In recent months there has been some exciting HR developments at Bespoke International Group.
Our team, from floor to board, is carefully selected based on experience, competency, vision and a passion to succeed.
In June 2022 as part of our succession planning, we were delighted to welcome Mohammed Gafoor as CFO.
The Bespoke International Group board felt that following a competitive and thorough selection process, Mohammed was able to deliver a unique mix of skills, experience, drive and personality that naturally aligned with and supported our own vision for growth.
So, how did Mohammed start his professional journey?
A lifelong interest in numbers and finance led Mohammed to embark upon an honours degree in financial accounting where he achieved numerous academic accolades and graduated top in his class. The successful conclusion of this course opened the door for an early career as a financial auditor in one of the global “Big 4” auditing firms, during which Mohammed went on to qualify as a Chartered Accountant (South Africa) . It was here that a rich diversity of experience was gained with him having managed clients in fields such as: The Chemicals Industry, Medical schemes, Government departments, Shipping and JSE listed entities.
His next move was into the Financial Services industry, working for the largest asset manager in South Africa. Mohammed managed the financial teams in charge of the Life and Retirement products – the most regulated products in the industry. This experience is invaluable in the BPO and CX space given the regulated nature of many of the clients that we ourselves represent.
Financial reporting and reporting to The Board of Trustees for retirement funds, were integral elements of this role. In addition, Mohammed went on to manage The Finance Analytics Team which was responsible for internal financial analysis for The Board, as well as all regulatory reporting for the business. The skills and experience gained during this time have great transferable value within his new CFO role. The clients we represent are served KPI and financial data that is used to prove the success of outsourced operations.
How did Mohammed start in the BPO / Outsourced CX industry?
The next stage of his career was to join a business in the BPO industry with over 1500 employees. Here, he was appointed as the Group Financial Director and a senior member of the main board, holding overall responsibility for the financial functions of the group which spanned multiple entities. These included:
- Management of the group financial department
- Sign-off of the group’s annual financial statements
- Full consolidation reporting
- Quarterly financial board Packs
- Financial forecasting
- Group entity valuations
- Securing finance for group expansion as required
- Tax structure optimisation
- Group structure strategy and implementation
What are Mohammed’s career highlights? We list a few key achievements here:
- Implemented daily foreign exposure monitoring when this was previously only known quarterly in arrears.
- Effected an investment restructure that freed up more than R2bn worth of offshore capacity.
- Joined the BPO industry as the youngest serving member on the Board.
- Saved more than ZAR 700m in value through an entity restructure.
- Reconstituted the group’s long-term debt to allow for nil deposits and significantly improved interest rates.
- Implemented robust cash flow management saving over ZAR 4m in interest per annum.
- Conducted a historic tax review unlocking sizeable value in tax refunds.
- Created a restructure plan for new investor money flow, saving 25% tax.
What does Mohammed like most about being at Bespoke International Group? We asked him to share his thoughts:
I really enjoy the culture of the business. It is a business that remains very agile while still ensuring that decisions are well-considered. We are able to implement ideas and strategy very rapidly which is dynamic and exciting. The environment is one of high performance and each member of the senior team contributes significantly on a daily basis. We push the envelope and have bold, aspirational goals. It really does feel like we are tackling a new frontier on a daily basis! Everyone from call centre staff to the members of the senior team are close-knit and it feels very much like a family. I really enjoy the close interactions we have as it allows us to leverage each other’s strengths and insights. There are highly skilled individuals at Bespoke, with everyone being an industry expert in their relative field. It is great to be part of this high performance team that is so focused on delivering outstanding CX services. I’m very much looking forward to building my skills and experience further and helping Bespoke continue it’s journey to become a global leader in the field of global outsourced CX and BPO.
At Bespoke, we’re convinced that Mohammed will continue to flourish as an outstanding CFO, and wish him every success and happiness as he helps us to fulfil our growth and client delivery strategy.
If you want to understand how Bespoke International Group can deliver a secure and reliable customer experience for your clients and help you achieve your business objectives, email our BDM at [email protected]
Our CEO is UK-based and available to offer enhanced value through a one-to-one consultation.