Sandra Crous, the CEO of payroll solutions provider Payspace, has been granted a Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in the Digital Industry. The accolade was granted by the SA Professional Services Awards sponsored by Sanlam and W. Consulting.

Professionals from various organisations were set to gather at a gala dinner in Montecasino Ball Room on the evening of 19 March 2020 to honour the best amongst them. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the SAPSA Awards were indefinitely postponed. The organisers of the event have subsequently undertaken to progressively announce the winners for the 2019/2020 edition prior to hosting a gathering for all finalists and guests. This marks the fifth edition of the Awards following a rigorous process of determining winners through strict criteria.

Janette Minnaar, the chair of the adjudication panel explained how the winners were determined.

“Individuals were judged based on a host of attributes including demonstration of leadership skills, changing of paradigms and innovation within the bounds of available resources. We also conferred a number of Lifetime Achievement Awards to deserving recipients who had served their professions faithfully for many years,” said Minnaar.

The firm awards were based on the following criteria – business growth, customer service, technical excellence, contribution to the community, contribution to the profession, transformation record and commitment to ethics and professionalism. The criteria were not equally weighted, a strong showing in one category was sufficient to put the firm above the rest.

Sandra Crous started her career at SA Permanent Building Society at the enquiries desk. Frustrated about the work she was doing, she requested a transfer to the human resources division where she attended to the salaries function.  She started doing salaries and wages and implemented a few computerised payroll systems at different business when in 1989; she saw an advert for a support role to implement payroll systems. She joined a start-up company of seven employees. In the first month of getting leads, she sold four payroll systems a week and that was a massive learning journey.  She later had a 27-year run at VIP Payroll and eventually Sage Africa. She fulfilled diverse roles including Sales Director, later taking up the helm as Vice-President for Midmarket Africa and Middle East. Over this period, she oversaw significant revenue growth in the entire mid-market segment, augmenting the company’s reputation and client base in the Middle East, and managing both Direct and Indirect sales teams across the region.

She has held positions in the education sector most recently as CEO of both Damelin Online and the London College of International Business Studies. She was appointed PaySpace Managing Director effective 1 April 2019.

Watch Sandra’s acceptance speech below: