For Nikki Haley, South Carolina’s Republican gubernatorial nominee, it all began in a living room in Bamberg, S.C. It was there in 1985 that her father, Ajit Randhawa, a biology professor, and her mother, Raj, enlisted her into the family women’s-apparel business — at age 13. “They had me doing payroll, sales tax, all of that,” she laughs. For her parents, Sikh immigrants from India, that was the American way.
“Looking back, I realize that my parents did not want me to think about the limitations of age, gender, or being Indian,” Haley recalls. “They reminded my siblings and me every day about how blessed we were to live in this country. They loved the fact that you could start something, build it, be as successful as you want, and nothing would get in your way.”