CFO Megan Pydigadu explains that EOH is ready for its next phase

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EOH is equipped to handle the multiple challenges South Africa is facing, says Megan.

As EOH reaches the end of its turnaround, group FD Megan Pydigadu is looking forward to focusing on the company’s GET strategy, which looks at growth and expansion.

“We are now perfectly positioned to grow our revenue and solutions to customers as a result of the acceleration of digitisation across the business landscape,” she says.

Megan explains that the turnaround was completed with the launch of EOH’s rights issue in mid-January, which will close mid-February. “We have also negotiated a refinance package with Standard Bank, which will see us move toward a single bank instead of dealing with four banks.”

She adds that it’s because of these measures that EOH now has the appropriate capital structure that allows it to focus on delivering its new growth strategy, and loadshedding won’t be standing in their way. “Fortunately, we are not a large consumer of power. However, we are talking to our landlords about introducing clean energy at our offices to further reduce our dependence on and manage the cost of running generators.”

Megan says EOH is looking at putting solar on its office roof and storing a base load through batteries. “We run data centres for our customers that need to be online 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so it’s critical we have multiple back-up options to ensure uninterrupted power supply.”

One of the group’s businesses, Nextec, offers solutions that go a long way to solve power and water challenges in South Africa, by helping customers move to renewable energy and become “power independent”.

It provides Eskom and various municipalities with technologies that protect the grid during loadshedding. “The current energy shortage in South Africa also means that the consumption of large users must be monitored,” Megan adds.

She explains that Nextec helps to assist both the private and public sector to manage their water use and plan their water resources for the future. “Nextec has the capability to accurately model the entire water network of a municipality, including detailed data on water demand. It provides clients such as the City of Cape Town, City of Ekurhuleni and City of Tshwane with reliable information on how their water and sanitation supply networks are currently performing and how they will perform in the future.”

It also offers solutions that allow utilities to identify where they are losing water and to quantify these losses. “Non-revenue water and water loss is currently a major challenge in South Africa – as much as 60 percent of all water extracted from dams fall into these categories. The pressure management, leakage detection and metering solutions assist utilities and private clients to manage their water consumption and reduce unnecessary losses,” she says.

While the finance community has largely managed to weather the storm and pull through, CFOs need to remain positive, encourages Megan.

“As South Africans, we are incredibly resilient and have had to deal with multiple macro and global issues the past few years. Despite this, we have to remember that our country has opportunity, and we can have a meaningful impact on the socio-economic fabric of our society, together.”

From a personal perspective, Megan explains that the last four years have been hard and required significant effort to turn EOH around. “I want to ensure this year that I am able to be more balanced and focus on being fully present in every moment.”

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