Tauriq Keraan
Home African CEOs Interviews Visionaries From Odd Jobs to CEO of Digital Bank: The Story of Tauriq Keraan
Visionaries - August 11, 2022

From Odd Jobs to CEO of Digital Bank: The Story of Tauriq Keraan

Having goals, working hard, and exercising perseverance have served Tauriq Keraan well throughout his life. And they have been guiding principles in how he manages money, family and people.

In August 2019, TymeBank announced the appointment of Tauriq Keraan as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) after the resignation of Sandile Shabalala in June of that year.

His appointment as the new head of TymeBank has undoubtedly been one of the best decisions the organisation has made, considering his vast experiences in management and business growth.

Keraan, who previously acted as the bank’s deputy CEO, no doubt played an instrumental role in the bank’s development; making him the next CEO was a no-brainer for the management.

He was one of the founding members that led to Tyme’s inception in 2012 and played a critical role in the market launch of Tymebank in 2019, as well as the subsequent maturation of its operations.

Describing Keraan and explaining why he was appointed to the position, Thabani Jali, TymeBank chairman said that the decision will “ensure continuity in the business.”

“He is a seasoned executive who will continue to build TymeBank in its efforts to deliver affordable and accessible banking to our customers,” Jali said

The appointment to head Tyme Group’s executive means that as TymeBank expands its footprint in new international markets, Keraan will be responsible for establishing its operations in those new territories.

The early days of Tauriq Keraan

Growing up in the neighbourhood of brightly painted houses in one of Cape Town’s most photographed communities, Tauriq Keraan recalls money lessons as complex as the community he grew up in.

In an interview with Soweto live, Keraan said he came from an average family in the community but grew up feeling that his financial muscle in Bo-Kaap broadly followed the lines of being on the hill or the flat land.

“My family lived on the flat land. The area has since been gentrified, but growing up there in the 80s it was a coloured community that wasn’t particularly well off,” Keraan explains.

Being the youngest of three, Keraan recalls that although money was scarce in the family, the close relationship he had with his parents and older siblings helped fill that gap. His first real money lesson came from his maternal uncle.

His uncle’s act of kindness taught him the importance of giving back where you can and respecting money, and ultimately giving him the skills to preserve money.

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Keraan determination to be educated

According to Keraan, although things were financially tight, his parents always prioritised education. He completed high school and attended the University of Cape Town despite some uncertainty about whether he would finish his education.

“My father was retrenched from his job as I was completing high school, getting ready to go into university. He was 50 years old at the time and was not able to find meaningful work at the time. However, he still woke up every morning and did various odd jobs to meet the family’s needs,” Keraan says.

This experience taught him about determination, perseverance and an honest day’s work, helping Keraan sustain himself by doing odd jobs while attending university.

During his studies, he found a scholarship programme that allowed him to convert his undergraduate chemistry degree to one in engineering. It would also cover a master’s dissertation and pay him a R2,000 stipend.

“I was already married then. My wife and I lived in a room in someone’s house. I would send R1,000 of that money to my parents, and my wife and I would live on the rest,” Keraan says.

He adds that although it was tough financially, he was driven by passion and determined to use the opportunities presented to him to improve his life.

Focusing on his studies, work and young family, Keraan was able to avoid negative peer pressure and was lucky enough to have a responsible wife. She showed him how to use credit to his favour early on in their relationship.

Keraan has an MSc degree from the University of Cape Town and has spent 10 years building and scaling digital banking businesses in South Africa.

His future with TymeBank

As part of his future plans, Keraan wants to continue being part of the team at TymeBank, improving the lives of ordinary South Africans through their product. He also plans to work on his own financial well-being and transfer positive lessons to his children. 

Keraan sees the staffing pyramid upside down as he is the support to staff driving financial inclusion in South Africa by developing and upskilling them through solid teamwork.

TymeBank is majority-owned by African Rainbow Capital, a company within business mogul Patrice Motsepe’s Ubuntu-Botho Investments as the parent company, making it SA’s first majority black-owned bank.

Ubuntu-Botho Investments is made up of more than 600 individual black shareholders and various church, trade union, youth and community groups, and they have benefitted commercially as shareholders for 15 years.

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