Zain Group awarded 2016 Fi­nance Team of the Year

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL -

Zain Group, a lead­ing mo­bile tele­com in­no­va­tor in eight mar­kets across the Mid­dle East and Africa, an­nounces win­ning the Best Fi­nance Team of the Year award for 2016 at the an­nual MENA CFO Ex­cel­lence Awards held in Dubai on Mon­day 7 Novem­ber, 2016. The event is or­ga­nized by the in­ter­na­tional busi­ness fa­cil­i­ta­tion ex­perts Naseba Group and the honor is be­stowed on a fi­nance team who played an in­stru­men­tal role in con­tribut­ing to the suc­cess of their or­ga­ni­za­tion.

In pre­sent­ing the award, the Naseba judg­ing panel stated that the Zain fi­nance team, “Demon­strated a trans­par­ent and proac­tive ap­proach to bal­anc­ing time be­tween man­ag­ing a large amount of data and in­for­ma­tion re­quire­ments with busi­ness anal­y­sis, as well as de­liv­er­ing timely fi­nan­cial in­for­ma­tion and propos­ing in­no­va­tive solutions to over­come ex­ist­ing chal­lenges, bol­ster­ing the com­pany’s trans­for­ma­tion strat­egy to be­come a dig­i­tal life­style op­er­a­tor.”

The role of fi­nance at Zain Group is con­stantly evolv­ing and the team is com­prised of pro­fes­sion­als who pos­sess a trans­for­ma­tional out­look and dis­play an en­thu­si­asm and cu­rios­ity to push bound­aries and chal­lenge con­ven­tions, de­liv­er­ing phe­nom­e­nal re­sults. Zain Group’s fi­nance team has ex­celled at all the ac­tiv­i­ties it un­der­takes, with the depart­ment’s prime fo­cus hav­ing re­mained sat­is­fy­ing cus­tomer needs through help­ing all stake­hold­ers within the or­ga­ni­za­tion to achieve strate­gic goals, while man­ag­ing risk and main­tain­ing over­sight re­gard­ing com­pli­ance re­quire­ments.

Ap­pre­cia­tive of Naseba’s ac­knowl­edg­ment, Zain Group Chief Fi­nan­cial Of­fi­cer, Os­sama Matta said, “This is a highly skilled area of ac­tiv­ity and we have some of the best tal­ent work­ing with us, which is a sig­nif­i­cant com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage in en­sur­ing the fu­ture pros­per­ity and sus­tain­abil­ity of the com­pany. Utiliz­ing and lever­ag­ing cloud­based in­no­va­tive solutions across key fi­nance and ac­count­ing pro­cesses, the Group fi­nance team is play­ing a vi­tal role across all facets of the or­ga­ni­za­tion in driv­ing the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Group’s growth strat­egy and trans­for­ma­tion to a dig­i­tal life­style op­er­a­tor.

Matta added, “We have made “driv­ing ef­fi­ciency and cost op­ti­miza­tion” one of our key strate­gic pil­lars and over the past 12 months these ef­forts are pay­ing off as re­flected in our year-to-date fi­nan­cial re­sults, out­per­form­ing our peers across the re­gion. The fi­nance team is con­stantly in­no­vat­ing and adding strate­gic value to the or­ga­ni­za­tion by turn­ing data and in­for­ma­tion into in­sight­ful anal­y­sis, which as­sists col­leagues across Zain Group and its eight coun­try op­er­a­tions in plan­ning, strat­egy and de­ci­sion­mak­ing.”

Over the past year, the Zain Group fi­nance team has pas­sion­ately un­der­taken a range of re­spon­si­bil­i­ties that the judges at Naseba iden­ti­fied as re­quir­ing sig­nif­i­cant skill, and these in­cluded the team hav­ing im­ple­mented and fully lever­ag­ing the lat­est cloud-based solutions (thus re­duc­ing the cost and time needed to de­ploy new fi­nance tools) across key fi­nance and ac­count­ing pro­cesses to sup­port the per­for­mance agenda of all eight mo­bile op­er­a­tions. The fi­nance team im­proved the con­trol and vis­i­bil­ity of data while be­ing given the op­por­tu­nity to fo­cus en­ergy on en­hanc­ing busi­ness in­tel­li­gence, de­vel­op­ing more ac­cu­rate fore­casts, and tight­en­ing in­ter­nal con­trols to as­sure ac­cu­rate fi­nan­cial re­port­ing and proper com­pli­ance. The team has also de­liv­ered spe­cial­ist tax ser­vices in re­sponse to the chang­ing dy­nam­ics of taxes in the re­gion, and has un­der­gone in­ten­sive up­skilling to cope with the many new tax regime changes.

Zain Group’s strat­egy to im­prove ef­fi­cien­cies has seen the fi­nance team ex­e­cute on a num­ber of trans­ac­tions in the last 12 months, se­cur­ing or re­new­ing credit fa­cil­i­ties on more fa­vor­able terms across the Group to fund 4G net­work up­grades and ex­pan­sion across Zain’s op­er­a­tions, re­flect­ing the con­tin­u­ous na­ture of the trea­sury team seek­ing more com­pet­i­tive ar­range­ments. In ad­di­tion the team has man­aged to cope with fluc­tu­at­ing cur­rency im­pacts and cash-flow chal­lenges in sev­eral key mar­kets.

Of note is the Group Fi­nance Team’s In­vestor Re­la­tions arm which has over the years been rec­og­nized for aptly man­ag­ing share­holder and in­vestor ex­pec­ta­tions, pro­vid­ing trans­par­ent, prompt and de­tailed re­port­ing to all stake­hold­ers and reg­u­la­tory au­thor­i­ties in line with Cor­po­rate Gov­er­nance guide­lines.

Matta con­cluded by say­ing, “I can proudly say that Zain is at the fore­front of strate­gic trans­for­ma­tion in Fi­nance in the Tele­com in­dus­try and be­yond in the re­gion. The team is evolv­ing to be­come even more pro­fi­cient, al­low­ing the for­ma­tion of more strate­gic part­ner­ships within the broader or­ga­ni­za­tion.”

Os­sama Matta

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