Deshan Naidoo is the Chief Executive of Microfinish and Managing Director at Microcast.

Deshan began his career at a boutique investment management firm. At 25, he founded Aventure Capital – an investment holding and management consultancy company. Deshan’s current executive responsibilities in the engineering industry include his position as Chief Executive of Microfinish, an export-orientated precision component manufacturer (tier 1 & 2). He is also the Managing Director at Microcast, a cast iron foundry. At 32, Deshan is a youth entrepreneur, South Africa’s youngest automotive CEO and NAACAM’s youngest Regional Chairman. The companies which he represents are BBBEE level 1 youth companies, supporting his personal objectives and in line with the developmental mandate of the state.

Deshan spent the last decade developing skills in Management, Entrepreneurship and Engineering. He has been a servant leader at Microfinish, during his tenure he formulated the firm’s business restructuring plan and corporate strategy, facilitated the organisational culture, spearheaded countless measures to achieve international competitiveness and created many of the strategic relationships that the company enjoys today. Deshan’s formal training is in Economics and Finance (University of Cape Town). He has completed various certificate programs in Entrepreneurship and Investments and is currently pursuing a post-graduate qualification in Digital Business from WITS Business School. In 2019, Deshan was chosen as one of the top 20 South African entrepreneurs to participate in the inaugural SA-Germany Business Development Program, co-sponsored by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy of the Federal Republic of Germany and the South African Department of Trade, Industry and Competition. Deshan is a business “all-rounder” with demonstrated leadership and analytical ability, strategic vision and efficient execution.

Most recently, as Chairman of NAACAM KZN and in consultation with the provincial government, he has initiated a provincial working group to refine and implement the KZN automotive strategy, in support of the SA Automotive Masterplan 2035 (SAAM2035).

Deshan vehemently believes in the potential of South Africa’s youth and advocates for the inclusion of youth in senior management; he is passionate about Engineering, Economics and Digitalisation. His life motto is to: “question everything, develop continuously, be good, do good and create a legacy.”

#ThingsIWishIKnew: I wish I knew from the onset, not to focus on size, but rather on profitability – a simple conundrum for a high volume manufacturer.

#FutureOfComponentManufacturing: the manufacturing industry is on the precipice of disruption; in our company, we are nurturing our organisational culture to create a learning organisation, whilst insatiably iterating our digital transformation strategy. I hope this gives us a platform for the future…