“The field of auditing, consulting and consulting services intrinsically contributes to strengthening a company”

Please share a small profile on your field of activity and how you came to your current position.

Public accounting is a fundamental profession for a dynamic and evolving economy. As the global economy grapples with unforeseen risks and uncertainties, the public accountant profession and its contribution to overall economic well-being cannot be overstated. The field of auditing, consultancy and consultancy services is not only limited to the management of numbers, but also contributes to the intrinsic strengthening of a company.

Today, with more and more regulations coming into force, businesses venturing into new markets, and underlying risks posing a constant threat to businesses, the importance of leveraging experience and the expertise of auditors and business advisors is essential to be ready for the future.

I found my path to the Chartered Accountant (CA) profession while finishing my college education. It was my teacher who identified my strong mathematical acumen and guided me towards pursuing and successfully obtaining CA. After graduating as a Chartered Accountant, I headed to the Middle East in the early 90’s and joined Mahendra Asher & Co as a senior auditor.

As a professional auditor, I have been guided by my mentor, Mahendra Asher, to network with clients, assess and identify their organizational challenges, and help them mitigate business risks. The networking opportunities led me to unleash my entrepreneurial skills and find my purpose in helping businesses thrive through their challenges.

As a next generation CEO or team leader, what lessons do you want to learn from your mentors?

One of the first lessons I learned from my entrepreneurial mentors was the importance of nurturing professional relationships. Professional relationships are an investment entrepreneurs must make with dedication to drive growth. Not every professional relationship has to pay off financially, but there will be a huge learning curve with every interaction and collaboration.

Another important business lesson I’ve learned in my professional journey is to focus on adding value for existing and potential customers. Adding value is the real differentiator and entrepreneurs must constantly explore how best to add value through their business interactions.

What are the challenges you perceive in your field of activity and how do you intend to overcome them?

As a professional services firm in the field of auditing, consulting and consulting, the challenges we face arise from the circumstances in which companies find themselves. Interestingly, every business is unique and every challenge is specific to the nature of the business. We approach all difficult circumstances in our clients’ business by drawing on technical expertise, professional knowledge and a diverse view of the industry.

List three things you could do to motivate your team in their pursuit of excellence.

A constantly growing team is bound to deliver effective results. By engaging with our client’s growth story, we are also bringing our team’s growth story into play. Here are some ways to inspire the team to strive for excellence:

● Assess each team member’s core competencies and delegate key responsibilities to assess their ability to achieve excellence. This often allows employees to realize their untapped potential and streamline their careers based on their expertise.

● We are a company that serves at least 1,500+ customers and the trust I place in my team ensures that they become brand ambassadors for UHY James. One way to look at it is that the trust I place in our team pays off when we see the large number of returning clients leveraging the team’s expertise to grow their businesses.

● There is no better incentive than growth – whether personal or professional. At UHY James, we work hard to improve our team’s growth experience. Team growth is ingrained in our culture and we achieve little by running knowledge-intensive workshops, training sessions to empower them on dynamic topics within the business. Employees’ professional contributions are closely monitored to enable better decision-making around rewards, recognition and promotions.

In your opinion, as a CEO of the new era, to what extent is the United Arab Emirates a hub for business and entrepreneurship?

The United Arab Emirates is a country that has always attracted people from all over the world. The country has also been globally applauded for the various milestones reached after the outbreak of the pandemic.

The UAE continually ranks first among the safest cities to live in with the lowest crime rate. Powered by its strategic geographic location and the extensive connectivity offered by the world’s largest airline – Emirates – the United Arab Emirates displayed a rare quality of fearlessness when it opened its doors to international tourists on July 7 2020 in the middle of the first wave of Covid. The country has boosted its capacity to welcome millions of tourists while maintaining the highest levels of public health protocol.

The UAE is a country that champions the culture of entrepreneurship. The country has consistently topped the Ease of Doing Business Index and secured the top spot in the Global Entrepreneurship Index. Their strategic location between Asia, Africa and Europe makes the United Arab Emirates a prime destination for setting up businesses. The fDi Market report ranked Dubai 11th in the world and first in the MENA region in terms of venture capital investments in 2020.

The United Arab Emirates accounted for 46% of the total venture capital received in the Middle East and Africa in 2021, and more than 26% of the number of transactions. The UAE government’s policies and legislative reforms promote entrepreneurship as start-ups have easier access to accelerator programs, venture capitalists and high-net-worth global investors around the world .

How do you see your organization contributing to the growth of the UAE under your leadership?

I sincerely believe that the UHY James team has a vital role to play in contributing to the growth of the UAE economy. Our team of nearly 100 financial experts and professionals assists approximately more than 1,500 clients in total. Through our audit, advisory, technology, and business formation services, we work closely together to shape the financial well-being of entities across a variety of industries.

Our efforts aim to strengthen businesses at the micro level and the economy at the macro level.

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that every day when I assess companies from an entrepreneurial audit perspective, I play the role of a doctor checking the financial well-being of the business entity. The audit is not only limited to reporting precise figures in the financial statements, but also recommends the pragmatic way forward for companies while overcoming the challenges. Our management team brings over 150 years of solid technical expertise and industry experience.

Through years of engaging with stakeholders, reviewing changes within industries, upgrading to meet compliance frameworks, and assessing business entity growth trends, my team and I we can assess the position of companies from the point of view of financial well-being.

What is the growth trajectory you have charted for your organization over the next five years?

Our growth trajectory will be aligned with the growth trajectory of the UAE over the next five years. With approximately 600,000+ businesses operating in the UAE and given the rapidly changing regulatory environment in the UAE, we believe that opportunities in corporate tax, anti-money laundering, cybersecurity and RERA audit procedures will grow.

Over the years, SMEs in the UAE are also required to keep pace with dynamic regulatory compliance in the UAE, resulting in more SMEs emphasizing audited financial statements and compliance. corporate restructuring to achieve a favorable impact once taxes kick in. Strengthening the financial ecosystem will inherently benefit small and medium-sized enterprises by gaining better access to finance, which will support business growth and expansion .

As the economy evolves technically and digitally, our services will evolve to keep pace with business needs. We position ourselves as a one-stop destination to help businesses achieve their future goals. We are clear on accelerating our compliance assistance offerings as the UAE strengthens its compliance framework.

From an auditing perspective, we aim to strengthen the financial foundation of our clients’ businesses and provide key advisory support in areas that will propel businesses into a secure and sustainable future.