OVER 30 UNDER 50: ‘Not About Perfection, But About Constantly Trying’-Dr Aisha Pandor

Published 5 months ago
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Story curated by Chanel Retief and Nicole Pillay
Art Direction: Lucy Nkosi
Photography: Katlego Mokubyane ; Assistant: Sbusiso Sigidi
Styling: Deneal Van Wyk; Outfits supplied by Fashimo Styles Studio, Ukara, Suited For Her and Preview
Accessories Hair & Makeup:Vanessa Unamaca, MakoleMade Location: NewKatz.Studio, Johannesburg

It’s the need of the hour that most entrepreneurs pivot in their approach to building businesses. This has become quite normalized in the tech space. Traditionalists see risks but not Dr Aisha Pandor, whose main goal has always been about building businesses that help those around her and help her plough back into her country’s economy.

Pandor, a qualified human geneticist, started SweepSouth, an online home cleaning and gardening services platform, with her husband, software engineer Alen Ribic, in 2014. The idea came about when she had just left her corporate career. While they were reviewing different business ideas, the couple realized that they needed help at home, at the time.


“That sparked the idea that there are services like Lyft and Uber, but there’s nothing that helps to connect you to home services, using technology,” Pandor says.

Almost a decade later, Pandor walks in for the photoshoot at the NewKatz.Studio in Johannesburg, South Africa, ready to announce that she has stepped down as CEO of the online platform.

“One of the great things about being a scientist is that when you’re building, you measure your impact as you’re going along, you do it in a datadriven way.


“Now, I’m thinking about work-life balance. And so, I think it’s important to also showcase this phase in [a] woman’s career,” Pandor adds, stating that she will not be leaving SweepSouth permanently but will rather focus more on building a business centered around health, health technology and genetics.


“This is often the time when you’re having children or your children are old enough that you start thinking about the time that you spend with them. I think this notion of not needing to find the perfect balance, but being able to hold lots of spaces at the same time – that is really what being a power woman is about. It’s not about perfection. It’s about constantly trying.”