Meet Bikash Prasad, winner of the Moving into Africa Award at the CFO Awards 2016

“I’m speechless,” said Olam International CFO Bikash Prasad when presented with the award for Moving into Africa at this year’s CFO Awards 2016, held on 12 May at the beautifully bedecked Summer Place.

Pictured right: Bikash Prasad with Luvuyo Masinda (Standard Bank)

This was the second year that Bikash had been nominated for an award. "I have spent the last three-and-a-half years in South Africa. Today I am feeling the last 12 years of my potential investment into this continent, which I am very passionate about, has paid the dividend. Many thanks to the jury and the CFO South Africa fraternity. Many thanks to all of you," he said.

Watch the video of Bikash giving his acceptance speech on receiving the award for Moving into Africa.

Tough times for African agriculture forced Bikash to deal with the volatility but also provided opportunities for well-priced investments to the tune of $600 million. People management plays a massive role in Bikash's recipe for success, and he leads a team of over 250 finance professionals whom he hand-picked from various universities. Bikash also grooms staff members up to two levels below his direct reports, so focused is he on developing talent. Looking at the long term, being entrenched in communities and being a noble corporate citizen are crucial when doing business in Africa, says Bikash, who has launched centres of excellence for taxation and francophone accounting as well as an African Intelligence Unit.

In announcing the award, Standard Bank's Luvuyo Masinda said: "We believe in the growth potential and the people of this continent. We are resolute in bringing to light that Africa achieves its potential. To have the courage to help the organisation to grow amidst difficult headwinds, and the courage to stop when people are growing too fast."

Watch highlights of the CFO Awards 2016, which took place at the beautiful Summer Place on 12 May.

  • Next year's CFO Awards will take place on 11 May 2017, once again at Summer Place in Johannesburg. If you would like to buy a table, join the panel of judges or become a partner, visit CFOawards.co.za. Attendance is free for members.
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