Aasiyah Adams is the CEO of Cinga Solutions, a consultancy company that tailors BBBEE strategies and scenario planning for corporates. Their aim: for companies to get the best return on investment at the lowest cost. Because Aasiyah is passionate about change with impact.
She’s also the founder of Abaguquli, a non-profit organisation that trains people in fourth industrial revolution (4IR) skills. Here, she tells Go Hustle about her drive to create economic independence.
The work Abaguquli does…
“Abaguquli means ‘transformers’, translated from Zulu,” begins Aasiyah. “We aim to transform lives through education and innovation. We are a black, women-owned level 1 BBBEE registered non-profit company and organisation that’s dedicated and passionate about transformation.”
Their objective is to prepare youth for the fourth industrial revolution through training, information and access to opportunities. Their mission is to empower the youth with skills to become financially independent, so they can do freelancing, start co-operatives, or establish their own business.
“We [offer training in] the following,” she says, “digital marketing, programming, tech, video and animation, remote pilot’s licence (drones), beyond visual line of sight licence (BVLOS), robotics, artificial intelligence, coding, 3D mapping, 3D printing, entrepreneurship and other soft skills.”
READ MORE: 10 Things That Make You A Much Better Leader
Getting into the industry…
There are a few avenues from consultancy to verification agent to BBBEE analyst. You should have a flair for business solutions, explains Aasiyah, and stay abreast of BBBEE acts and changes. Having an HR background and experience helps. Being an innovative and creative business thinker will also stand you in good stead, she says.
What does career growth look like when you choose this path?
“I think, in general, women must work and push harder,” says Aasiyah. “[In] the work I do, you have to work with top executives and decision-makers.” She feels she’s earned her position with her experience, background and reputation. “I work mainly with companies that generate R10-million to R50-million revenue,” she says. “Everyone understands and knows the importance of my work and the impact on their business.”
How to get ahead…
1/ “[You’ll get ahead] through lots of self-learning, learning curves, trial and errors… By being tech savvy, you will go far.”
2/ “Good mentorship and coaching are key. [Plus] determination and passion to move forward and become successful.”
3/ “Don’t second-guess yourself and don’t live in that comfort zone. Keep making yourself comfortable being uncomfortable. Comfort zones are not where you will grow. “
3/ “A sassy pair of heels and a power suit are important for those ‘I’m not sure if I’m doing the right thing’ days. You have nothing to lose and so much to learn. Go out there and do it. We were born to lead.”
Advice for SA matrics and recent graduates
“Don’t believe the generations before you that you have to endure the same sufferings they did and [that] the harder you work, the more you will be rewarded. Take the risk. At that age, you can fall and climb back up. The older you get, the least likely you are to take risks,” says Aasiyah.
In the information era, with 4IR, the one with the most innovative, creative idea is the one who moves forward, says Aasiyah. You don’t always need the skill – you may just need a solid team who come with their own skills. “Work on the four passive incomes – even if it is R10 in shares and part of a group buying property. The years go by so quickly; don’t look back and say, ‘If only!’ Trust your gut – [if] it feels right or wrong, that is what it is,” she says.