Former Chatsworth man connects to success

Success and nothing less for Sagran Pillay.

From humble beginnings, former Chatsworth man, Sagran Pillay (57) climbed the ladder of success becoming the CEO of Mint Connect.

Pillay was born in Cato Manor and was forcibly removed under the Group Areas Act in June 1970 and was relocated to Silverglen, Chatsworth.

He attended Silverglen Primary School, Witteklip Secondary School and then moved to Chatsworth High. After high school, he went on to study at the University of Durban Westville.

Unfortunately, due to financial constraints, he was unable to complete his studies. He then went to ML Sultan Technikon in Durban, before eventually finishing off with a Masters in Technology from Wits Technikon.

He joined STC in 1982 as a senior electronic technician and rapidly progressed to electronics engineer responsible for upgrading of South African Telecommunications exchanges from manual to electronic exchanges.

Pillay was involved in the transfer of technology from Alcatel France to South Africa.  He spent majority of his time (from 1988 to 2002) in France upgrading South African Telecommunications Networks.

In 2002, the driven individual joined CZ Electronics, where a management buyout was done with two colleagues and CZ Manufacturing was formed.

CZ Manufacturing is currently one of the biggest printed circuit board manufacturers that employ over 300 employees.

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Mint Connect, which is based in Boksburg, Johannesburg was formed in 2012 to primarily address the short comings of getting mobile technology to the masses.

After 2002, he helped found CZ Electronics. The company’s mobile strategy really took off in 2010, when it initially focused on rural telecoms. The company then moved into the mobile space in 2008, got to grips with the logistics of the mobile industry and the needs of the South African market.

From here, it started signing deals with the major chip-set manufacturers. Critically, in 2012, the company decided to focus its efforts on the lower, often neglected end of the market.

In 2012, Mint Electronics was born with Pillay being named CEO of the newly formed Mint Mobile. Under his guidance, the company has grown from strength to strength and has undergone a rebranding to Mint Connect.

In his spare time, he enjoys plays squash, golf, going to the gym and bird watching. He has contributed to charity through organisations in Gauteng mainly Child Welfare and Rotary Club.

From a corporate perspective, the company and board have provided Mint Sapphire Tablets to the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation and Leap to Know organisation.  If there are any programmes in Chatsworth that is conducive to their  social responsibility program, Mint Connect will gladly assist.

  AUTHOR
Nikita Chiniah
Journalist

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