Balancing the Books: A Look at a Modern CFO

Modern CFO

Modern CFO’s job specifications are developing and shifting. The modern chief financial officer (CFO) is a business partner, a team leader, a communications master, and the spirit behind the company’s financial digitalization, all in one. Of course, exceptional financial skills are still and forever will be necessary.

Future CFOs will need to be able to use financial data to inform operational strategy and decision-making. Yet how? Randa Naboulsi, CFO of Monty Holding, offers insights into the characteristics that characterize a modern CFO. She highlights how, with the proper financial leadership and communication skills, a modern CFO can be a mentor, a leader, and a voice of reason in various situations.

INSIDE TELECOM: CFOs are considered a vital element in an establishment’s structure regarding financial activity and overseeing the organization’s financial growth and state.

How did you contribute to Monty Holding’s growth and help put the company on the map to achieve its business goals?

Randa Naboulsi: The first step I have taken towards growth is empowering my team and believing in the capacity of every member. Growth means continuous improvement, learning from each other, and striving to optimize our output. The foundation for a rapidly expanding business is a solid finance department and the competence of the individuals who comprise it. Thus, my primary contribution has been building a strong finance team, emphasizing ongoing collaboration between departments, creating a proper workflow and structure, implementing policies and procedures, introducing a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, encouraging digital transformation, and always demanding excellence.

INSIDE TELECOM: How did your previous position before becoming Monty Holding’s CFO prepare you for the challenges and ordeals you might have faced in your current role?

Randa Naboulsi: All my experiences have taught me to embrace challenges, and Monty Holding has been a ravishing challenge for me. I started my first job with data entry and filing and worked my way through to become a CFO. I have learned that hard work and perseverance are crucial to success. I did not achieve all my goals on the first try; however, the more I was determined to improve my skills and differentiate myself in the market, the closer I realized my full potential.

INSIDE TELECOM: How did working as Monty Holding’s CFO help you develop unique points of strength?

What are some of your most proud-of accomplishments within the past several years at the company?

Randa Naboulsi: When I initially moved to Monty Holding, I was eager to offer the company all my expertise and know-how. As it turned out, my job complemented both my knowledge and personality, and we reached perfect synergy and achieved mutual benefit. Working as Monty Holding’s CFO has enriched me in various ways. The group gave me the ideal opportunity to use my leadership, communication, and decision-making skills. Through the years, I have matured with the group, and I have become a calmer and wiser version of myself. For that, I am always thankful.

INSIDE TELECOM: Accomplished CFO focuses on developing their financing and accounting skills by leveraging their experience and ability to carry out high-level responsibilities within the company.

What are your investment strategies for funding Monty Holding’s departments during the yearly budget cycle?

Randa Naboulsi: At Monty Holding, we implemented Activity Based Cost (ABC) approach for shared services. By this, cost centers are funded by the various revenue-generating business verticals. In parallel, a budget is set for each business vertical. In the set budget, required CAPEX/investments for each vertical are determined in line with the available pool of funds at the Group level. The split of CAPEX/investments among the business verticals is developed on the basis of the potential growth and returns for each vertical. By this, the Holding ensures that each vertical maintains a positive cash flow while covering its direct and shared services costs.

INSIDE TELECOM: CFOs carry a diversity of high-level responsibilities, and most duties involve making a much-need yet complex set of decisions.

What are the most difficult decisions you had to make? And how did these decisions help shape the company’s organizational change?

Randa Naboulsi: One of the most critical decisions I have made was restructuring the group and moving our holding company to the UK. This significant change opened new doors for better opportunities that supported our funding strategy. We were well-equipped, and I was quite confident in our capacity to comply with international standards to take this calculated risk. In turn, it ultimately proved our readiness to make a big step toward achieving our long-term vision.

INSIDE TELECOM: How do you leverage Monty Holding’s points of strength to measure the company’s return on investment (ROI)? How does this help you make the right critical decisions?

Randa Naboulsi: Given the scope of Monty Holding’s operations, we prioritize consistent growth in our top revenue-generating business vertical, application-to-person messaging (A2P) messaging. We accomplish this by leveraging our international connections, expertise in the field, and key personnel with extensive experience. As a result, the company’s ROI remains in the mid to high double digits.

Furthermore, when making critical decisions, we have dedicated technical and financial advisory teams that handle business cases and prioritize our business opportunities based on created synergies, market trends, and required ROI. We seek projects with the accretive potential to strengthen Monty Mobile’s position. As a result, Monty Holding can fund new ventures with revenue-generating business units while maintaining a healthy Group ROI.

Inside Telecom provides you with an extensive list of content covering all aspects of the tech industry. Keep an eye on our Interviews section to stay informed and up-to-date with our daily articles.