“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used to create them.” — Albert Einstein

Gift Pule



Organisation / Company

Sanlam Private Equity


Preparation gets you through half the battle, and perseverance gets you through the rest. This motto has sustained Gift Pule, 32, through his career, especially when he decided to change his career from medical research to finance and asset management. Part of that pivot involved being prepared to be the least knowledgeable person in the room, but in the end his perseverance paid off.  His job as a private equity principal at Sanlam Private Equity involves investing in well-established mid-market companies, with the ability to influence the decisions and processes of these businesses towards realising their full potential. For example, after investing in SkipWaste, Gauteng’s largest waste logistics business was able to increase its waste diversification from below 30% to 50% in just three years, preventing 100 000 tonnes of waste going into landfills. Gift is driven by his commitment to be effective through the work he and his company do. It drives change, creates jobs and improves employment quality. In the past four years, he helped put R1.5 billion in equity risk capital into medium-sized local businesses, sustaining jobs in several sectors and  growing them in others, generating returns for his investors. 



Bachelor of Science (Human Genetics), University of Cape Town

Bachelor of Medicine Honours, University of Cape Town

Doctor of Philosophy in Human Genetics, University of Cape Town

Doctoral Fellowship, Baylor College of Medicine

Master’s in Business Administration, Regent Business School


Through my job at Sanlam Private Equity, I was appointed to the board of several investee companies, including the largest employer in Cullinan near Pretoria, the Cavalier Group, an integrated AAA grade red meat processing and retail packaging business. Through this investment, Cavalier Group not only sustained over 1 400 permanent jobs during the peak of the pandemic, but has increased employment to 1 850 since 2020. 

As a director, I also oversaw the implementation of the diversification strategy into quick service restaurants, with the acquisition of Grand Foods Meat Plant in 2023 adding 40 more jobs, as well as driving environmental and social impact through efforts to reduce water usage, reliance on electricity through investments into solar alternatives and improving recycling to over 60% of input packaging materials.
Within SkipWaste, another investee company that focuses on alternative forms of waste disposal through recycling, recovery, conversion and alternative disposal, I was involved in growing and repositioning Gauteng’s largest waste logistics business into a leading alternative waste disposal partner for commercial, industrial and retail clients in the province. With the long-term objective of driving the zero-waste-to-landfill agenda, SkipWaste increased waste diversion from below 30% to over 50% in three years, representing a total of 102 259 tonnes of waste diverted from landfill disposal.


The managing partner at our firm and friend, Paul Moeketsi, has been a great mentor both professionally and personally. The biggest highlight from the relationship is the importance of family and faith, key principles that also positively impacted my professional career.