He is now the Finance Director of Ancala Water Services – a PE backed Water & Waste Services company in Barnsley.
Naveed met up with Nik Pratap when he first started his career search – a relationship which led to his successful appointment at Ancala in January 2020. This was initially on a contract basis, but was quickly converted to a permanent role. Nicola Worrow has worked with him subsequently to help strengthen his finance team with two successful hires including the Group Finance Manager.
We hold Naveed in the very highest regard – he has achieved a great deal in his career to date with along list of technical skills and leadership qualities. He left a very positive legacy at Sulzer and has made a very positive immediate impression at Ancala. No doubt that this story will appeal to many of current and aspiring FDs.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Variety of involvement in all the key decision making across the business and playing an important role in setting and managing the overall strategy and direction. In addition to this, I’m enjoying the additional responsibilities that accompany a PE backed business with a lean structure. My previous roles being in large corporate organisations had the specialist functions taking care of topics such as Tax, Treasury and Internal Audit, these functions now fall under my management. Finally, the other exciting part of this role is the opportunity to work in the Water and Waste industry which is a new challenge and one I’m thoroughly enjoying.
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced in the past few years?
The biggest challenge in recent times has been the combination of relocating to Yorkshire, a house renovation project, arrival of our first child and finding a new role all at the same time. It was not the easiest of times but by keeping a positive mindset along with the support of family and colleagues I was able successfully manage the transition and as a result I am now in a far better position. I would also like to show my gratitude to Nik Pratap for playing a key part in helping me secure the right role.
Can there be a positive legacy from covid for our region’s businesses?
The pandemic is a once in a lifetime event for many of us and to be able to navigate through the challenges faced to date, it has made businesses and individuals think and act outside of the norms. In my view this experience has and will make organisations more resilient and adaptable to change, in readiness to react strongly when the restrictions are lifted and the economy starts to pick up.
Make the most of the opportunities you have, be curious, don’t settle and learn as much as you can every day. Start with an initial short-term plan, focusing on the key skills you need to acquire, industries you want to work in, prospective organisations and areas you want to specialise in, instead of restricting yourself to progression on the salary scale. Financial rewards will follow once you have the skills and experience alongside the qualifications. Lastly, set yourself a long-term goal/vision and find yourself a mentor if you can, it worked extremely well for me.
During current restrictions, I’m mostly working from home and usually in my home office ready to start the day 8:00am with an hour to catch up and plan my day ahead. I have a daily 9:00am catch up with my team to discuss open topics, set priorities if required, but more importantly I use the time for engagement and to promote well-being which is critical with remote working teams during these unprecedented times. The remainder of my day consists of various meetings via skype and telephone discussions along with fulfilling the responsibilities of my role as FD. The exciting part of my role is the variety of involvement across the wider business making no day the same. When working from home lunchtime usually is spent with my wife Marium and our 2-year-old son Muhammad Ali.
I’ll probably get a lot of stick for this as the finance man but I tend to pay for all basic DIY tasks around the house rather than getting my hands dirty, my moto is simple - let the experts handle it!
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.
Gareth Hague has led two listings over the past four years. Today, he shares with you his informed views on IPOs from a CFO’s perspective in Yorkshire.
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.
The landscape, experiences from those involved and some expert advice and considerations