There was no significant career guidance in his school years, so he used the Weekend Argus's job section to see what job opportunities there were in the world beyond school and university. The vast number of finance-related vacancies was his cue to pursue a career in accounting and finance, says Irfaan Dalvie, Stellenbosch University's new Senior Director: Operations in the Responsibility Centre: Operations and Finance.
Born and bred in Cape Town, Irfaan's mind was set on accounting, and he enrolled at UWC to do his BCom after school. “I made my career decision based on an urgent need for future financial security. When I became a chartered accountant, there were as many as 22 000 CAs in South Africa, with less than five percent being black people. It was not an obvious choice as a career in the Indian and coloured communities at the time, but I knew that if I wanted a secure future, this was the way to go," said Irfaan, the first CA in his family.
Irfaan's role is to strategically assist the RC Operations and Finance leadership team and be responsible for planning and facilitating the development of SU's portfolio of properties, amongst others. “Irfaan's role is also that of the University's controller, conducting internal risk investigations, ad hoc finance, governance, and operational related investigations and managing the secretarial function of the Ethics hotline committee," says Prof Stan du Plessis, SU's Chief Operating Officer. Irfaan will assist Prof du Plessis in operational matters of the University and implement the RC's strategy and business plan in line with that of the University. He will also assist Prof Du Plessis in identifying and implementing improvements to business processes to increase efficiency and reduce costs.
Before joining SU, Irfaan was, amongst others, responsible for managing and generating new sustainable sources of third-stream income for UWC. Prof du Plessis said Irfaan's experience in property development projects in his previous roles, especially at UWC, made him the obvious choice for this role. The highlight of his work at UWC was creating spaces and places for students that will transform and enhance their experiences on campus, which he believes cannot be done without wide consultation with all stakeholders. For him, it is essential that projects, no matter how small, should have a sustainable and transformational impact.
“I believe SU can significantly impact the region, the country, and even the world, and I am excited to be part of this process. There are a lot of exciting plans and projects on the horizon, which I cannot wait to be part of and help to contribute to the future we are building on our SU campuses."
Before working at UWC for the past seven years, Irfaan worked mainly in corporate finance across various sectors. After completing his articles at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), he joined Ernst & Young in 2001 and spent thirteen years as part of their corporate finance and risk management teams in various roles both locally and overseas.
Father of two, Irfaan, loves the time spent with his children. “We are best of friends and love the outdoors and exploring - especially places where there is water. He loves paying it forward via work done for NPOs, but also enjoys cooking and gardening, says Irfaan. “My latest project is growing fruit trees, and I currently nurture fifteen different varieties in the garden."