Sid Wahi

President, CMA Investment Holdings

Sid Wahi is the president of CMA Investment Holdings, an investment holding company that is the founding shareholder of the ABN group that includes names such as CNBC Africa, Forbes Africa, ABN Productions, ABN Training Institute and ABN Pictures. It’s an impressive CV for a young man still under the age of 30.

“I have to admit that my foray into media was perhaps preordained,” says Wahi. “My father was one of two founding shareholders that set up Africa Business News in 2006 and in 2009, after finishing my degree, I joined the business in South Africa. I haven’t looked back; it was perhaps the best decision I could have made both from a career and geographic perspective.”

Sid advises those who want to succeed in this space to map their passion with what they do for a profession – do what you love – and to not specialise in a single discipline.

“Newsrooms are becoming increasingly integrated, so keep yourself multi-skilled and don’t be afraid to take on new challenges,” he says.

“One of the core values at our company revolves around integrating future leaders with a corporate structure that’s the right blend of grey hair and youth.”

For Wahi, giving back to the underprivileged is an important part of educating young leaders on their social responsibility and not just financially, but by engaging with these activities.

“The most valuable asset a leader has is his or her time and the role of mentorship cannot be ignored,” says Wahi. “It is our responsibility to lead by example so the next generation also recognises the importance of leading by example, integrity and hard work.”

Wahi is no stranger to any of these concepts with the launch of two new magazines in 2013 and the addition of new platforms and media channels coming soon, and he is aware of how important it is to use his success to make a difference.

“South Africa has a huge income divide and it must be our mission as business people to try and reduce this divide through actions both big and small,” says Wahi. “If we can change the lives of a few people, we will have achieved our greater purpose in life.” — Tamsin Oxford