WNS

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

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01 December 2015

From private equity to leadership... Mpact CFO Brett Clark

“It is tempting as a CFO to get involved in every urgent issue affecting the business, because finance encompasses so many parts of the business," says Brett Clark, the CFO of Mpact and one of the nominees of the 2015 CFO of the Year Awards. “However, I believe a good CFO needs to create the time to analyse the information available in the business, visit the operations, debate issues with team members and focus on the key areas affecting the business.”

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?

15 May 2013

Victor Sekese, CEO SizweNtsalubaGobodo: CFOs struggle with sustainability

“I have pity for CFOs,” says Victor Sekese and for the first time in the interview his characteristic thundering laugh is lacking. The Chief Executive Officer of accounting firm SizweNtsalubaGobodo has an intimate understanding of the tricky position many South African financial bosses find themselves in these days. “They are in a very difficult position, because the economy is down but they have to look at the long term business. If they don’t invest, they lose out.”

13 May 2013

IMF Sees Positive Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa

The near-term outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) remains broadly positive, with growth projected to accelerate modestly to around 5½ percent in 2013–14, following a year of strong growth in 2012, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said today. In its May 2013 Regional Economic Outlook, Building Momentum in a Multi-Speed World, the IMF said that these favourable prospects partly reflect the gradually improving outlook for the global economy, while locally, investment in export-oriented sectors is an important driver of growth going forward.

18 April 2012

Philippe Georges - CFO Procter & Gamble: `Relationships with distributors not the smoothest`

It was only a few months ago when French Philippe Georges moved to Cape Town. After having lived and worked in several European countries for the past years, this was quite a change of scenery. Philippe was appointed Finance Director for Procter & Gamble in South and East Africa as of January 2012. Although he has only been installed in the position for three months, he already noticed differences between South Africa and Europe. “I find that the relationship between trade and manufacture that’s linked to our industry is less smooth in South Africa; issues regarding payments seem to be somewhat more conflictual and difficult here.”

15 December 2011

Peter Duffy - CFO 1time: `Budgeting and forecasting are still key aspects of the financial role`

1time Holdings - a diversified aviation group - was listed on the Johannesburg Altex Stock Exchange on the 14th of August 2007. The company has evolved in leaps and bounds since its inception in 2004 and is the 100% shareholder in 1time Airline, 1time Charters, Aeronexus Technical and Aeronexus Corporate. Many people wonder what the name of the company reflects – well, here it is. The name 1time, is a reflection of the South African soul of the company. In South Africa, the phrase "one time!" is a colloquialism meaning "for real!" Within six years of existence, 1time grew from a 4-man company to a JSE-listed one, staffing over 600 employees and a yearly turnover of R1,2 billion.

26 October 2011

Paul O'Flaherty - CFO Eskom: `Companies have great strategies but fail in executing them appropriately`

CFO South Africa is interviewing a large number of CFOs and CEOs of leading South African companies. From now on, we will publish them on our site regularly. Next in our series is Mr. Paul O’Flaherty, CFO of Eskom, a company staffing 42,000 people, which he joined in January 2010. He was appointed to the Board as executive director responsible for the finance function overseeing nearly 3.000 employers in the finance and shared services departments.

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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/