Having been in the finance space her entire career, Tasneem is ready for the challenge of being CEO.
EIMS Africa project CFO Tasneem Khan has been promoted to project CEO. As the CFO, Tasneem was responsible for managing a portfolio of six solar PV projects in South Africa. Now, as CEO, she hopes to grow the company into the largest renewable energy platform in Africa.
Tasneem is passionate about the renewables industry and attributes this to the opportunities that the sector has provided her – specifically to develop people, as well as to be part of community upliftment initiatives, while leaving a greener legacy and better environment for future generations.
“When you take climate change, energy demands and advancement in technology into consideration, we are dealing with an ever-changing landscape on a global level,” she says. “Over the last 10 years, I’ve seen companies rise and fall: the industry demands constant innovation and adaptability. Arguably, these are soft skills, which thrive in the face of necessity and a supportive environment.”
Tasneem admits that she is stepping out of her comfort zone as she takes on the new role, because her previous roles were purely in the finance space. Now, she’ll be involved in all aspects of the business.
Originally coming from a private equity background, when Tasneem joined EIMS as a finance manager for its Umoya Wind Farm and REISA projects, she had no experience in renewable energy. “Ten years ago, when the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme Bid Window 1 reached financial close, everything was still new to me,” she explains. “I recall handing in my first report for review and receiving it back filled with ‘red pen’. I learnt quickly, guided by the CFO.”
Soon thereafter, Cookhouse Wind Farm was added to Tasneem’s portfolio, and her career only grew from there as she was tasked with managing the finance of three Independent Power Producers (IPPs), seeing them through construction to operations. “I remember seeing the turbines arrive at the ports and seeing them transported and erected – these were all fascinating engineering feats.”
In 2018, EIMS reached financial close on the six solar PV projects and Tasneem was appointed as the project CFO, where she designed and implemented finance structures, recruited the finance team, and built relationships with the company’s key stakeholders.
She now sees her appointment to CEO as testament to the culture of people development within EIMS Africa and credits its exponential acquisition of IPPs over the last decade to the brilliant minds within the organisation. She believes that the company can continue to provide an environment of growth and development, as the people within the team are its best resources for growth and tackling future challenges.