Rajen spent his early childhood in the coal fields of Dundee, rather ironic considering that in later
years he would be back on the coal fields. Presented with a gold medal as winner of the
‘Young Scientist of the Year’ in Junior High, Rajen’s innovative streak was clear from a young age.
He also wrote his first Commercial Software programme in High School and sold it to Coca Cola.
In 1996 Rajen moved to Johannesburg to study Engineering at Wits University. Whilst at University,
South African Breweries awarded him with a bursary that focused on Leadership in Engineering.
Apartheid was drawing to a close and BEE had not yet been implemented. Contrary to this, SAB was far ahead of others in the market place where BEE was concerned, and already had structures in place that supported improving the lives of the previously disadvantaged. It was during this time
that Rajen learnt a lot about leadership and how to embrace the culture of change in an organization. It was the dawning of SAB’s penetration into the International Market place and Rajen was exposed to the strategies surrounding this expansion.
In 1999, he graduated from Wits with an Engineering Degree and moved on to the world of IT Telco
Space, specifically in the sphere of network design and construction. Initially working with GSM
networks and then eventually migrating to GPRS and then 3G. Data and Network communications
had always appealed to Rajen who received his first computer, a Commodore 64, at age 10 - he always knew he would end up in technologies. He joined Motorola where he started out as a Technical Trainer on network design for GSM Operators – he was responsible for the training of network engineers from various operators in Africa, Middle East and parts of Europe. Most engineers that are currently in senior positions within the telecoms industry were trained by Rajen at some point or another. He did a lot of travelling into Africa which gave him a great understanding of the African culture and expelled many of the preconceptions he had about Africa. It was a humbling experience and to this day he draws inspiration from the engineers that taught him in the most desolate parts of Africa.
Rajen thrives on new challenges and in 2004 he started his own business, a high-tech consulting and technology integration firm called BCT Global (Broadband Communication Technologies). His company focused on implementing Wireless LAN Solutions before they were imbedded on computers and by doing so started the Broadband Revolution in South Africa. They then went on to implement an international mailing system for the Post Office and proceeded to create ‘video on demand’ solutions for Hotels and Casino’s, first on WIFI and eventually on ADSL. Based on his achievements within this industry he was solicited by many Government institutions throughout Africa, to advise them on broadband strategies for
Africa and the Middle East.
It was around this time that Rajen joined the Amava group. He found gaps in the mining industry and combined with his ability to create something out of nothing, used his passion for innovation to get the right people together and create revolutionary products which are now a sought after
commodity in international markets. His ultimate goal is to get Amava to the point where they can be listed on the JSE.
“Always reinvent, to go where no man has gone before” - Rajen Naidoo