Meet Kesheni Moodley, Ozow’s Chief Commercial Officer.
Kesh, as she’s affectionately known around Ozow, filled the role of Head of Client Success before grabbing the well-deserved opportunity to move into the C-Suite as Chief Commercial Officer in 2022.
Recently, we spoke to Kesh about her career accomplishments, her journey at Ozow, and her vision for success in her new CCO role.
Please sum up your career journey so far?
I started my career in Durban after graduating, and then relocated to Johannesburg after a few years. I have spent most of my entire professional life in corporate, and have been fortunate to have worked in a multitude of different roles, spanning across strategy, sales, operations, account management and consulting. This also took me across a diverse range of industries and the companies that serviced them. I am eternally grateful for the growth, learning and global exposure that came from working at the likes of Accenture, IBM and Siemens, and how it shaped who I am and who I can be.
What has your journey at Ozow been like?
Initially, a complete shock to my system! Joining Ozow was my first time in Fintech and a start-up, and my first time at a place where people wore shorts and t-shirts to work (all previous jobs being in suits and business-smart). There were 32 people in the business when I started (we are currently at 106, two and a half years later). I joined as Head of Client Success and was responsible for driving revenue and the growth of our key clients. At the time, there was no process or manual on what was needed or who did what. This meant that one was regularly swimming out of their lane to get stuff done. The growth and development that comes from an environment like this cannot be found in any textbook and is second to none – from the industry we are a part of (including banks and the regulators), the clients we have, to the phenomenally talented people we work with, you are literally learning something new every day.
In what ways has Ozow allowed you to grow in your career?
By challenging me every day! Growth never happens in a comfort zone. Having the responsibility and accountability of the largest portfolio in the business means that you are constantly finding new and creative ways to grow revenue, while simultaneously delivering an excellent level of service. Leading a team of unique individuals and ensuring they are driving with purpose and fulfilment is something that I am motivated by and grateful for. Being in a start-up, now very much a scale-up, means that one is regularly in the trenches doing the work. It is this that has allowed me to grow into the role of CCO, where I can now develop, shape and contribute to the strategy that will take our business to the next level.
What kind of leader do you aspire to be?
An authentic leader with heart. People are what make or break a business. A quote by Richard Branson, “Take care of your people and your people will take care of the business”, resonates with my approach. I aspire to be a leader that is respected, trusted and compassionate. While these are common traits, it is important to know that they are not given or commanded – they need to be earned by putting in the effort every day.
What plans do you have for the future of Ozow in your new role?
I want to establish a strong foundation of sustainability through rigorous pipeline management and conversion, deliver a level of service excellence that is unparalleled in the market, and build and retain a diversely skilled and solid team of purpose-driven, talented and aspirational people.
What’s one piece of advice you’d like to give people who want to follow a similar career path as you, and make it to C-Suite level?
Be authentically you, work hard and consciously choose what you focus on every day. While change and evolution are natural parts of growth and personal development, don’t compromise on your ethics and values. And somewhere in between, remember to take care of yourself: you cannot pour from an empty cup!
If you would like to work with Kesh, and the rest of the Ozow team, check out our careers page here to see if there’s a position for you.