CFO Colin Musaazi is aligned to a tech-evolving world

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A year into his role as CFO of Group Vivendi Africa (Canal Box) Uganda, Colin Musaazi has experienced first-hand the intricacies of setting up a new company.

A year into his role as CFO of Group Vivendi Africa (Canal Box) Uganda, Colin Musaazi has experienced first-hand the intricacies of setting up a new company.

As a subsidiary of the Vivendi Group, which specialises in cable television, fibre, and movie entertainment, the Ugandan company has ambitious plans to widen its African footprint. Though the conglomerate already boasts operations in francophone nations like the Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Togo, and DRC, Uganda is its first venture into an English-speaking domain. Part of Colin's onboarding included trips to these countries, deepening his grasp on the group’s business model.

The Ugandan journey was more protracted, spanning over two years. "This delay illustrates the need to seek out local talent and establish infrastructure when venturing into a new country," notes Colin.

He also mentions taxes as a barrier. There is a special excise tax on internet products in Uganda.

Before joining Canal Box in October 2022, Colin steered the financial helm at Grainpulse Uganda, an integrated agribusiness, for three years. This was after a diverse financial role at LafargeHolcim.

The change to his current position was an intentional pivot for Colin. He says, "I was captivated by the allure of an unfamiliar tech domain. In our tech-evolving world, marked by AI and novel innovations, I wanted to be part of the future. Whereas treasury played a significant role in agribusiness, often dealing with sums over twenty million dollars during the coffee peak season, here the dynamics differ. It's refreshing and invigorating to embark on this learning curve."

Family ties

Both of Colin’s parents were accountants and they encouraged him to pursue it as a career. He earned a strong foundation in business statistics at Makerere University and passed the ACCA examinations to qualify as a chartered accountant. Through the combination of academic excellence and professional certifications, he developed a passion for finance and has never looked back.

Colin’s team at Canal Box comprises six people and is expected to grow as the company gains market share in Uganda. He explains, "My leadership and management style can be described as strategic and performance-oriented, with a focus on team accountability and continuous improvement. With my team, I ensure alignment with financial strategies, robust controls, and engagement in financial projects that enhance management and governance."

Leading the development and delivery of the finance strategy consistent with the corporate strategy is one of Colin’s major responsibilities as CFO of Canal Box. This includes ensuring that strong financial performance is achieved through effective planning, control, and reporting.

To achieve this goal, cost management and reporting capabilities need to be embedded, financial processes need to be analysed and reengineered for efficiency, and budgetary and financial controls need to be closely monitored. As well as leading finance projects, he focuses on enhancing financial management and governance and achieving continuous improvement.

Managing a new finance team can be very challenging. To re-energise himself, Colin plays video games and watches Formula One when away from the office.

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