BOSCH CAPITAL is a subsidiary of BOSCH HOLDINGS, the South African-based holding company known for its multi-disciplinary consulting engineering expertise with over 55 years of experience in the consulting engineering environment.
Bosch Capital was established in 2014 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Bosch Holdings. Today the company has staff in both Durban and Johannesburg. The Johannesburg office was necessitated by the need to be closer to the head offices of commercial banks and other capital markets players which are important partners of the company from a capital-raising perspective.
Bosch Capital provides advisory and capital-raising services for private and public sector clients and Investment Solutions for Bosch Holdings and its subsidiaries.
SAprofessionals.com spoke to Bosch Capital Manager: Advisory & Funding, Rajiv Paladh about his personal and professional journey thus far.
What was your training like?
I’ve had diverse training over my career as I have worked across a variety of disciplines. I have had the benefit of working with and being exposed to several experts within these disciplines. The training has assisted with the development of the skills set that is required to fulfill the objectives of my current role. Mentors have played an important part in my career as I have had the opportunity to learn from these subject-matter experts.
My initial training was based around my role as a Chemical Engineer in the wastewater sector. This enhanced my understanding of operational parameters, challenges associated with the delivery of infrastructure, and mechanisms to overcome these challenges. This currently assists me in the development of projects across the infrastructure, industrial and property sectors.
The on-the-job training in my current role promotes the development of innovative models and mechanisms to support the development of projects across various sectors. This also enhances my understanding of the financial, commercial and strategic elements required to ensure that a transaction is bankable and the project can be successfully implemented.
Which academic achievement stands out for you?
Graduating from the 2012/2013 Modular Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) Programme from the Graduate School of Business at the University of Cape Town (UCT). The Modular MBA Programme comprises six blocks of two week periods each, at which students are required to physically attend classes on campus, as well as complete study assignments and write exams in between each of the blocks.
This programme was very challenging as the requirements of the course had to be achieved whilst also continuing to achieve work and family objectives. The challenges of the programme were further exacerbated as my father fell ill and passed away during the first year of the programme. My aunt, whom I was very close to, also passed away during the second year of the programme. However, I was able to find the strength to persevere and completed the programme in minimum time at the end of 2013.
What advice do you have for students who are looking forward to joining your profession?
This is a very exciting space as there is the opportunity to work on projects that can generate financial returns but also have significant social impacts. These impacts include:
- Job creation
- Promotion of economic growth
- Poverty alleviation
- Provision of services in previously unserviced areas
What have been your highlights for your career?
I have been fortunate to work across the public and private sector and be involved in a variety of projects. Some of the highlights of my career to date are detailed below.
I was responsible for the operations of wastewater treatment works during my tenure at eThekwini Water and Sanitation. During this period the Department of Water Affairs had introduced a Green Drop system to assess the performance of wastewater treatment works and reward municipalities that were excelling. One of the sites that I was responsible for (Kwa Mashu WWTW) did not receive a Green Drop in 2009. However, I was involved in improving operations and was rewarded with a Green Drop during the 2013 assessment. The plant also received a commendation for most improved large wastewater treatment works at WISA 2014.
I have been involved in the preparation of papers at conferences. These include:
- Paper and presentation at WISA 2016
Topic: Learnings from the development of a municipal tariff model
- Presentation at Water Desalination Symposium Africa
Topic: Desalination projects using public private partnerships in South Africa
- Co-authored paper for IMESA 2018
Topic: How Public-private partnership can help unlock public infrastructure development
- Co-authored paper for Water Wheel Journal
Topic: Financing opportunities and models for water-linked research, development and innovation.
Notable projects that I have been involved in:
- Bankable feasibility study and successfully raised R118 million project finance for a new water chemical blending plant in Pretoria, South Africa.
- Financial modelling, project structuring and capital raising for a R132 million Agri-Processing facility in the Western Cape, South Africa.
- Development of funding strategy for water related Research, Development and Innovation in South Africa.
What principles and values are important for a young professional?
The key attributes that I believe are important for a young professional are:
- Have an enquiring mind
- Be bold
- Be resilient
Professions have entrenched methods and structures towards solving problems and these are usually based on “the way things have worked in the past”. However, we are currently in an exciting period as a country, as even though we have our challenges, this is also a wonderful opportunity to make a positive difference. The way we have approached situations in the past may not be the best approach to solve the challenges that we currently face or those that we may face in the future. Therefore, I think that a young professional should have an enquiring mind to question what has been done.
Once we have an enquiring mind, there are no boundaries to the solutions that could be developed. Therefore, I also think that young professionals should be bold in conceptualizing and implementing solutions that may be different to the status quo but are focused on addressing our current challenges.
Young professionals also need to be resilient as their bold ideas could be met with resistance and questioned by others. They will need to be resilient in order to overcome this resistance. This could be achieved by designing solutions that mitigates the risks identified by others and by displaying a sense of humility.
What contribution have you made since joining the company?
I joined Bosch Capital in 2016 and have contributed to the growth of the organization during this time. This has included working on projects across South Africa and into Africa. I have advised on projects with a cumulative transaction value that is in excess of R3 billion. These projects have been undertaken in the following sectors:
- Water and Sanitation
- Property Development
Each of these sectors has their own nuances but my initial training as an Engineer enables me to understand some of the technical aspects and risks. This combines well with my commercial and financial understanding to ensure that projects can be structured in a manner that will lead to successfull implementation.
Who stands out for you as a role model?
Graeme Smith (former South African cricketer) – Graeme Smith was named South Africa’s cricket captain at the age of 22. He was tasked with rebuilding a South African cricket team that was experiencing a variety of challenges. At the end of his career, he had amassed a wealth of runs as a batsman and won cricket series all over the globe but what impressed me most about Graeme Smith was his leadership ability.
Being appointed as a captain of a national sport can be a daunting experience but this could be increased when the person is 22 years old and has himself just joined the ranks of the national team. Graeme chose to lead in a manner that was true to himself even though others may have done so differently. This authenticity inspired belief in himself and those around him.
Part of his impressive leadership skills also included a ‘never say die’ approach, a willingness to lead from the front and to put the team’s best interest first. These attributes and Smith’s character as a leader were highlighted during a Test Match when he walked out to bat against an Australian cricket team that contained a fearsome pace attack with a broken hand.
These attributes displayed by Graeme Smith are aligned to those that are needed by any young professional. He was bold in taking up the challenge as young leader at a difficult time for the team. He also displayed a great deal of resiliency over periods of his captaincy.
When you not at work, what do you get up to, including family life?
I enjoy spending time with my family and pet at my family home in Howick. I also enjoy spending time in nature. This could be in the form of laptop free weekends away at the coast or in the mountains to rejuvenate.
I try to maintain an active exercise regiment in order to maintain a healthy work-life balance. I usually try to exercise a minimum of three times per week at a gym and also play indoor soccer socially.
Where can people follow you online?
LinkedIn: Rajiv Paladh