RASHEED AMOD is a serial entrepreneur who has accomplished much success in his very varied business journey. His business interests have ranged from running a traditional convenience store, to building brands and to large scale construction projects Amod explains that he was driven to achieve by his father who was his role model in life and who had died while he was still at school.
“My dad was my hero; in his day he was in the top 100 Indian businessmen in South Africa. Although I came from a wealthy background, I wanted to achieve business success for myself. My dad had inspired me to take on challenges and to be independent,” explains Amod. Consequently, Amod has always had a vision in mind and has been single minded in his approach. “I am firm in my decision making and I have a strong business mind.” From an early age, Amod earned money pushing wheelbarrows at the Etna Lane market in Durban, earning 50 cents on a Friday afternoon and 60 cents on Saturdays. This money he said, took him a long way.
After Amod completed his schooling he studied accounting. His first job was as a bookkeeper for Peerless Cycles in Durban. He moved to a different firm when offered a better salary. From there Amod saw an opportunity to further his career in a hardware and supply chain selling lighting and cables (Natal Cables, Malbak and Durity Alpha). Within six months he was appointed manager of the group, which afforded him much business acumen.
With this experience Amod ventured out on his own and opened a convenience supermarket in Dalton Road, Durban. He says. “I worked long hours; opening the shop at 4.30 am in the morning and closing at 7.30 pm. During that time, I got married, which was very tough on my wife, who has always been my pillar of strength. However, we were blessed to have five children who are all academics and have qualified in various professions including dentistry, medicine, law and accounting.”
The next stage of his journey saw him opening his own Cut, Make and Trim (CMT) enterprise. Here he supplied knitwear to chain stores such as Woolworths and Edcon. When political changes made for a volatile marketplace, Amod sold his business to join Pierre Cardin as the group financial manager. Amod says, “I became the first non-white director to hold the keys for the building.” While working for Pierre Cardin, Amod travelled extensively and made contact with many international business role players. This interaction resulted in him entering the construction business through a joint venture at a later stage in his life.
A further career opening allowed him to join one of the five largest advertising and marketing companies in the world, where he acquired much experience in brand building for companies such as BMW, Continental Tyres, Steers and Audi. He retired from there as financial director in the African Chapter. As a sub-contractor he was responsible for the piling at all except two stadiums built in South Africa for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. This resulted in his participation in other major contracts, including the Sasol gas pipeline form Durban to Germiston, the Gautrain tunnel between Rosebank and Sandton and an international project in Ghana. He worked closely with companies such as Murray & Roberts, WBHO and Group Five.
Amod believes that he has been provided with many good opportunities, which have allowed him to succeed. He says that now that his children are all educated and independent, he does not need to work as hard and is semi-retired. However, Amod takes great pride in managing his son’s Fareed 24 hour dentistry practice. He also spends time in community upliftment projects from which he derives much satisfaction. He explains, “I work where I see that I can add value and am respected.” When possible, he enjoys playing squash with his wife, which he says keeps them both fit.