The Venkat way
Full bursaries provided by Mr Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan (warmly known as Venkat) and Professor Hamsa Venkatakrishnan are enabling the Chartered Accountancy studies of several Wits students. Venkat is the Chief Executive of AngloGold Ashanti and he funds the students in his personal capacity. Prof Venkatakrishnan holds the SA Numeracy Chair at Wits.
“My wife, Hamsa, and I made a commitment to fully fund the education of five South African students each year, in the fields of finance, accounting or economics, at Wits,” explains Venkat. “This decision is based on our belief in the importance of access to high-quality education. We hope this modest contribution will build skills that will benefit South Africa, and make a positive change to the lives of the students.”
To ensure that the students feel supported in the academic environment, each of them is mentored by one of Venkat’s colleagues in senior management. This is particularly important for first year students, who often feel overwhelmed in the first few months of university. Venkat keeps in regular contact with the students and a schedule of their progress is pinned above his desk.
His philanthropic spirit is appreciated by the students, as expressed by Chartered Accountancy bursary student, Ms Reabetswe Molete: “Seeing Mr Venkat give so much heart, soul and passion to educating strangers like us has inspired me to also give back in future and make means available for many others who want to pursue their careers and dreams.”