Where passion meets numbers

Yvette Kinnaird, the group finance manager at Plastic Packaging, believes that individuals should motivate and strengthen those around them.

09 August 2019 | People

MARISELLE STOFBERG

“I want to be able to take a person, within their department or personal life, and walk a path with them and see how they are strengthened every day. If we as human beings could be that way towards each other every day, how wonderful would this world not be?”

Kinnaird is a born and bred Namibian and completed high school at Concordia College in Windhoek. She then obtained a National Diploma in Cost and Management Accounting at the Polytechnic of Namibia and continued with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting.

Pursuing a career in accounting has allowed Kinnaird the opportunity to gain a general knowledge of all aspects of a company.

“I love the sense of understanding everything within the business that comes with being in finance. You get involved on all the levels in the company and you are able to get to the core of the business.”

Kinnaird completed her articles with Deloitte Namibia and was seconded by Deloitte International to work in their New York office in downtown Manhattan and subsequently joined their Leeds office in the United Kingdom as audit manager.

Upon her return to Namibia she started with Namibia’s O&L Group as cost accountant for Namibia Dairies and through hard work became their business support manager, gaining experience in system implementations, processes and costing.

Kinnaird has been able to see and experience the world and a variety of cultures.

“My career path took me onto the international oil trading company, Trafigura, as their global payroll manager. This role came with vast international exposure in individual tax and labour compliance in over 80 countries across the globe.”

She was then introduced to the world of zinc mining and exports as Skorpion Zinc’s financial manager at Rosh Pinah.

“My pride and joy, my two lovely children, brought me back to Windhoek where I became the finance manager of Kansai Plascon Paints, a leader in the manufacturing of paint products.”

Twelve months ago Kinnaird received an offer from Plastic Packaging to join their dynamic team as finance manager.

“A world of new opportunities and challenges embraced me and today I am their group finance manager. On a day-to-day basis, I motivate, strategise, analyse, lead, learn, and acknowledge good performances and milestones achieved.”

Even though the saying goes that one cannot run from one’s problems, Kinnaird uses running as a way of reflecting and allowing herself time to take a break and de-stress.

“Life is all about balance, if you work hard you must play hard and that is why I love going on hiking trips, living in the outdoors which is food for my soul to reboot and re-energise. Running has become my meditation.”

When Kinnaird is not busy crunching numbers, one is likely to find her reading or doing some much-needed retail therapy.

“My favourite room is my bedroom where I will lock the door and indulge in my reading. I love reading Joel Osteen’s books to keep my sanity and to keep me humane. He inspires me to see the unique part in every person and nurture that part and help them grow.”

If she did not pursue a career in accounting, Kinnaird would had loved to be a tour guide. “I would like to take people out and show them the beauty of nature and the healing powers that it has on the soul.”

In the not too distant future, together with Plastic Packaging, Kinnaird hopes to change Namibia’s consumer behaviour towards plastic products and its use to reduce its effect on the environment through active collection, reuse and recycling.

Even though many people fear change, Kinnaird believes that with the right mindset and determination one is able to overcome these perceived challenges.

“They say change is as good as a holiday, but with it comes new systems, new people, unknown concepts and complete foreign waters you need to learn, adapt and adjust to ensure you move the ship forward. Whenever faced with challenges, always believe in your capabilities. That is your number one secret to success and when you dream, dream big.”

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