Tasneem Khan has been appointed as EIMS Africa’s new Project Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for a portfolio of six solar PV projects in South Africa. Tasneem, previously the Project Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the portfolio, has been managing these projects in a caretaking capacity for the past few months and took up this new role in a permanent capacity, from 1 May 2022.
“Tasneem has done an incredible job managing these projects over the last few months and we are proud to have been able to facilitate her career progression through the EIMS Africa business. She joined the team that now forms the foundation of the EIMS Africa management structure back in 2012 and has progressed from Finance Manager to Senior Finance Manager, to Project CFO and now to Project CEO. It is a testament to her hard work, diligence and continuous drive for self-improvement that Tasneem has advanced her career so rapidly in the last 9 years and is the kind of success story we hope to continue to facilitate in the EIMS Africa organisation,” said Ryan Hammond, CEO of EIMS Africa.
Having taken up a noteworthy role in the renewables industry, spearheading the work of six solar PV projects, Tasneem’s ambition is to continue to grow the company into the largest renewable energy Platform in Africa, and she envisages building a reputation for delivering on a triple bottom line, namely people, planet and profit.
“When you take into consideration climate change, energy demands and advancement in technology, we are dealing with an ever changing landscape on a global level. Over the last 10 years, I’ve seen companies rise and fall, the industry demands constant innovation and adaptability. Arguably, these are soft skills, which thrive in the face of necessity and a supportive environment,” said Tasneem Khan, Project CEO, EIMS Africa.
Tasneem sees her appointment as testament to the culture of people development within EIMS Africa and credit’s its exponential acquisition of Independent Power Producers (IPPs) over the last decade to the brilliant minds within the organisation. She believes that the company can continue to provide an environment of growth and development, as the people within the team are its best resources for growth and tackling future challenges.
She is widely known to be passionate about the renewables industry and attributes this to the opportunities that the sector has provided her – specifically to develop people, as well as to be part of community upliftment initiatives, whilst leaving a greener legacy and better environment for future generations.
Tasneem admits that she is in fact stepping out of her comfort zone, as her previous roles were purely in the Finance space, but now as the Project CEO she’ll be involved in all aspects of the business. “I started at EIMS Africa as a Finance Manager for Umoya Wind Farm and REISA. I came from a Private Equity background and had no experience in renewable energy. 10 years ago, when the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme Bid Window 1 reached financial close, everything was new to me. I recall handing in my first report for review and receiving it back filled with “red pen”. I learnt quickly, was guided by the CFO and soon thereafter Cookhouse Wind Farm was added to my portfolio,” explains Tasneem.
Her career expanded and grew as she was tasked to manage the finance aspects of three IPPs, seeing them through construction to operations. “I remember seeing the turbines arrive at the ports and seeing them transported and erected – these were all fascinating engineering feats. In 2018, we reached financial close on the six solar PV projects and I was appointed as the Project CFO where I designed and implemented finance structures, recruited the finance team and built relationships with key stakeholders,” added Tasneem.
Now, almost ten years later, she has been appointed as the Project CEO, which is an excellent opportunity to grow and function outside her purely finance role, with the company’s Exco providing the necessary support by means of coaching and mentoring.
Speaking to the sector’s gender transformation, Tasneem concludes, “Engineering roles and leadership positions, traditionally held by males are seeing an increase in gender transformation. This is especially relevant in the renewables space as the industry is relatively young and it’s important to drive gender transformation from the outset. The recent appointment of the SAPVIA CEO is testament to the gender transformation in the industry”.