He graduated from The University of Huddersfield in 2009 and became CIMA qualified in 2011. He moved to PPG Industries (FORTUNE 500, NYSE listed global manufacturer in Leeds) in 2013 and progressed to be the Finance Director of Northern & Eastern Europe in 2019.
I was brought up in an entrepreneurial family, my family has owned its own business for 35+ years, and most of my relatives have their own businesses, so I was surrounded by business related activities growing up. I always had a pull towards the financial management and the rest, as they say, is history!
One of the first challenges I faced firstly was whether to go into the family business or pursue further a career in finance. Beyond that, the biggest hurdle I faced was graduating and obtaining a finance graduate scheme during the height of the economic crisis at the end of the noughties, this was daunting as a young adult.
Whilst at PPG, one of my assignments meant spending 50% of my time living alone in Paris, whilst my young family remained in the UK. This was challenging personally, and professionally, being in a different culture and environment in my late twenties trying to prove myself in a global business and corporation with very demanding leaders.
What was the best advice you received in the early stages of your career?
The harder you work the luckier you get….
As I have gone through my career I always try and keep thing simple, work hard, be respectful to all regardless of seniority, treat my team the way I want to be treated, and watch / listen / observe / apply all the things you have learned from all the people you have worked with and for. Continuously learn and push yourself, there is always someone and something bigger and better than you.
I stay close to the front end of the business and always remind myself, the finance function wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the commercial function doing what they do! Quite simply there wouldn't be any numbers to add up! Therefore what can I and we do to add value to that function and bring value to the organisation? I am a person of my word and deliver what I promise to my seniors and my peers with full consideration of the impact of the work, meaning pre-empt the next set of questions before they arrive!
On a more intimate note, I believe it is to do with my can do attitude and being results orientated - I do what is necessary to deliver. However, I never do this at the expense of others; I do what I do in a collaborative, transparent and inclusive way. I focus strongly on coaching / developing / growing my team and will always provide explanation to my teams supporting decisions, which I make. It is important to give perspective and background to this for team member learnings.
I consider my qualification to have given me a foundation and a toolbox of skills to navigate the most complex business challenges, but yet give me enough background on concepts linked to other functions such as marketing, supply, HR etc. However, having the qualification is a basic skill in my view, how you apply and use this is what will set you apart from your peers.
What do you love most about your job?
I love the regular business challenges, be it M&A, be it growth opportunities, be it a Covid crisis!
On a more personal level, the people I work with and the great bunch I have the privilege to call my team. My large team is multinational, ranging from the UK&I, all the way to Romania, this brings great levels of diversity in many ways.
Honesty and respect are a foundation of my team, we constantly challenge each other and look for new ways of doing things. We have quarterly virtual Team nights with a quiz focused around fun facts of a country of our organisation, which have been highly enjoyable during a period of time where we can’t meet in person.
Tell us about Amrik when he is not being a Finance Director
I have a wife and little boy who I work hard for; I love to spend time with them when not working. This usually involves days away, watching movies and Netflix! As an avid gamer growing up, I now play with my little boy, watch and play cricket with him, we are looking forward to India touring England this summer!
In our third and final article, Paul Davies provides advice to any business considering a public listing in 2022
Sarah is one of our region’s leading female CFOs. She is passionate about what she does and is an exceptional finance professional. We were delighted when she agreed to share her journey to such a successful career.
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London Main Market and AIM listings rose significantly in 2021 across the UK. Yorkshire was a strong part of this trend and we continue to speak to SMEs who are considering or actively planning for IPOs as their preferred exit route.
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