Asha Ranchhod

Industry Manager, Google South Africa

Asha Ranchhod is accustomed to breaking down barriers and stereotypes. In a country with deeply entrenched gender and racial bias, she has steadfastly plotted a path that has disregarded these prejudices.

Growing up in predominantly white schools, Ranchhod shed preconceived racial notions by being appointed to the Junior City Council of Klerksdorp when she was 16 and a year later selected as president of Interact, Rotary International’s youth arm.

These experiences shaped the young leader and led to her ending up at no less an organisation than tech giant Google.

Ranchhod holds a degree in informatics and honours cum laude in business management.

She was recently promoted to senior industry manager at Google South Africa for the highly competitive fast-moving consumer goods sector.

She has been quick to make her mark inside Google during the three years she has been with the company. Last year she was one of 16 young leaders selected to represent Google at the One Young World summit in Johannesburg.

Ranchhod is also the co-country lead for the Women@Google group that promotes gender equality in the workplace as well as the lead for the company’s local CSI programme, GooglersGive.

She is driven by the opportunities technology offers in breaking down barriers, particularly as it relates to gender and education issues, and all the more so where these intersect.

“I’m extremely passionate about education and firmly believe that knowledge is power and access to information can find a way to change lives and future generations,” she says.

“I’ve been inspired by Nelson Mandela’s words that education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world, and believe that the internet has the
ability to enable that in cost-effective and far-reaching ways.” — Johann Barnard