Axiata Announces Top Malaysian and Internal Talents to Take on Senior Finance Roles in the Region


Kuala Lumpur, 25 September 2018 – Axiata Group Berhad (“Axiata” or “the Group”) announced four key appointments comprising internal talents who will be taking up senior finance positions at the Group and its operating companies with effect from 15 October 2018.

The appointees, which include three Malaysians, are a result of the Group’s talent development focus to groom and develop its people to assume increasing responsibilities and new challenges in its fast-growing markets in ASEAN and South Asia.

1. Appointment of Axiata’s Group Chief Internal Auditor
Hadi Helmi Zaini Sooria has been appointed as the Axiata Group Chief Internal Auditor (GCIA) and will be a part of the Group’s Senior Leadership team (SLT).

Hadi has made his mark as Chief Financial Officer of Ncell Axiata based in Nepal, a position he held for over two years. As part of the new management team formed after the acquisition of Ncell in 2016, he played a critical role in facilitating an effective post-acquisition integration despite the challenging environment in Nepal.

Hadi has more than 20 years of working experience within the Axiata Group. He held various management positions across the Group including at Celcom Axiata and edotco Malaysia where he was the Managing Director.

A Chartered Management Accountant by profession and a member of CIMA UK and holds an MBA, Hadi’s area of expertise is in General Management, Business Planning, Finance/ Strategic Finance, Costs Management, Procurement, and Business Controls.

2. Appointment of Director of Finance and Business Support, Axiata
Business Services

Nik Nazifah Nik Ahmad who is currently the Axiata Group Chief Internal Auditor will assume a new role as Director of Finance and Business Support for Axiata Business Services (ABS), reporting to its CEO.

In this new role, she will be responsible for strategic finance, business planning, reporting and Legal and HR business support for Xpand, the brand under ABS, which is the new subsidiary company tasked to drive the Group’s enterprise and Internet of Things (IoT) business across all of Axiata’s footprint in ASEAN and South Asia.

Nik has been the GCIA and also a member of the Axiata SLT team for the last 3.5 years and has brought many new initiatives to the IA function. Among other achievements, she established new internal audit functions for Axiata Digital Services and Ncell Axiata. She also helped to set up the Axiata cybersecurity steering committee.

A finance professional with almost 25 years of experience, she took on the role of Financial Controller of Celcom Axiata before joining Axiata. Prior to that, she was in Shell for over 15 years where she held a variety of finance roles in Malaysia and at Shell’s headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands. She holds a BSc (Hons) in Accountancy, is a fellow member of the ACCA, UK as well as a Chartered Accountant with the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA).

3. Appointment of Chief Financial Officer, Smart Axiata, Cambodia
Feiruz Ikhwan Abdul Malek will take on the role of Chief Financial Officer of Smart Axiata in Cambodia. He will join Smart from XL Axiata, Indonesia where he is the current Group Head of Finance.

Over the last seven years of his development journey at XL, Feiruz has served in various Strategic Finance positions as well as played an active leading role in XL’s Balance Sheet Management and Operating Model Transformation.

Feiruz has been with Axiata Group since inception in 2008, where he led the Strategic Investor Relations for the Group and was part of the team overseeing the Regional Operations.

A Chartered Accountant, he is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), UK and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree (Hons) in Economics (Accounting and Finance) from the London School of Economics.

4. Appointment of Chief Financial Officer of Ncell Axiata, Nepal
Kanishka Wickrama has been appointed as the Chief Financial Officer of Ncell Axiata in Nepal.

Kanishka who is currently the CFO of Smart, brings more than 10 years of working experience in the ICT industry. Since his appointment as CFO at Smart in 2014, Kanishka has played a significant role in driving the company’s stellar financial performance over the years, strategic acquisitions of the company, internal business process re-engineering as well as cost reduction initiatives.

Prior to joining Smart, Kanishka spent a year at the Group, leading various merger activities across Asia in the Corporate Development team, in particular, successfully completing the Hello Axiata-Smart Mobile merger in 2013.

Kanishka is a Chartered Accountant and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science from Bangalore University, India and an MBA in Finance from Manipal University, India.

Commenting on the new appointments, Axiata’s President and Group CEO Tan Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim expressed confidence in the leadership and capabilities of these new appointees. “At Axiata, we have always placed strong emphasis on the development of our local and internal talent as part of our corporate philosophy,” he said. “These new appointees are part of many who have been groomed to take on increasing responsibilities and are part of a Group talent rotational programme. They are now poised to move on to new challenges in their respective careers. They have been appointed not just because they are internal talents, but because we also believe they are qualified and have the capability to be successful in their new roles, as much as others from outside,” he added.


About Axiata

Axiata is one of the leading telecommunications groups in Asia with approximately 350 million customers and with a presence in 11 countries. In pursuit of its vision to be the New Generation Digital Champion by 2021, the Group has transformed itself from a holding entity with a portfolio of pure-play mobile assets into a Triple Core Strategy driven business with the focus on Digital Telco, Digital Businesses and Infrastructure.

Within ASEAN and South Asia, Axiata has controlling stakes in market-leading mobile and fixed operators in the region including ‘Celcom’ in Malaysia, ‘XL’ in Indonesia, ‘Dialog’ in Sri Lanka, ‘Robi’ in Bangladesh, ‘Smart’ in Cambodia and 'Ncell' in Nepal. The Group also holds strategic interests in ‘Idea’ in India and ‘M1’ in Singapore. Axiata is in the cusp of transforming its mobile operations into Digital Telcos through digitisation and convergence.

‘edotco’, the Group’s infrastructure company, operates in six countries to deliver telecommunications infrastructure services, amassing approximately 27,500 towers. Presently the 12th largest independent tower companies globally, it aims to be one of the top regional telecommunications tower companies and is committed to responsible and sustainable business operations.

Axiata Digital and Axiata Business Services are the digital businesses arms of the Group. Together, these businesses are focused on capturing the rapid growth in digital financial services (‘Boost’), digital advertising (‘ada’), enterprise solutions/IoT (‘Xpand’) and platform services (‘APIgate’) with user access to global markets.

As a committed and long-term investor, Axiata provides employment to 25,000 people within its operations. In line with its sustainability goals, the Group actively supports and drives young talent development; disaster response and recovery; as well as green initiatives. Axiata’s broader goal Advancing Asia pieces together the best in the region in terms of innovation, connectivity and talent.

Issued By:
Corporate Communications,
Axiata Group Berhad
Axiata Corporate Headquarters, Axiata Tower,
9 Jalan Stesen Sentral 5, Kuala Lumpur Sentral.
50470 Kuala Lumpur

For media enquiries, please contact:
Anuja Ravendran
Corporate Communications
Tel: +6012-2380581
Email: anuja@axiata.com