Education is in the blood for 22-year-old Sharndre Kushor who is preparing to take on New York City in the New Year aiming to take her multi-million business even further.

The South African-born, co-founder of Crimson Education, based in Auckland's Newmarket, has completed an undergraduate degree in health sciences and is looking forward to what the United States has in store.

As chief operating officer at Crimson and head of recruiting, Kushor has an impressive CV.
She's been an academic tutor to intermediate and high school students, a communication trainer for teenagers with disabilities and a UNICEF Youth Ambassador.

While her age could be perceived as a problem, it hasn't been, she says.


"I can't say I've had too many experiences where there have been substantial challenges with differences in age," Kushor said.

"Once you're able to show results and prove the value in what you're doing, it becomes really easy to gain people's trust and have them understand the value of what you're engaging with them about."

Asked what it was like employing people potentially 20, 30 or even 40 years her senior, Kushor said she really enjoyed it.

"I really love it and I think if you find someone who is a good fit for your company's culture, it doesn't really matter how old they are."

With a reported net worth of $21.2 million and a 9.7 per cent stake in multi-million dollar education consulting firm Crimson Education, the future looks bright for Kushor.

In the past 10 months she has spent much of her time in Britain, India, Singapore and the United States, scouting and learning about international markets, all part of Crimson's latest business drive.

Kushor said the goal was to make Crimson "a household name for all education needs".

Crimson Education, recently rebranded from Crimson Consulting, is valued at a staggering $220m. Founded by the now 21-year-old Jamie Beaton and Kushor in 2013, the pair met outside the sector.


Initial operations for the education firm, bent towards helping students get into top international universities, started in Auckland but has expanded into international cities including Mumbai, Moscow, Shanghai, Nanjing and London.

Kushor's passion for education is at the forefront of everything she does, she says.

Left to right: Crimson founders Jamie Beaton and Sharndre Kushor.
Left to right: Crimson founders Jamie Beaton and Sharndre Kushor.

"Starting Crimson was very much, for me, a personal decision because I thought if I had access to this type of information growing up, then perhaps I would have chosen to go overseas for my undergraduate [study] as well," she said.

Her passion for education is one she shares with her family, too.

"My family was very much involved with education and basic human rights in South Africa before I was born," she said.

"My Dad did a lot of advocacy work to allow students to have better access to facilities and educational material regardless of their ethnic background.

"He did a lot of work with the ANC Party and Nelson Mandela, and I think that his engagement in South Africa has really shaped my passion for helping students in New Zealand to unlock information in a slightly different but analogous way."

Post-graduate study at a US Ivy League university is on the cards for Kushor. While undecided on what university she will attend, she hopes to do an master of business administration (MBA) either in the UK or US.

Once you're able to show results and prove the value in what you're doing, it becomes really easy to gain people's trust.

The former head girl and student representative on the board of trustees at Albany Senior High School on Auckland's North Shore, Kushor is no stranger to extracurricular success.

Kushor is excited by leadership and extracurricular development.

"My passion is really to help students build up their leadership potential," she said.

Kushor was born in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, and migrated to Wainui Beach, Gisborne with her family when she was eight years old. She lived in the East Coast city for three years before relocating to Auckland.

Tech development and geographical expansion is Crimson's current focus.

She says her goal for the new year is to "push growth in new markets to build a broader scope of global understanding the education landscape".

"One of the biggest areas that I'm focusing on right now is building up our global team, that means I spend a lot of my time hiring and looking for people who could be a really good match for our team and culture. We pick who we work with quite carefully," Kushor said.

Her motto: "We're only as strong as our team."

Sharndre Kushor

Age: 22 years old
Born: Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Role Model: Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook chief operating officer
Currently reading: The War on Women by Julia McRoberts
Focus for 2017: Push growth in new markets
Business advice: Make sure you start a business there's a big need for.