JENNIFER REDDY is the new Chief Executive Officer of Morar Incorporated – a financial services consulting firm comprising of Chartered Accountants and Registered Auditors. The firm has a national presence, with seven offices across the country, servicing private and public sector clients’ needs in accounting, auditing, tax, forensics, and information and communications technology services.
Morar Incorporated has been in business for over 27 years. “As a black-owned and managed business, this is a great feat for a small to medium-sized enterprise,” said Jennifer. The firm is the only South African firm to be accredited with Allinial Global membership, which allows international clients to be serviced as well as creating a link for local clients who wish to expand their businesses abroad.
A PATH FOR SUCCESS
Jennifer has 15 years of experience under her belt, having completed her articles and qualifying as a Chartered Accountant (SA) while at PricewaterhouseCoopers. She joined Morar Incorporated in 2010 at the Pietermaritzburg office as an Associate Director servicing the private sector in accounting, auditing, and tax.
She commented, “My drive and ambition allowed me to set a path for success and grow through the ranks, I was then given the opportunity to become the Director responsible for the Durban office and KwaZulu-Natal region with the responsibility to enhance the firm’s strategy and grow the private sector business segment in Cape Town and Johannesburg.”
In 2017, Jennifer was appointed as the Director of Corporate Services, responsible for leading the organization’s finance, operations, and support strategies and functions.
During her professional journey within Morar Incorporated, Jennifer furthered her education by completing the strategic examination with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) in 2019, as well as obtaining her Master of Business Administration degree from the Gordon Institute of Business Science (University of Pretoria) in 2021.
Jennifer said, “My recent appointment as CEO, has been challenging and exhilarating. My purpose is making sure that the company moves to greater heights. We have a great legacy that has been left behind by our previous Managing Director and founder who has sadly passed away. And it’s with that vision that I would like us to strengthen our resolve and move forward with passion, conquering what needs to be conquered. I am proud to say that three months down the line we are on the right track. We are energised and confident that we will take Morar Incorporated to greater heights.”
During different phases of her life, Jennifer says that various people have supported, mentored, and coached her. She commented, “My previous Managing Director gave me the guts to take on any challenge and the ability to believe in myself and what I could achieve. He was a great mentor and he never held me back no matter what strategy, tactic, or business plan I came up with. He was supportive and let me grow and find myself within this business.”
Jennifer added that she has been fortunate enough to have a tribe of women that back her. “A network is very important if you want to progress in business or even personally. I have been fortunate to encounter professional women that support me. When you feel anxious, they are there to support you by understanding how to evaluate risk and advise on the best way to move forward.”
She added, “As a female professional in an accounting and auditing field, the male dominance gets to you. When you start this career, you may not anticipate how you will move past this barrier. The first challenge is finding the security and certainty within yourself that you are equivalent to your counterparts.”
A big challenge, says Jennifer, is that you may not be able to work 10 to 12 hours a day, and it may be difficult to travel when you have little kids. Overcoming those challenges was something she needed to address early in her career. “Keeping that work-life balance is a myth – there is no work-life balance – whatever makes you and your family happy is the balance you are going to create.”
The next challenge was balancing the needs of the business, her clients, her staff, and her family while she completed an MBA. The demands of which were equivalent to the demands of work –balancing that was quite difficult. “My immediate goal is for this firm to regain its branding strength and our market share. Morar Incorporated offers a wide range of services and we don’t openly publicise our success. We are a client-centric company that highlights innovation and technology and I need to bring that to the fore.”
“Personally, I think that becoming CEO has also ignited a passion in me to conquer more and I know that that there is a lot more that I have to achieve.”
Jennifer’s advice to young women following in her path is “be brave”. She added, “Be willing to take the risk, weigh all your options, and embrace your network. Never sell yourself short and never believe that something is not possible because of where you come from, your background, your childhood, or any other experience in life. These experiences mould us, and they also guide us to where we should be going in life.”
She added that women should never disregard the value of education, as this is the edge we have over our male counterparts. In addition, Jennifer says, “Don’t be afraid to be a female leader. By that I mean empowering women, leading with empathy and with confidence.” If you are stylish, she says, then bring that flair into your leadership style. We often try to put ourselves into this male world and don’t want to showcase our female attributes. We are female leaders, and we need to embrace that fact.
Jennifer is very fortunate as her husband and kids keep her well-grounded. “When I am not at work, they are my priority. They help me relax, regroup, and refocus. I have great friends that are always willing to take me on little retreats – we call it girl time. My best friend is a yoga teacher, so I have access to meditation and yoga, which helps me relax. I also love reading, which helps me to clear my mind.”
In conclusion, she adds, “We live in a society where women are often afraid to showcase where they have been and where they are going. Initiatives like this enable women to share what they have achieved. I have a story to tell, and I trust my story could help someone else.”