WNS

WNS is a leading Business Process Management (BPM) company.

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24 October 2017

I wanted to serve, says Ramasela Ganda, Public Sector CFO of the Year 2017

Earlier this year, Ramasela Ganda won the Public Sector CFO of the Year Award for her incredible accomplishments at Ekurhuleni Municipality. She dedicated the prize to “all public servants that serve us diligently and with honesty” and referred specifically to public sector CFOs who have “lost their lives because they said no to corruption”. Long eschewing a CFO role in the private sector, she left Ekurhuleni at the end of last year and started as CFO: rental and corporate service at Barloworld, which had been courting her for quite a while.

12 October 2017

To change the future, we must confront the past, says Vusi Thembekwayo

What do we mean by transformation? This was investor Vusi Thembekwayo’s burning question at Finance Indaba Africa on 12 October 2017. The entrepreneur made it clear that transformation was not about ticking boxes and counting how many black people, black women and transgender individuals are employed in corporate South Africa but rather, about ensuring the oppressed are no longer oppressed and the poor no longer poor.

06 September 2017

Journey to the core: CFOs deep-dive during exclusive dinner

During an invite-only CFO South Africa dinner at the spectacular Four Seasons hotel in Westcliff, finance leaders swapped notes about outsourcing, building internal capability and identifying the – sometimes shifting – core of the business. Sponsored by global BPO giant WNS, the exclusive gathering provided conversation of extremely high quality, highly effective networking and a high-powered ending, thanks to the inimitable storyteller Rob Caskie.

29 August 2017

Success comes from surrounding yourself with positive, life-affirming people, says Nyasha Dzumbunu, CFO of SBU

“Change is the only constant in these times. In that situation of volatility and uncertainty, we always try to stay adaptable to change. Being a more agile and adaptable organisation is critical in enabling us to survive and thrive,” says Nyasha Dzumbunu, CFO of Shanduka Black Umbrellas (SBU), one of the leading enterprises in supplier development organisations in South Africa. While she may be a powerhouse CFO Monday to Friday, in her downtime, Nyasha likes to design women’s clothing – a passion she hopes might one day blossom into a full line of corporate and casual wear. “It’s about power dressing – helping women look and feel spectacular – and I’m very passionate about this. I feel it’s important to express one’s femininity even when you’re in a power role.”

04 July 2017

Change is inevitable, embrace it, says Loveness Khunou, Dow Southern Africa CFO

Originally from Malawi, Loveness Khunou, Dow Southern Africa CFO, moved to South Africa in 1989. She has a passion for cultures and languages, and is fluent in eight different dialects. “It shows respect if you learn another’s language. It shows that you value them,” she says. “It allows you to better engage with people, and people relate to you differently if you talk to them in their Mother tongue.”

13 June 2017

Lead the way you want to be lead, says Fabian Naidoo, CFO of Right to Care

“As a leader, you should create an environment that allows for growth in the team and for people to feel passionate about the work that they do,” says Fabian Naidoo, divisional CFO of non-profit organisation (NPO), Right to Care (Rtc). Fabian is currently also acting as finance director of the RtC Group. Fabian says his philosophy about work can be summed up by this quote from Steve Jobs, ‘The only way to do great work is to love what you do’.

09 June 2017

Walter Leonhardt, Coca-Cola Beverages SA FD, talks continuous improvement

Successfully merging companies is no small feat. Walter Leonhardt, award-winning FD of Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa, talked a group of CFOs through Coca-Cola’s journey of ‘continuous improvement’. “Authenticity is key because it plays on trust. If you want to win the trust of employees, you have to be authentic. You’ve got to do what you say you’re going to do, and follow up on what you say you’re going to follow up on,” the seasoned finance executive said.

23 May 2017

I came to finance less by design and more by default

“I am operationally focused and have good attention to detail and follow up. If there is a problem I determine immediately what the issue is and address and follow up with management and hold them accountable,” says Melanie Chong, FD of Oakbay Resources and Energy Limited, a company in the business of mining and exploration of energy-related resources. Oakbay mines coal for the local market and owns one of the largest uranium resources in the world. It also mines gold as a by-product at its uranium mine. We caught up with Melanie to talk about her role at Oakbay.

15 May 2017

The CFO should ensure due diligence is accurate and meticulously undertaken, says Sibanye's Charl Keyter

A thorough, smart and stealthy due diligence process is among the top ingredients for successful mergers and acquisitions. We spoke to finance executives and dealmakers about the homework a growth-hungry company needs to do. “You don’t always want to let the staff of the other company or companies know you are doing this process,” says Sibanye Gold CFO Charl Keyter. “You have to be stealthy so as not to raise suspicions.” Charl gives one of the best and certainly most amusing explanations of due diligence:

12 May 2017

CFOs must be open to frank conversations about race and transformation

Hosted by globally renowned public speaker, venture capitalist and entrepreneur Vusi Thembekwayo, yesterday’s CFO master class sought to bring to light the uncomfortable issues about inequality, the real impact of BEE and the prejudices that business leaders still have – be they white or black. Vusi opened the session with some chilling words, saying that one of the greatest lies told about South Africa is that the country had a peaceful transition to a democratic state.

25 April 2017

Effective CFOs know their business, says Standard Bank's Sean Berrington

"In the early days of the Group IT transformation it became clear that, unless the finance team transformed as well, we would become irrelevant. As a result, we needed to radically relook at how we run our staff engagement and processes," says Sean Berrington, CFO for Group IT at Standard Bank. Sean has been the finance boss of a “billion-dollar IT organisation” since mid-2016. Add to this his intimate experience of agile ways of working and he might just be the ideal person to talk to about the crossroads of threats and opportunities that technology and finance bring to banks and finance professionals.

24 January 2017

Knowledge is power, says NCR CFO Ayanda Mafuleka

“Everything I do is informed by risk. At any given time, we try to manage risk – be it business, financial or other. The NCR’s approach is that it takes risk management very seriously,” says Ayanda Mafuleka, chief financial officer of the National Credit Regulator (NCR), which falls under the Department of Trade and Industry (dti). Ayanda’s role includes overseeing the financial health of the organisation and ensuring that it complies with all the financial management-related legislation, as well as overseeing supply chain management and information technology (IT). A firm believer in the value of education, Ayanda is currently doing a Postgraduate Diploma in Forensic Auditing and recently applied at Unisa for an LLB. “I’m passionate about legislation and compliance. I was made to be a lawyer.”

22 November 2016

Evan Tsatsarolakis, Taste Holdings' CFO, talks about the Starbucks and Domino's acquisitions

“We started a new business in Domino’s – our stores had only been open for a year before we started another new business with Starbucks. The food business was like a startup within a startup. At this point in time there are a lot of moving pieces,” says Evan Tsatsarolakis, Group CFO of Taste Holdings, and a CFO Awards 2016 nominee. He adds that while this brings its own complications and challenges, he is confident that future growth opportunities will be plentiful. We sat down with Evan to talk about the two acquisitions, his role as CFO and what it is about Taste Holdings – which began as a family-owned business but which is now a JSE-listed group operating eight brands within its Food and Luxury Goods divisions – that makes the company so successful.

04 November 2016

Women and success: Roy Clark chats to top CFOs Mary Vilakazi and Jo Pohl - #findaba16

Two vibrant women, Jo Pohl and Mary Vilakazi, whose dynamism and energy radiates throughout the room, sat down with Roy Clark from Clarkhouse Human Capital and discussed their views on women and success. To say it was inspiring is an understatement – these two women shared such powerful messages that even the most astute and experienced business person would walk away with a burning passion to succeed.

01 November 2016

Osman Arbee, double winner at CFO Awards 2016, ready for new challenge at Imperial

Far from slowing down now that retirement age is looming, Osman Arbee is about to enjoy a serious promotion. The CFO of Imperial Holdings will become CEO of Imperial Motors in January, and will hold both posts simultaneously for three months while he grooms the next CFO to replace him. “It’s not a bad way to finish off your career, running a big business for three to four years then retiring,” he says. “It’s a nice change at the right time of my life, working with people I enjoy working with in a business I know and enjoy. It’s an opportunity to use my brain in another way.”

08 August 2016

Kinfundi: Helping employees educate their families

Business is about people. Of course it’s about profit, processes, technology, and many other things too, but ultimately it’s about people. The end buyers in all value chains are people, and the energy that drives a business is people: employees, management, owners, stakeholders. These people have needs as well as worries. A big matter on the minds of many is their family, and within this, concerns about education. An innovation turn-key, tax-friendly employee benefit product, Kinfundi, hopes to change this.

28 July 2016

4 reasons for July's unchanged interest rate - KPMG's Maura Feddersen

In line with market expectations, the central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) announced earlier this month that it would leave the leading policy rate unchanged at 7%, keeping the prime lending rate at 10.5%. Maura Feddersen (pictured), Senior Economic Advisor with KPMG Economics, Financial Risk Management, has identified four reasons why the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) kept interest rates unchanged.

10 June 2016

KPMG's Gavin Maile: Fit to function

“If you are not active and reasonably fit, you cannot perform to the level that is expected of you as a top executive” says KPMG partner Gavin Maile. In this exclusive interview, Gavin reveals why he become an accountant, the challenges KPMG South Africa faced with the acquisition of the assets of Arthur Andersen in 2001, and what qualities a good CFO should have. Gavin heads the teams that services the automotive and construction industries in South Africa and candidly discussed the challenges they face in 2016. It might be an exaggeration to say that Gavin eats Comrades marathons for breakfast, but it is not far off the truth. He gets up at 5:15am most mornings to run or cycle, and has, over the years, completed 27 Two Oceans Ultra marathons, 11 Comrades marathons and 15 Cape Town cycle tours – among many other sporting exploits.

22 May 2016

Sarb: Interest rates to remain unchanged

Lesetja Kganyago (pictured), South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) governor, has announced that there will be no change in the interest rate. Thus, the repo rate will remains at 7%, while the cost of borrowing will stay at 10.5%. A statement of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), issued by Kganyago, said that although headline CIP inflation has moderated since February, the respite is expected to be temporary, as petrol and food price pressures continue to intensify. The statement said:

13 May 2016

Courage required of CFOs - keynote Prof Wiseman Nkuhlu at 2016 CFO Awards

"The CFO and his or her team should be a respected centre of excellence that is trusted for intellectual honesty, sound processes and transparency," said Prof Lumkile Wiseman Nkuhlu, Chancellor of the University of Pretoria, during a keynote speech at the CFO Awards on 12 May 2016 at Summer Place in Johannesburg. South Africa's first-ever black chartered accountant called on the attending CFOs to show courage "in times of persistent market volatility and rapid technological change".

03 February 2016

Krishnan Raghunathan (WNS): great CFOs have entrepreneurial flair

“A good CFO is an effective controller, but also has an entrepreneurial flair,” says Krishnan Raghunathan, global Chief Capability Officer at business process outsourcing giant, WNS. Krishnan is one of the speakers at CFO South Africa’s Get Smart in 2016 event on 23 February 2016, flying out of India especially for the occasion. In preparation for the event, we spoke to him about his interesting job title, his professional achievements, his take on the position of CFO, and the role finance leaders should play in Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), which incidentally is being accepted as Business Process Management (BPM) the world over.

02 February 2016

Skilled local resources key in Africa, says Illovo CFO Mohammed Abdool-Samad

Africa is complex and diverse, so here’s a secret tip from Mohammed Hoosen Abdool-Samad, finance director at Illovo Sugar. “To succeed, you need to have a deep understanding of the political and macroeconomic landscape. This can only be done by having skilled and experienced local resources that understand the business environment. Overreliance on expats can result in the business being ‘unplugged’ from the local business environment."

23 November 2015

Funding and regulation hindering startup success South Africa

Industry experts agree that South African startups have what it takes to succeed on the global stage, but structural issues are hindering development. While executives from South Africa’s leading enterprise development incubators are bullish about the progress being made and about the standard of South African startups, they are also concerned about government regulation, lack of funding direction and market access and inequitable distribution.*

20 November 2015

What can CFOs and entrepreneurs learn from each other?

CFOs and entrepreneurs are known to sometimes bump heads. Why wouldn't they, there's so much to disagree on. But, if last night's CFO South Africa event was anything to go by, these two actually have more to agree on than disagree. The master class aimed to answer the question, 'What can CFOs and entrepreneurs learn from each other?' The conclusion was that they certainly can learn from each other if they just open their minds; the "crankier" CFO learning to be more open to risk, the "cowboy" entrepreneur paying more attention to the figures. And ultimately, both need to be aware of the "higher purpose" they are working towards.

27 October 2015

Clean books and clean streets: Suren Maharaj at Pikitup

Inheriting the wonky books of a government-owned company known for its shoddy service delivery and corruption sagas involving many staff members including the senior management is not everyone’s cup of tea, but the Durban-born CA Suren Maharaj was clearly up to the task. He managed to turn around Pikitup, the waste management company of the City of Johannesburg and turn an organisation with disastrous financials into a success story.

22 September 2015

CFOs are myth busters, says retiring Standard Bank CFO Simon Ridley

“As CFOs we need to be trusted advisors, rather than critics,” says Simon Ridley, CFO at the Standard Bank Group and last year’s CFO of the Year. In an exclusive interview with CFO South Africa, Ridley talks about the myth busting responsibility of CFOs and CAs, the charm of over-disclosing, the reason everybody at the bank knows his mother and about being the perfect business partner: “You can’t just throw stones at a problem.”

15 April 2015

Interviews with nominated CFOs concluded, Awards judges to decide

All 32 CFOs that are nominated for the CFO Awards 2015 have now been interviewed by a representation of the panel of judges. For me, it has been a massive honour and learning opportunity to be part of the process, that started mid-February. Packs with all the interviews and profiles highlighting the performance of the nominated CFOs will soon be sent to the esteemed panel of judges, which will decide on the winners for the 10 categories using a nifty online voting system.

25 March 2015

Editorial: South African CFOs should drop the arrogance in 'Africa'

As an aside during our successful Moving into Africa event in the Michelangelo Hotel in Sandton, Sean Bennett, Head of UBS South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa, remarked that South Africans are not always welcomed with open arms in the rest of the continent. We are often guilty of talking about 'Africa' as if South Africa is not part of the continent, we are often guilty of arrogantly viewing the swath of land north of the Limpopo as largely undeveloped and we are often wrongly assuming that we have to import expats because of the purported lack of local talent.

13 January 2015

CFO of the Week: Linda Kumbemba, loveLife: being the NGO's 'bad guy'

“If you’re a quick-solutions type person, you tend to look like the bad guy at a non-profit organisation,” says Linda Kumbemba, CFO at loveLife, South Africa's largest HIV prevention initiative for young people. “The environment is slower-paced compared to the corporates, but you have to move and keep agile. It is also great to be part of a successful behavioral change campaign even though its results can’t be measured in the way a CFO would usually want results to be measured.”

02 December 2014

CFO of the Week: Austin McDonald (Promasidor): choose the consumer over the product

When Austin McDonald became a Chartered Accountant, he was already “the world’s worst engineer”. Although he is a self-professed “maverick” the Finance world has clearly suited him much better than engineering did, especially after he joined the family’s business: Promasidor. Now his CV boasts a successful rescue operation, a handsome R9 billion annual turnover and unequalled insight into African opportunities. “When looking at African countries, be consumer driven and not product driven,” he advises.

11 June 2014

Johann Kunz, ?Managing Director WNS Global Services SA: Financial outsourcing in CFO toolkits

Most CFOs will agree that it would be ideal if the talents in their finance team could be freed up to support the leadership with acquisitions, shareholder engagement and other value adding activities. Outsourcing company WNS Global Services offers them exactly that opportunity, says Johann Kunz, Managing Director at WNS in South Africa. “Outsourcing of financial functions is slowly taking off in South Africa and will become a standard part of a CFO’s toolkit,” says Kunz.

06 June 2014

Philip Panaino, Division President South Africa MasterCard: Contributing to a truly inclusive financial environment

“This job has given meaning to driving Financial Inclusion in South Africa and doing good as a corporate citizen,” says Philip Panaino, division president South Africa in International Markets at MasterCard. “It has always been a passion for me to contribute to a truly inclusive financial environment. Here I am able to do that, whilst working for a large multinational. For me it is a perfect marriage, the best of two worlds.”

13 May 2014

Bikash Prasad, CFO South and East Africa at Olam International: Contributing to Africa's agricultural future

“Africa should be a net food exporter, but it is a net importer at the moment,” says Bikash Prasad, CFO South and East Africa at Olam International, a Singapore-headquartered integrated supply chain managing firm and processor of agricultural products and food ingredients. The Durban-based Prasad has a passion for the continent. “We want to play an important role in the growth of Africa,” he says.

23 April 2014

Deon Fredericks, Acting CFO at Telkom: Learning from each other

“We don’t have to reinvent the wheel,” says Deon Fredericks, Acting Chief Financial Officer at Telkom, Africa's largest integrated communications company. Fredericks joined the then state-owned landline monopolist in 1993 as a senior manager in internal audit and has worked himself up the finance ladder in an admirable fashion. Fredericks says he fully supports CFO South Africa’s mission to connect the country’s finance leaders. “CFOs are starting to play a more significant role, specifically on strategy. It is very valuable to learn from each other.”

14 March 2014

South African top CFOs share their thoughts at CFO SA dinner

An impressive group of prominent South African CFOs discussed topics ranging from personal branding and ethics to shared services and cloud solutions during an exclusive dinner on13 March 2014 in the Saxon Boutique Hotel in Johannesburg. “In our daily jobs we get mostly vertically involved in our organisations. It’s great to break out of that every once in and a while and discuss topics laterally with our peers,” said Standard Bank Group CFO Simon Ridley at the end of the IBM-sponsored event.

11 February 2014

Pierre Heistein, business analyst: dealing with a changing work force

CFOs are dealing with “unprecedented uncertainty”, says Pierre Heistein, business analyst, economics instructor and regular columnist for Business Report. Heistein will be one of the speakers at CFO South Africa’s 13 March event ‘Get Smart in 2014’ and he is keen to address ways to tackle that uncertainty. “I especially want to look at what type of people you need to deal with this. There needs to be a rethink about how labour is used.”

03 September 2013

Kirsten Mocke, Finance Director EMC: what do the numbers mean?

With nearly 18 years of experience as a finance expert in the IT world, Kirsten Mocke has acquired a good grasp of the strengths and weaknesses in the management of South African IT firms. Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) “is often very high”, sales processes “could be more refined and defined” and forecasting is not taken seriously enough. “Many people can generate numbers.- I always say to my staff: don’t give me numbers, but tell me what the numbers mean.”

12 July 2013

Humphrey Borkum, Chairman JSE Limited: Extraordinary accomplishments since democracy

“A listing at the stock exchange is still the best way to raise capital,” says Humphrey Borkum. It’s something you would expect the chairman of JSE Limited, the largest stock exchange in Africa, to say, but not a lot of CFOs have felt like taking their business public lately. “When companies get bigger though, these considerations become inevitable,” says Borkum. “I believe there will be a number of new big JSE listings in the future.”

09 July 2013

CFOs discuss their challenges during successful Executive Dinner in Johannesburg

Every day, margins are being squeezed, skilled staff members need to be found and growth needs to be funded. The challenges that CFOs and Finance Directors face are multiple and they all come at the same time. What better way to recharge their batteries than bouncing some ideas off fellow finance leaders in the industry? Or shedding some frustrations during a delicious dinner in a top restaurant, surrounded by colleagues who share them?

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Company profile

WNS is a leading Business Process Management (BPM) company. We combine our deep industry knowledge with technology and analytics expertise to co-create innovative, digital-led transformational solutions with clients across 10 industries. We enable businesses in Travel, Insurance, Banking and Financial Services, Manufacturing, Retail and Consumer Packaged Goods, Shipping and Logistics, Healthcare, and Utilities to re-imagine their digital future and transform their outcomes with operational excellence.

We deliver an entire spectrum of BPM services in finance and accounting, procurement, customer interaction services and human resources leveraging collaborative models that are tailored to address the unique business challenges of each client. We co-create and execute the future vision of 350+ clients with the help of our 41,000+ employees. Our global footprint spans 16 countries with 60 delivery centers worldwide including in China, Costa Rica, India, the Philippines, Poland, Romania, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States.

Website: https://www.wns.co.za/