Abdullah Verachia

abdullah-head-and-shouldersedited-copyAbdullah is the Chief Executive Officer of The Strategists – a leading strategy consulting firm that helps governments and corporates to craft competitive future strategies. He also currently serves as the Executive Chairperson of The Collective Genius, as well as a Director of Education Africa. Abdullah also serves as faculty and head of the India Africa Business Network at the Gordon Institute of Business Science.

Having presented in over 60 cities globally, Abdullah Verachia has been recognised as a leading speaker, strategist and thought-leader on company competitiveness and strategy and on Frontier and Emerging Markets. He has presented to leading listed firms, international organisations and governments around the world.

Abdullah has been recognised as a visionary young leader who has played an active role in South African society for a number of years. He has been selected as the Mpumalanga youth leader of the year and a finalist for the South African youth leader of the year. He was also selected to be a part of the Brightest Young Minds in South Africa as well as an honorary member of the Golden Key International Honour Society. Abdullah also received an honorary award for 15 years of excellence toward Youth Development and the Model United Nations in South Africa. Abdullah also holds non-executive directorships at various companies.

Abdullah Verachia is an admitted attorney of the High Court of South Africa and holds qualifications from some of South Africa’s leading academic institutions. including a bachelors in Commerce and Law from the University of Johannesburg.

Monhla Hlahla

Monhla Hlahla is a Chairman of Royal Bafokeng Holdings (RBH), Chairman of TCTA, Non-Executive Director of Liberty Holdings Limited and Non-Executive Director of Exxaro Resources. She is also the Director of a number of companies within the Praxley Group

Between 2001 and 2011, Monhla Hlahla held the position of Managing Director of the Airports Company SA (ACSA). Under her management, ACSA embarked on its biggest ever capital expenditure programme to cater for the increasing number of passengers going through South African airports.

In 2001 and 2002, she was ranked in the Top 12 of the Top 300 Business Personalities in South Africa. In 2002, Prestige Rapport/City Press recognised her as one of the country’s most Inspirational Women Achievers. Tribute Magazine named her one of its Women of Substance in the same year.

In 2005, both Black Business Quarterly and the Businesswomen’s Association named her Businesswoman Of The Year. She was also named Most Outstanding Woman Manager in a state-owned enterprise by the International Quality & Productivity Centre.

In 2009, Monhla received an acknowledgement from the African Women Chartered Accountants Association as the association’s “Woman of Substance”. The Black Management Forum also bestowed upon her the title of Business Personality Of The Year.

In 2014 Monhla was awarded the Chevalier de la Legion d’ Honneur by the President of France.

Monhla holds a BA Hons (Economics) from Pomona College in the US and an MA in Urban & Regional Planning from the University of California.

Ross Boyd

ross-boyd2Ross Boyd is the Director of Enterprise and Supplier Development for GE Africa and is responsible for the establishment and management of the Enterprise and Supplier Development (E&SD) Structure within the region focused on building SME’s into GE Suppliers. His responsibilities also include activating the GE Africa Innovation Center in South Africa.

Prior to his current position, Ross was the General Manager for GE’s Industrial Solutions business in Sub-Saharan Africa, which is part of GE Energy Connections.
Ross joined GE in 2002, as a Key Account Manager for the Lighting business in the UK. In 2006, Ross was promoted to Product Line Manager within GE Consumer and Industrial and moved to Budapest. In early 2007, Ross was again promoted to Global Product Manager for High Intensity Discharge (HID) Products.

Ross returned to South Africa at the end of 2008 in order to take up the General Manager role for Industrial Solutions as part of Energy Connections. He focused on building and leading the commercial and supply chain team in South Africa with the objective of developing the business in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Ross was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Witwatersrand, an Advanced Diploma from the Chartered Institute of Marketing and an MBA from the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business (GSB).

Thuto Masasa

thutho-2-0021-copy-2Thuto Masasa is a partner at Nkonki Incorporated, one of the largest black empowerment assurance and advisory firms in South Africa.

Thuto’s responsibilities consist of a mixed portfolio in Assurance Services and she heads up Integrated Reporting within the firm.

She is member of the Integrated Reporting Council (IRC) Working Group in South Africa and a representative of Nkonki in the International Integrated Reporting Council’s (IIRC) Business and Public Sector Pioneer networks.

Thuto has extensive experience established over 10 years working in commerce, assurance and corporate advisory services. She has worked for Cummins, a Fortune 500 company, and Deloitte before joining Nkonki.

Outside of South Africa she worked in London for Deloitte UK and has facilitated training in various countries in Africa, Asia and Europe through Deloitte Global.

She also holds non-executive directorship at Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency, where she is a member of the audit and risk committee and the loans committee. She is a finance committee member of the South African Institute of International Affairs.

One of her passions is building and developing South Africa’s youth. Thuto participated in the Spirit of the Youth Programme, a youth dialogue and leadership programme headed by GIBS between 2010 and 2012 as a volunteer facilitator. In 2012 and 2013 she also helped the African Leadership Academy to assist in mentoring young people with entrepreneurial potential. In 2013 she served as a board member of Beyond the Lemonade Stand, a non-profit organisation aimed at creating experiential learning opportunities. Thuto also holds non-executive directorships at various companies.

She won the TA & IAB Young Accountant of the Year in 2016.

Thutho studied a Bachelor of Accountancy at the University of Natal and is a qualified chartered accountant.

Lerato Molebatsi


Lerato Molebatsi is the first female National Executive seasoned and energized to lead GE South Africa. She succeeds Thomas Konditi, CEO since March 2015 who has transitioned out of GE after over 25 years of exemplary service. She brings a wealth of experience from her role as Government Affairs and Communications leader and will work across industries with the private and public sectors to find the ideal and most impactful opportunities for partnerships in South Africa, emphasizing commitment to localization in South African market.

Lerato has over 22 years of experience in Management, Government and Public Affairs. She joined GE in 2016 and served as Executive Director for Government Affairs & Policy at GE, where she implemented government affairs/business initiatives, stakeholder engagements in the sub-region and policy projects. She has also served in government as the advisor to the Minister of Transport and then later as the Deputy Director General for Corporate Services at the Department of Labor.

She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Johannesburg and a Post Graduate diploma in business from Stellenbosch University.