New CEO at helm of B-BBEE trust

Neeraj Kessery is the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Volkswagen B-BBEE Initiatives Trust.

22 V Wtrust

He who took up this position on 1 August 2022 and takes over from Sipha Ndawonde, who has been at the helm of the Trust since it was established in 2016. Sipha will remain a Trustee with the organisation.

Though it carries the name Volkswagen, the Trust is managed independently by a Board of Trustees, and the aim of the Trust is to increase the number of quality Black-owned suppliers and businesses in the automotive sector value chain, through both financial and non-financial assistance. The Trust has supported seven businesses to date, through various programmes.

Neeraj brings to his new role a total of 24 years’ experience in the automotive sector. After obtaining his BSc degree in Mechanical Engineering, he started his career at a Mercedes-Benz dealership, after which he joined BMW through a graduate programme.

Neeraj Kessery, the new CEO at the Trust.

Following eight years in various departments within BMW, he moved to the Automotive Industry Development Centre (AIDC). In this role, he was hands-on in advancing transformation in the automotive industry, as he was charged with setting up supplier incubator hubs at several original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), including Ford and Nissan.

“I feel I’m in a good position, having worked with various manufacturers, because the bigger mandate of transformation goes beyond Volkswagen or any single OEM,” he says. “As I have been a trustee for two years, I am also not coming in brand new; I have had the opportunity to learn from my peers.”

He looks forward to investing in more businesses and helping them develop into successful players in the value chain. “I’m excited that our work as the Trust has an element of township economy development, but equally excited that I get to interact with formal enterprises. In township businesses you can really see the impact you’re making, but in formalised business you can make a huge impact in terms of job creation,” Neeraj says.

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