This CEO reads three books a day. Here’s how.

Business Insider SA
  • Within 15 years, Emmanuel Stanton Pillay has worked his way up from being a technician and driver to becoming the CEO of ITMaster.
  • Today, he runs the company on a mantra of speed, agility, scale, prayer and generosity.
  • He also reads three books a day depending on the time and space he is in.
  • Working closely alongside international tech companies like HP, Pillay is passionate about empowering rural communities in South Africa. 

Fifteen years ago, a fresh young Durbanite grew an interest in information technology and started a humble job as a driver and technician at ITMaster. Although peanut butter sandwiches were his staple food and extra odd jobs for pocket money were inevitable to get through the month, he persevered with a positive attitude and a people-first approach to work. Today, that same young man sat down for an interview with us as the CEO of ITMaster to share his journey, his philosophies and his unparalleled passion for South Africa.

When Emmanuel Stanton Pillay first started working at ITMaster in 2004, the scope of his job involved deliveries, installations and consequently a lot of facetime with clients. “After a while clients would phone in and not ask for salespeople but ask for the little guy that installed their printer,” he recalls. From his first job to his current position as CEO, Pillay says that transparency, agility and realising the power of facetime with clients and colleagues are a few things that have remained the same in all his positions.

The pillars of a Pillay’s journey

One thing that stands out from Pillay from the start, is his mindfulness. Whether it’s in his work or his personal life, he is intentional about everything he tackles. Contributing to this, is his clever strategy to read three books a day. He reads a spiritual book in the morning before work; a business orientated book during the day; and a book about any other topic that interest him in the evenings. Currently, he recommends Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think and Switch on Your Brain.

Pillay’s three-fold advice for any young person who is at the brink of their career is simple:

  1. Have a vision
  2. Be sincere
  3. Make your boss’ life simpler

ITMaster’s footprint in South Africa

ITMaster founded in 2001 by three women who wanted to provide Information and Communications Technology (ICT) services cheaper, stronger and more efficient than their competitors. It was the first all women-owned and -managed SMME in Limpopo, and iTMaster was instrumental in delivering quality services to several government and state-owned entities. Today, Pillay aims to steer the company with the same vision that’s built on five things: speed, agility, scale, prayer and generosity.

As a future-focused company, ITMaster aims to be pioneering and bold to ensure they are relevant and that they are embracing the 4th industrial. But as an ICT company in South Africa, Pillay says their biggest challenge is connectivity in rural areas and finding the balance of what’s relevant in our country. “South Africa and other parts of the world don’t even have stuff from first and second industrial revolution like electricity,” he mentions, “So finding the balance of projecting into the future and staying relevant but also accepting the reality of present needs in our country is important.”

Global partners and the journey ahead

In order to impact society, ITMaster drives change through digitisation because they want to bring the world to communities. Their partnership with HP has played a huge part in allowing them to do this.

“HP is the leading brand in our devices business. We have a close alliance and good relationships with them on all levels and we’re very impressed with their current leadership,” Pillay says. “Our core values (people, planet, and community) are very similar and is perfectly aligned with what we believe in and strive for.”

This post is sponsored by HP produced by Business Insider Studio for Business Insider SA.

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