Divya Vasant

Divya Vasant, 32

SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP

I am the Founder and CEO of The AMAZI Group, a beauty brand crafted on the principles of inclusivity cultivated through two distinct arms: The AMAZI Academy (a non-profit training school) and AMAZI Beauty (a chain of Nail and Beauty Salons) with operations in Cape Town and Johannesburg. These two entities collaborate to journey marginalized women from unemployment to equity ownership within the Group. The Cape Town Academy was first established in 2014, with the first AMAZI store following in 2015.

My purpose is rooted in combating the ingrained sense of inferiority among marginalized women. The first time I felt a deep sense of anger about the inequality that oppresses women was in high school when I helped my karate instructor teach self-defence to victims of abuse. From then I knew that I wanted to find a way re-build women that have lost belief in their potential. It took me the next 12 years to configure the “how”.

I studied development economics at the University of Cape Town and began my career at Absa Capital where I was the Lead Credit Research Analyst. In this role, I was the first- and second-rated analyst in the country in 2010 and 2011, in the Spire Awards and Financial Mail rankings respectively. I left finance after just over 5 years and found myself on a path toward founding the AMAZI Group that was largely possible through incredible synchronicity.

I’m a big fan of coffee, the Harvard Business Review and Star Wars. I’m lucky to be married to a man that gives me the freedom to be me.

Fun Fact: I wear headphones when I walk my dog (who is bigger than I am) and while she takes her time sniffing around street poles I usually sneak in a few dance moves.