivating factor for Pavi, in choosing to permanently join the Afro Ant team. When asked what Pavi considers the most important or valuable in the Afro Ant work environment, she reflects that it is “Belief in what we stand for and how we do what we do.”
What is the best / most interesting thing about your role?
Being best positioned to steer change and evolution, whilst still being accountable to the Afro Ant Team and myself for maintaining the essence of how we’ve become what we are.
If you were describing Afro Ant’s Vision and / or Purpose to friends or family – what would you say?
Being in the people-recruitment-consulting business, we find it puzzling that there isn’t always a big focus on the people element. We take this, together with our role of conduit between people and career opportunities, very seriously.
A more formal version of our vision speaks to ‘enriching lives’ and this really is the basis of our brand and what the business is built on. At Afro Ant, the people in our circle are humans (or Ants😊) but never numbers.
What do you think are the most-important strategic priorities for Afro Ant over the next three years?
Growing our colony of ants, strengthening our presence both locally and internationally as well as increasing our brand awareness specifically around why we are different.
Asked how she relaxes and unwinds, Pavi responds:
Does sleep count😊?
Between studying and working, I find very little time for anything else. It’s a good thing that I enjoy both of the above so it never really feels like ‘work’.
When I do find the time, I read or watch a good movie. I’ve also taken up hiking since moving to Cape Town.
It seems that Afro Ant MDs have more in common than dedication and a tremendous work ethic – like her predecessor, Pavi’s favourite season is Winter.
Who are your heroes (fiction and/or real life)?
The late, Great Father of our Nation, Madiba.
What is your motto?
It changes, this year I think we’ll go with, “We either win or we learn”.
And on the question of What has been the biggest challenge in taking on the new MD role at Afro Ant?
A new role is always unnerving and will present different challenges but if I have to note them, I’d say aiming to get to everything all of the time can leave you delivering average results.
Prioritising effectively and always delivering 100% quality in everything you do is far better and was a quick lesson learnt for me, specifically in this role.
Thank you, Pavi for taking the time to complete this interview – and for taking on the demanding role of Afro Ant MD with such energy, and heart!