‘I understand poverty and underdevelopment along with the challenge of it’

Author, Founder and Chief Executive of Pan-African Investment and Research Services Dr. Iraj Abedian shared insights on his latest book “FutureNEXT: Reimagining Our World and Conquering Uncertainty”, his life story leading up to a career in economics, and his thoughts on the South African government’s Covid-19 economic recovery plan.

Abedian was born in the central North of Iran to what he describes as a poor upbringing, he later in his life came to South Africa as a student due to the fascination with the country’s history and wanting to be involved in promoting racial harmony across the country.

“I came from a poor background, I understand poverty and underdevelopment along with the challenges of it.”

Dr Iraj Abedian, CEO – Pan-African Investments and Research Service

“Late in the 70s South Africa was in the middle of a server and inhuman institutionalised racism and to me, that was a perfect place to go and learn and test my own commitment to humanity and a new sort of system of thinking.”

Dr Iraj Abedian, CEO – Pan-African Investments and Research Service

“I came to South Africa as a student and to do my honours at the University of Cape Town and to work my way up.”

Dr Iraj Abedian, CEO – Pan-African Investments and Research Service

Abedian described living in South Africa during the Apartheid era as artificial and a painful experience.

Having first spent some time in Cape Town, he decided to focus on the subsistence economy and subsequently spent 15 months travelling through the Transkei.

Iraj has since been involved in all aspects of South African society from being Academia as a lecturer to working in both the public sector as an advisor and in the private sector as an economist to now being the founder and Chief Executive of Pan-African Investment and Research Services (Pty) Ltd and Executive Chairman of Pan-African Capital Holdings (Pty) Ltd.

Abedian recently collaborated with futures-strategist John Sanei in writing of a new book called FutureNEXT: Reimagining Our World and Conquering Uncertainty.

“The book explores our evolving responsibilities as consumers, employees, employers, entrepreneurs, and executives tasked with re-imagining our world.

He explained the process of writing the book and what inspired him and Sanei to work with each other.

The book and the idea of a collaboration came early in April after most places were placed on lockdown in one form or another it came to both of our attention completely independently that things have shifted dramatically.”

Dr Iraj Abedian, CEO – Pan-African Investments and Research Service

“John being futuristic and mostly looking at the inside of a human being as to how we absolve things, how we internalise and form our inner universe dynamics, and how to cope. I came from sort of decades of being a student of economics and research and always focused on the outer universe, the social economics environment.”

Dr Iraj Abedian, CEO – Pan-African Investments and Research Service

“We concluded that this is the beginning of a new phase in both the inner and outer environment of us human beings.”

Dr Iraj Abedian, CEO – Pan-African Investments and Research Service

Listen to the interview here on 702.co.za.