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Akash Singh - A positive impact
Akash Singh on society is driven by the desire to do more for people and gives freely of his time. His journey began when during university years he joined AIESEC, the world’s largest student-run organisation. He said, “This provoked my desire to have a positive impact on society.” AIESEC provides an international platform for young people to discover and develop their potential as leaders.
Singh’s professional career and extensive experience has placed him at the forefront of local and global economic development for businesses. He is a registered chartered accountant and has completed his MBA in strategic planning.
Singh has been a member of the Board of the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the last 11 years which is Africa’s largest and oldest metropolitan Chamber. He was appointed President of the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) from April 2013 to May 2015. Currently, he is a member of Board and Council at DCCI. Singh is a Council member of the South African Chambers of Commerce (SACCI) and leads the collective Chambers movement in KwaZuluNatal. He is the President at the KwaZulu-Natal Business Chambers Council. Additionally, Singh is the co-chair for business at the KwaZulu-Natal Economic Council. Singh is also the Honorary Consulate to Republic of Philippines for KwaZulu-Natal and a City Planning Commissioner for eThekwini Municipality. He has recently been appointed a Council member representing business for the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) eastern region.
In reference to his time spent at the various chambers, Singh said that this was his way of giving back to communities and “having fun in the business world”. He added that Business Chambers are capitalised by the time entrepreneurs spend in service activities including joining forums or providing skills and knowledge free of charge.
Singh currently runs the South African Sigma International operation, which is unique in that it focuses on empowering and strengthening people and organisations. The level one Broad-Based Black Economic Empowered (B-BB EE) company provides a range of robust services that have a high economic and social impact.
He said, “Sigma International takes its core values very seriously and they are used on a daily basis to help guide the decisions and direction of the firm. The employees work-shopped these over a number of sessions, so they are all invested in ensuring that they are evident in the workplace and in our dealings with clients.” The values are Teamwork, Accountability, Entrepreneurial, Innovation and continuous improve-ment, Performance, Integrity and Respect.
Prior to founding Sigma International, Singh was the General Manager: Product at Nedcor (Banking Group) as well as General Manager: Finance at BoE Bank.
Prior to banking, he was a dispute analysis and investigations manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers (Durban), where he had undertaken a series of investigations both in the private and public sector. Akash completed his articles at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Singh has extensive experience in innovation, business strategy, mentoring, coupled with strong commercial skills, particularly with regard to business turnarounds and capital restructuring. He has trained or mentored in excess of 5 000 small, medium and large businesses on various practical subjects.
Singh said, “Through our various successes we have written the script to be able to assist business in KwaZulu-Natal. We have a sustainable model and like to look at the impact of our interventions, which must be relevant. Any change implemented must be exciting and not stressful.”
He added, “The future of the Sigma International is also built on business incubation and innovation, which allows new opportunities to be explored and actualised.”
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