‘It is my nature to ask questions’

2015-04-30 15:14
=Riyaadh Lillah 
                    Photo:
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=Riyaadh Lillah Photo: SUPPLIED

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The limited research that has been conducted on environmental management in small and medium-sized businesses in South Africa has been descriptive in nature, and fails to produce results that can be generalised.

With this in mind, Riyaadh Lillah (28) NMMU Business Management lecturer developed and tested a theoretical model to explain the implementation of environmental management systems in small and medium-sized businesses.

Lillah said that businesses have been criticised for their contribution towards the rate of destruction of the natural environment.

He adopted a quantitative survey methodology to test the proposed theoretical model. In total, 417 small and medium-sized businesses participated in the survey; 326 of these were not implementing an environmental management system, and 91 were implementing such a system.

Lillah this week walked across the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s stage to be awarded his doctorate titled “Environmental management systems in South African small and medium-sized businesses”.

Lillah first fell in love with the new trend of greening businesses and sustainability in his undergraduate studies at NMMU. In line with the NMMU value of respect for the natural environment, NMMU residences have gradually established a commitment to sustainable student housing over the last few years.

They embarked on a campaign to make the residences more eco-friendly with the aim of creating sustainable residences where students can live in harmony with ecological processes, minimise consumption and waste, and show respect for human dignity and health.

Lillah has played an integral role in this initiative.

After matriculating from Brandwag High School in Uitenhage, Lillah majored in Business Management and Economics completing his degree in 2008. He then went on to obtain his BCom (Hons) in Business Management in 2009. A year later, he started working on his master’s degree in Business Management, graduating in April 2012.

“Most of my postgraduate research focused on green issues,” he says.

With a goal of obtaining full professorship before the age of 35, Lillah is enjoying lecturing close to 1000 first-year Business Management students.

“It is my nature to ask questions; so research comes naturally. I always ask how research can be done more effectively,” he says.

The Uitenhage born and bred academic says his late father Sulyman pushed him to further his studies. Sadly his dad passed away in 2009 while Lillah was busy with his honours exams. “I am dedicating my PhD to my dad.”

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