My inspiration for choosing a career in accounting was my father. He led the financial reporting team for one of the largest listed companies in Bangladesh and I admired him for that.
After my graduation in business administration I joined KPMG in Bangladesh. Since then, I have worked for KPMG Qatar, KPMG UK and BDO UK in various auditing and consulting roles. Recently, I moved out of practice to join one of the largest apparel manufacturers in the world, Youngone Corporation, in an internal audit leadership role.
An accounting practice is a wonderful place to start a career and one where I worked for a decade. However, I always wanted to see things from the corporate perspective. Accounting practice requires juggling a number of assignments. Sometimes I would feel limited by the scope and time-frame of my tasks. An industry role offers different challenges. I feel more liberated in adding value to my organisation and am better focused.
If I had the power I would pass laws to make it much easier for foreign investors to operate in Bangladesh
I have worked for five employers in five cities and three countries. I am definitely adventurous in exploring new opportunities. However, my most recent decision to move out of audit practice into industry and return to my home city in the process was the riskiest one of all, but I do not regret it.
Bangladesh is doing very well, with export growth outpacing the global average for many years now. However, the country still relies heavily on the export of low-complexity products and foreign remittances from overseas workers. The opportunity for the future lies in the demography of Bangladesh, where almost two-thirds of the population falls in the 15-64 age bracket. There is a huge potential to utilise this workforce and diversify and grow the exports.
Bangladesh is the second largest exporter of ready-made garments (RMG) in the world after China, and the RMG industry is the lifeblood of the country’s economy. The pandemic was a severe test of resilience for the industry from which it recovered impressively. The overall outlook seems hopeful, as next year business is expected to surpass even pre-pandemic levels.
What I most enjoy about my job is being able to work as a change agent for my organisation – I love to see the positive impact of my efforts. I feel proud to be identified with Youngone, a huge company of over 100,000 people, known for its quality, corporate responsibility and investment in people. We are setting an example of how industrial zones can be made more sustainable by launching the country’s largest rooftop solar project. Once implemented, it will not only power Youngone’s operation in that particular zone but also provide an energy surplus to give back to the grid.
If I had the power I would pass laws to make it much easier for foreign investors to operate in Bangladesh. We need to try and synchronise all the different laws and government bodies.
I feel my best achievement is that I have managed to create a balance between my work and home life. It allows me to keep those I love close to me which is a blessing.
If I weren’t an accountant, I would probably have pursued a career in academia – either in philosophy or religion. I find both areas fascinating.
Outside of work I like to spend time with family and friends. I am also a keen reader of non-fiction and history.