Naveed Hussain

Naveed Hussain is a modern and forward-thinking Finance Director with over 15 years’ experience in finance. He led a successful career with Sulzer UK before relocating to Yorkshire in 2019.

Apr 16, 2021
Apr 13, 2021
CFO Interviews

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.

What advice would you give to young accountants starting out their career?

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.

What does your normal day look like?

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.

What would people you work with be surprised to know about you?

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!

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