Mergan Naidoo is the Chief Executive Officer of the Goldrush Group of Companies. He is a CA (SA) who has obtained Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Accounting Sciences and Accounting Science honours degrees.
Over the course of his career, Mergan has received numerous accolades including:
- Being identified as one of the Top 35 under 35 Chartered Accountants in the inaugural list published by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants;
- In the same year he was recognised by Destiny Man in their Power of 40 Report as “one of 40 incredible men establishing themselves in their respective field;” and
- Most recently, as a finalist, along with the founder of the Goldrush Group of Companies, Raymond George Hipkin, in the Exceptional Entrepreneur category of the EY World Entrepreneur Awards 2016 Southern Africa “in recognition of outstanding contributions made by the entrepreneurs of Southern Africa in the areas of entrepreneurial spirit, financial performance, strategic direction, community/global impact, innovation, personal integrity and influence.
The awards were in recognition of Mergan’s defining role in the success of the Goldrush Group of Companies. When Mergan joined Goldrush (then Viva Bingo) in 2009, the companies were fragmented and technically insolvent. He initiated and drove a consolidation process that saw the creation of a structured and consolidated group of companies that now employs approximately 2000 people, has a significantly improved BEE rating and is considered a significant role player in the gaming industry. “The process lasted three years and involved negotiations with multiple stakeholders, tax structuring in South Africa and the UK, BEE structuring, as well as mediating with multiple provincial gambling boards for regulatory approval. This culminated in the formation of the Goldrush Group of Companies in December 2013 – now one of the largest alternative gaming groups in South Africa.” Mergan’s success in significantly increasing the profit, success and recognisability of the Goldrush brand was accompanied by a rise through the ranks within the company from a joiner to Chief Financial Officer to Chief Executive Officer in just 7 short years.
Mergan has not stopped at consolidating the Group. Post the consolidation process, he has also been at the helm of creating further efficiencies, structure and definition within the Group that has seen the creation of three thriving and growing divisions: Bingo & Casinos, Limited Pay-out Machines and Sports Betting.
Finally, he has ensured that the profitability of the Group is shared by the communities in which the Goldrush Group of Companies operate by the creation of the Goldrush Foundation NPC.