Finance Indaba sessions to reveal the art of growth during tough times

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Zaf Mahomed, Deepa Sita and Bothwell Mazarura will unpack growth, M&A and tough turnarounds.

CFOs and their teams are tasked with identifying opportunities for growth for their companies. But with South Africa currently facing strong financial headwinds, growth is an elusive ideal for many. Careful cost control, creative planning, and an eye for opportunity, however, makes it possible to make the most of troubled times.

At this year’s live Finance Indaba, in a session starting at 2pm, Kumba Iron Ore CFO Bothwell Mazarura, Tiger Brands group CFO Deepa Sita, and Liberty Africa Insurance CFO Ravi Singh will reveal how they chart a course for growth during uncertain times.

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Turning to M&A for growth
Growth through acquisition is a common theme in today’s business environment, and while organisations can benefit from aligning with other businesses that are a good fit, there are enormous challenges in integrating systems, finances and – often the most overlooked element – organisational culture. If it’s done right, companies can quickly grow, even during the most uncertain of times.

In a session starting at 3pm, Coca-Cola Beverages SA FD Walter Leonhardt, Siyanda Bakgatla Platinum CFO Imraan Osman and Adumo group CFO Grant Manicom will give their insights into getting the M&A recipe right.

“When Siyanda acquired the Union Mine, as much as we needed to put money into the things that mattered for the mine, like capital development and equipment, we had to focus on renewing the energy and purpose of our employees first. In addition to various employee intervention and culture change programmes, we started putting money into the things that mattered to the workers, like improving the housing, rehabilitating the recreational centre and the golf club, and introducing various social clubs,” Imraan explained during an interview with CFO South Africa.

The art of the tough turnaround
Not everyone is able to tap into growth opportunities during tough times. When these businesses threaten to fail, they threaten to fail big!

When finances are in freefall and teams are lacking conviction, it seems impossible that these ships can be turned. But strong leadership, innovative thinking and plain old hard work can make the magic happen.

Over the past couple of years, EOH group FD Megan Pydigadu has been involved in a big clean-up exercise and working closely with the banks on liquidity issues in the wake of the scandal. As a result, some of the top learnings she has to share for ensuring liquidity during a crisis are around relationship management, governance, tightly managing working capital and doing the financial basics well.

“When I joined EOH two years ago there had been no cash flow forecasting in place and management of working capital was ad hoc. We had a large debtors book and we were paying suppliers randomly. We quickly put in place 13-week cash flow forecasts in which we measured actual weekly cash flows against forecasts on a weekly basis and moved to paying suppliers weekly as well as forming a credit committee to manage and reduce our debtors book.”

Find out the secret behind EOH’s successful turnaround, and the burdens that came with it during a 2pm session at the Finance Indaba. She will be joined by ex Cell C CFO Zaf Mahomed, who will unpack the task of recapitalising Cell C.

Don't miss out on these sessions! Register for the lvie Finance Indaba now! 

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