Interview with VP of a large shipping agency based in UAE

Source: ICAT Toastmasters Club Newsletter

We hope his interview will inspire the readers and help them to provide meaningful advice to whom they serve.

1. What Businesses are you heading in your Group of companies?
We are into multifold businesses. We are a group of companies into varied and diversified businesses.
2. How do you monitor/control your vast and diversified businesses?
Reply:We structure the business first and then select a leader amongst our existing team and make him the leader. Then we together prepare the processes, organization structure and provide each the required empowerment. Empowering our Leaders is very important and lots of management thoughts are involved into it. The empowered Leader is then given complete independent charge in about three to four years time.Key to success lies in empowering the Leader to independently lead the business unit. We allow him to learn by making mistakes. Without this he cannot learn. Very rarely we engage a business head by recruiting from outside. It is generally by way of promotion from within the group. This is also one of the reasons that none of the Leaders leave our organization.
3. What do you do to ensure that your employees do not leave?
Reply: Ours is not a stagnant organization. We provide constant growth opportunities to deserving employees. Whoever leaves at senior position has rejoined us after few years as no better opportunities are available to them outside. We create opportunities for people at top. We want people who are aspirational as well as use best practices. They are the people who are ready to take up challenges and do not leave us.
4. What is your best business practice?

Reply: Our main best practice is that we empower our employees, we respect them and recognize them at the appropriate them.
5. What is your advice to new comers in the business?

Reply: My advice to them is

  • Not to dilute the focus on their business.
  • They should build a good team.
  • They should not get disappointed with failures.
  • Failures are stepping stone to success.
  • They can win the race only when they are within the race. This is an infinite race and not a 100
    meters or miles race.
  • Their business idea should be good.

6. When should a person leave his business and leave UAE?

Reply: Why should a person leave at all? There are opportunities even in fallen market as well as in growing market. He should learn to be patient. There is no ball mark as when to return. Globally sustainability is a challenge. To survive in the business one should adjust his aspirations and expectations to the reality in the market.

Even animals move to greener pastures. It is human nature to move where opportunities are better and easier.
7. What is your advice to chartered accountants?

Reply: Those CAs in external-audit should change the dimension and direction of audit. They should add value to business rather than focusing in preparing a report pointing out errors and mistakes. They should instead offer advice in their reports that will make the business from good to better.

CAs should not only point out what is wrong but rather come up with solutions and convince the business-house employees/team what is better to be done. After implementing and getting the acceptance from the doers they should then approach the auditee’s top management with their report. If the suggestions of the auditors is not accepted and implemented by the employees/ team of the business house then that audit-report is rubbish. We are not interested in good audit reports by auditors or consultants or seniors employees. We want value additions in their suggestions and more importantly their acceptability by others in our business team.

CAs should be honest and factual in their reporting. They should be committed to their profession and meet the expectations of the businessmen/ society.
They should have the guts to stand-up to what is right. They should not be weak and give-in to wrongful activities.

Weak characters cannot be Leaders.

I hope this interview will inspire our CA friends to become from good to better and help them to provide meaningful advice to whom they serve.

Interview of VP