Lunch with our leaders

‘Lunch with our Leaders’ talks: Moses Kgosana, Chief Executive at KPMG in South Africa

KPMG’s Lunch with our Leaders (LWOL) aims to create a platform for like-minded business individuals to interact with KPMG’s leadership. Membership is open to any LinkedIn user and members of the group are encouraged to ask questions pertinent to business in general.

On 6 December, KPMG Chief Executive Moses Kgosana led the group discussion about leadership. Kgosana shared from his experiences and spoke about what he feels will be the future role of South Africa in the continent. Craig Steven-Jennings, Head of Marketing and Pursuits for KPMG South Africa, asked Kgosana if he saw South Africa as a launch pad for global business to expand into Africa and if so why?

“South Africa has proven over the years to be, as you describe it, a great launch pad for global business to expand into Africa. However, one cannot be complacent about this and the environment is rapidly changing. Global businesses will choose to do business with and through those countries where it is relatively easy to do business, where the risks are understood and manageable, and so on. While South Africa clearly has much to offer global businesses in expanding into Africa, some other countries are also rapidly emerging as equally – if not more attractive – contenders. This is an opportunity – and challenge – for South Africa.”

Mike Saunders, founder and CEO of DigitLab as well as a digital business consultant and keynote speaker, asked Kgosana his opinion of the merger and acquisition model used in African investment deals.

Q: In your opinion, is the merger and acquisition business model used in so many Africa investment deals building the Africa economy or taking money out the economy?

“Africa has been historically challenged by a lack of capital and liquidity constraints,” Kgosana replied. “The foreign capital inflows that many of these deals bring with them is obviously welcome, but what makes the biggest difference is the nature of the investments, especially in relation to the sectors that they occupy. Investments that boost infrastructure and enhance service delivery in areas such as healthcare are good for the continent.”

Kgosana expressed his opinion that, owing to the historical backlog as well as modern demands, infrastructure is the single biggest opportunity in Africa. He added that KPMG’s Africa infrastructure team is dedicated to the full infrastructure life cycle of projects across the continent.

Lunch with our Leaders also generated interest from KPMG’s Global Head of Mining, Wayne Jansen.

Q: Where would you like to see KPMG South Africa in ten years time and what role KPMG South Africa has to play in the advancement of Africa?

“If I look forward 10 years,” Jansen said, “I would like to see a KPMG that has continued to build on the strong foundations and history that we already have. I would like to see KPMG South Africa acting as a catalyst in attracting and bringing global business and investment into Africa as a whole.”

Jansen added that he had recently attended an event where a notable discussion took place with a number of new KPMG recruits. He had found the discussion to be refreshing and vibrant and added that he had felt “inspired and privileged to be part of the transformation phase of the firm”. Jansen commended the team and added that through Kgosana’s leadership a great legacy was being created.

Alan Barr, Managing Director of KPMG Port Elizabeth, explored questions around leadership.

Q: What lessons in leadership do you believe are needed to ensure that Africa reaches its full potential?

“The window of opportunities in Africa will not last forever,” Barr said. “In my view [they are] speed of execution, identify the opportunities, and execute”.

Kgosana added during his time at “lunch” that it was important to remain calm, act with respect, and adopt good listening skills and humility when leading such a complex organisation. He identified working with future business leaders in such a dynamic environment as the most enjoyable part of his job at KPMG.

David Okwara

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