Tenacious woman business owner, Vimala Ariyan, who is the founding member and Managing Director of the Southern African Institute of Learning (SAIL), was introduced to WEConnect International in April 2016 after a meeting with Jean Chawapiwa, the Country Director of WEConnect International in South Africa. She became a WEConnect International certified Women’s Business Enterprise in August 2016 and SAIL is already in negotiations to extend its services into the African region.
Vimala started her professional career as an educator in KwaZulu Natal, before joining the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) where she decided on a future in the exciting and rewarding world of occupational training. She considers SAIL her third child, having grown the organization to where it is today.
SAIL is 11 years old and specialises in accredited training and development in the public sector with a particular focus on local government. The SAIL slogan, “Your pathway to learning”, aptly reflects the ethos of the institute which is to provide long-term learning aimed at making a positive difference in the workplace, and to ensure that both employees and employers benefit from the experience. Having trained and certified over 10 000 learners in all 278 municipalities nationally in short courses and full qualifications, SAIL has become an institute of choice for many of their clients. In addition to being an all-women organisation, SAIL is accredited and quality assured by nine Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs).
Under WEConnect International in South Africa, Vimala was exposed to the EY Entrepreneurial Wining Women Programme and has been chosen as a finalist for the Class of 2016. The EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women programme recognises and supports elite women business owners through their leadership development programme which enables them to reach their full business potential. Vimala has stated that she will throw all her energy into making full use of the opportunity.
As a WEConnect International-listed supplier, Vimala’s focus is on the expansion of SAIL into the global market. Over the next year, SAIL will be working on a development strategy on a revised business plan. SAIL training methodologies will be reviewed to allow for the introduction of technological and innovative practices to meet global standards. Vimala’s progress professionally can be accredited to an unwavering adherence to a clear vision of the company’s potential. She works with a strong and coherent team whose skills and knowledge complement each other. This has smoothly propelled the organisation in a positive direction.