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PwC Africa Senior Partner, Suresh Kana on Leadership and Skills Development
The words that are often used to define PwC's Suresh Kana.
shares insights on leadership and skills development.
A leader in our profession who displays all of the above attributes is Suresh Kana, PwC Africa Senior Partner.
grew up and worked in the trenches, started his
career in 1976, and with perseverance, patience and hard work became the leader he
is happily married to his
wife, Kalpana, and they have four beautiful children.
In discussions with his
family, those he
mentors, and various stakeholders in our profession, a phrase that is very often used to define Suresh Kana
is Driven Humility.
Up until 2012 his
role was CEO of PwC
position and focus as from 1 July 2012 is Senior Partner for PwC
Africa, driving and leading the expansion and growth of an investment of US$100 million in people and infrastructure, and the recruitment of around 8 000 additional partners and staff in Africa over the next four years.
Being a passionate, lifelong learner, professor at the University of Johannesburg and honorary professor at the University of the Free State and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Suresh founded the PwC Business School with a vision to expand it to Africa, contributing to skills development on our continent.
busy schedule, Suresh
made time to spend a morning with us at his
offices, sharing insights into his
life and career experiences.
The value of Discipline - 5 disciplines Suresh lives by that contributed to his
success and fulfilment:
Humility and respect.
is a close follower of Ghandi and believes his
life to be a sterling example of how leaders should conduct themselves - striving at all times to serve the best interests of those around them and treating all people with dignity and respect: "Becoming proud and arrogant is the greatest risk to success and fulfilment."
is a firm believer in continuing professional development (CPD): "When we stop learning we move backwards."
Combining one's passion with work is critical: "Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life."
Be an interesting person: "Interests outside of work are very important and provide one with perspective and balance."
Suresh's mother was not educated, but she
was very wise and lived by a very simple philosophy: "The quality of your life will come from the richness of your thoughts, overcome your nightmares with your dreams!"
The value of self-leadership - 4 personal dimensions Suresh
continuously develops as a leader
believes that if both business and government continue to focus on sound economic and business fundamentals, which must include promoting and strengthening individual and collective corporate governance responsibilities, it will go a long way towards overcoming the business challenges we face.
emphasises that the investments that businesses plan to make in Africa need to explicitly be of a trade nature, and they must seek to develop local capabilities and capacity.
The world is looking to Africa to make a significant contribution to global trade and economic growth, and Suresh
believes that the following five mega-trends will fuel this growth going forward:
is passionate about skills development and emphasises that the skills shortage is severe and becoming increasingly pressured.
supports the profession in actively marketing itself and engaging with students so as to explain the benefits of becoming a CA(SA), while acknowledging the limitations in its recruitment drive due to capacity constraints experienced by our tertiary education institutions.
The lack of numeracy and mathematical skills among school leavers are additional problems.
Progress is also slow as it takes seven years on average to train a Chartered Accountant.
Suresh is actively involved in addressing these shortages and sits on the board of SAICA's Thuthuka Bursary Fund that provides academic and financial support to disadvantaged students on the CA(SA) programme.
These funds are fully supported by government and business.
, like many of the other firms, also has a bursary scheme and invests around R100 million on average over every three-year cycle.
Pay it forward - Young Professionals and Trainees
encourages young professionals to seek out someone whom they can help and whose life they can make a difference in.
To address these professional development requirements, the PwC
Business School was birthed under the leadership and vision of Suresh
and currently provides approximately 45 000 hours of internal and external learning and development programmes per annum.
The skills imparted by these programmes enhance the skills-base throughout South Africa, and as these skills are subsequently transferred, the wider population also benefits.
emphasises that to stop learning is to move backwards, and it is through joining and supporting visionary skills development initiatives that each person in our profession can play their part in addressing the skills shortage in our country.