After completing Std. 10, his national service and his studies in marketing at the University of Natal, Gavin Varejes first tried his hand at being a vendor for photographic equipment in his native city, Durban, South Africa. After his business failed to be lucrative, he decided to move 600 something kilometres away from the hot humidity of Durban and brave the colder winters and hot, dry summers of Johannesburg. The early eighties was a time of commercial success and development in South Africa and Gavin set off to find his way in the bigger city. He ended up staying there and doing business across a variety of sectors. He spent his time learning everything he could about trading with products that included housewares, footwear and consumer electronics. Gavin eventually entered the field of mobile phone technology and started importing and distributing cellular phones and accessories. The company he started was transformed from obscurity to becoming one of the leading cellular accessory companies in South Africa. After this achievement Gavin Varejes embarked on yet another entrepreneurial venture when he started the venture capital company Richmark Holdings.
Over a Decade of Achievement
Founded in 2000, initially Richmark aimed at giving capable fledgling entrepreneurs the opportunity of experienced input and funding to build their companies with focus on long-term development. In later years, RIchmark changed its preference to dealing with companies that have been established for a minimum of two years with a good operational track record. Gavin Varejes and Richmark are now also exploring alternative revenue streams instead of making use of private equity investors. Despite any transformations undergone, Richmark maintains its core ethos of being "about people, not business." The ultimate goal is to help boost the economic state of the country as a whole and the job creation and empowerment gained by this is certainly doing that. Richmark holds vested interests in companies in the telecommunications industry like Blue Label Telecoms, One Communications and Vo-Call Cellular. The company is also currently involved with property developments around Sandton and Johannesburg, including the Johannesburg Expo Centre.
Gavin Varejes and former Springbok John Allan started the South African Rugby Legends Association (SARLA) in 1995 with the goal of developing rugby in deprived rural and urban areas and to provide coaching and training to youths in need. The organisation has since further developed and now provides funding to a range of charities. Apart from his involvement with SARLA, Gavin Varejes' involvement with altruistic ventures is no less than legendary. He is active with a number of causes, some of which focus on assisting children, others that provide sustainable relief to communities in Africa, Joost van der Westhuizen's J9 Foundation that works to aid those diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease and numerous other charities in other areas. Gavin does not discriminate as to which kind of beneficiary is worthy of his generosity and is on the look-out for worthy recipients all the time.