With only R500 and a bakkie, Vivian Reddy founded Edison Power 30 years ago. Today it has grown into the largest black-owned electrical installation company in South Africa. Vivian Reddy born Vathasallum Reddy is the son of a teacher and the youngest of nine children. He was chosen as South Africa’s first representative to the Boy Scouts Jamboree in Japan. It was there that he met his inspiration Neil Armstrong.
In 2013, his company, Edison Power, was accused of corruption after being awarded a R1.25 billion tender, although this was later cleared
Born in Durban, he has created a business empire with diverse interests in energy, casinos, healthcare, financial services and property development. Reddy is involved in several South African charity initiatives such as the Orphans of AIDS Trust Fund. He is a philanthropist and is committed to the upliftment of the less fortunate by providing educational bursaries and launching and sponsoring the Orphans of Aids Trust. He purchased the Luthuli Art Collection which was donated to the Chief Albert Luthuli Museum, for the 50th anniversary of Chief Luthuli receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. Vivian is a patron of over twenty organizations in the fields of education, religion, welfare, community centres, health associations, feeding schemes, conservation and cultural initiatives.
Vivian Reddy has received a number of awards locally and globally. To mention the few:
- 1992 Four Outstanding South Africans (FOYSA Award)
- 1993 International Senate Award
- 1993 Distinguished Service Award
- 1993 South African Young Achiever Award
- 1998 Rotary International – Paul Harris Community Service Award
- 2003 Global Indian Entrepreneur of the Year Award
- 2007 Voted the Most Admired Businessperson in KwaZulu-Natal
- 2009 Award for Sustainable Contribution to Engineering and Business
- 2011 Living Legend Award from City of Durban where he said, “This award is very special, coming from my very own city. A city that I love, a city that I worked in and a city that made me who I am.”
- 2012 Invited to Bill Clinton Global Initiative