• By Joël Roerig

Stick to the facts - and don’t get emotional


What can a South African CFO do when catapulted into an Egyptian pharmaceutical business that is a complete mess, where people provoke you and refuse to shake your hand, and when your communication gets completely ignored? If you’re Debbie Ransby, you turn that business around completely and have the last laugh.

“I can’t sugar-coat it, it was very tough,” says Debbie, who won the Moving into Africa Award at the 2017 CFO Awards for her impressive FD work at fast-growing pharmaceutical company Takeda.

While the company has expanded into many African countries on Debbie’s watch, driving the change in the Egyptian business and implementing a robust internal control system stands out as her biggest achievement.

“When we assumed responsibility for the Egyptian business, the structure and processes had many gaps” says Debbie, who was not just a new broom sweeping clean but also a confident female making a splash in an economy almost entirely dominated by males.

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