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Geetu Ahuja, Associate Director for Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan of CIMA,

And the Winners are Meka Nwabuko and Gokhan Tekiner from Royal Dutch Shell


The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) announced the successful completion of its r Corporate Business Leadership Challenge that identifies and awards budding business talent from across industry sectors. Teams of accounting, finance and business professionals from across the GCC were invited to Dubai to participate in a competition designed to test their business management, financial management and financial accounting acumen. The challenge was supported by COTY, Dubai Duty Free and Jumeirah Group Restaurants as key sponsors.

Ten teams comprising of 20 professionals competed in the finals of the challenge, after having qualified through a two-month intensive course on technical and business knowledge. The finalists represented reputed organisations including Unilever, Royal Dutch Shell, Mace Group, Arabian Power Company and GlaxoSmithKline among others. The qualifying course covered topics such as project and relationship management, advanced management accounting and advanced financial reporting.

For the competition, each team presented their response to a business case study and were evaluated by a panel of judges. The judges included Rajiv Ramani, Controller-Middle East & Africa, COTY; R.K. Ananthan, Vice President – Finance, Dubai Duty Free; Deepa (Aidasani) Tekchandani, Director of Finance at Jumeirah Restaurant Group; James Tobias Durkan, SVP and Controller – Asia, Middle East and North Africa (AMENA) Sector PepsiCo; Lakshit Mittal, Finance Director, Seafood International; Vimbai Hungwe Mhlanga, Finance Director, SchoolApply AG; and Kamlesh Manek, Head of Finance, DLA Piper Middle East LLP.

The winners were Meka Nwabuko and Gokhan Tekiner from Royal Dutch Shell and the first runner-up team were Ryan Restell from Mace Group and Laveena Hotchandani from GlaxoSmithKline.  All 20 candidates that qualified for the finals will take the CIMA Management Case Study exam this month and on passing the test, will be awarded the globally accredited CIMA Advanced Diploma in Management Accounting and global designation CIMA Adv. Dip MA.

Presenting the award to the winning teams, Geetu Ahuja, Associate Director for Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan of CIMA, said: “We are pleased to announce the winners of the CIMA Corporate Business Leadership Challenge. This new type of competition, combining interactive learning, teamwork, vocational study, and a senior directorate employer led live-judged presentation has proven to be the best way to identify all-round business acumen and fortitude needed to drive regional companies forward. We look forward to the next phase in the growth of these regional business leaders.”The CIMA Corporate Business Leadership Challenge forms part of the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) qualification. Entrants are encouraged to continue with the course and become a chartered qualified management accountant.

The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (the Association) is an influential body of professional accountants, combining the strengths of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) to power opportunity, trust and prosperity for people, businesses and economies worldwide. It represents 650,000 members and students in public and management accounting and advocates for the public interest and business sustainability on current and emerging issues. With broad reach, rigor and resources, the Association advances the reputation, employabilit, and quality of CPAs, CGMAs and accounting and finance professionals globally.

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), founded in 1919, is the world’s leading and largest professional body of management accountants, with members and students operating in 177 countries, working at the heart of business. CIMA members and students work in industry, commerce, the public sector and not-for-profit organisations. CIMA works closely with employers and sponsors leading-edge research, constantly updating its qualification, professional experience requirements and continuing professional development to ensure it remains the employers’ choice when recruiting financially-trained business leaders.