I was inspired to become an accountant by my ‘Principles of Accounts’ teacher at school. My first managerial job was as an audit manager in a small firm, a catalytic role that marked the start of my career. I went on to be a financial analyst at a large corporation before going back into practice. I worked in tax services, spending several years with Big Four firms.
Wanting to broaden my experience on the corporate side, I moved back into industry and worked as a regional tax manager in the oil and gas industry, then a tax director for Africa, Middle East and India. Having gained broad experience of work in various countries, I then switched back into practice where my combination of experience made me a great fit for the role of country managing partner for EY Zambia, as I understand both the firm’s perspective as well as the needs of the client.
While working outside Zambia I had acquired many skills. I realised the best way for me to make a difference and share those skills would be to return to Zambia and work in practice.
Businesses in Zambia face big challenges – inflation, high interest rates and policies that often place SMEs at a disadvantage
The country managing partner role is a big step up. A partner is often assigned to a specific business department to create and manage client relationships and provide support. A country managing partner meanwhile must be able to manage the holistic vision of the organisation and ensure all components function well together. The job requires a strategic focus. You have to think about the whole of EY and how your operation can be relevant both locally and from a global strategic perspective.
In my career I have certainly stepped out of my comfort zone. For example, leaving my role as a tax director in industry to rejoin practice was a considerable challenge, but I have no regrets.
Businesses in Zambia face challenges too, particularly in the current climate. They have to deal with inflation, high interest rates and policies that often place SMEs at a disadvantage. However, entrepreneurs have the chance to set up great businesses through opportunities around sustainability, harnessing online platforms and technology.
In the past three years, we have seen some great innovations that have changed the business landscape. These have allowed entrepreneurs to scale their businesses in ways that would not have been possible five years ago.
If I had law-making powers, I would bring a Bill of Rights to Zambia. I believe many individual and corporate rights should be built around it.
What I like most about my job is working with EY people and our clients. The immense growth EY Zambia has had in the market gives me a lot of satisfaction. I enjoy leading the growing EY team and working with our clients to take full advantage of their growth opportunities.
My biggest achievement has been bringing EY back as a recognised Big Four brand in this market. It’s great seeing our people, business and clients grow.
If I wasn’t an accountant I would probably have been a doctor. That was my second choice in high school.
In my spare time I have an interest in football and am a passionate Arsenal supporter; I also support the Mercedes Benz F1 team. Alongside those activities, I’m an avid reader and enjoy watching movies. I have also developed an interest in farming and enjoy spending time in the fields.