My career began in audit, with KPMG in Pakistan's capital Islamabad. I then joined BDO Islamabad and worked there for over three years, with a six-month secondment to BDO Bahrain. After a stint at HMNS Trading back in Islamabad as finance manager, I joined MCB Bank as senior audit officer, before moving to Saudi Arabia in 2020 to take up a role as a senior consultant with RSM.
I’m still with RSM, as a supervisor. My professional journey in audit firms and industry allowed me to meet new people and make some great friends. The key to my success was the ACCA Qualification, which opens up so many opportunities.
I’ve always looked for challenging roles in my life. Once I came to know about chartered accountancy, the career opportunities it creates and the toughness of its exams, I decided that ACCA was the way forward. However, most of my family members are from a teaching background, with no-one in accounting – although I was very much supported by my parents, who encouraged me to take the qualification.
It’s not possible to achieve a leading position without taking some risks in life and leaving your comfort zone
I believe it’s not possible to achieve a leading position in today’s competitive world without taking some risks in life and leaving your comfort zone. At least that's my experience. After a few years in the profession in my home country, my job had become repetitive, with nothing new to learn. I began to think about moving abroad to discover new things, meet new people and experience new cultures. Once I started applying for jobs outside Pakistan I quickly received a job offer in Dubai.
I found I liked the life abroad, so next took a job with RSM in Saudi Arabia in the city of Al Khobar, on the Arabian Gulf. At first working in advisory was not easy for me, as I mainly had experience in audit. However, by working hard I have grown into my role and made a success of it.
I have spent most of my professional career in practice. Challenging assignments and tight deadlines are part and parcel of life in a practice role, which I have found I prefer to the corporate side. That's why I returned to audit and advisory.
What I enjoy about my role in risk advisory is that I face such a variety of tasks and assignments. Truly I learn something new every day.
As the second-largest oil producer after the US, Saudi Arabia provides about 11% of the world’s oil. In 2016, the kingdom announced a new national strategy, Vision 2030. A key focus is economic diversification away from oil, broadening both exports and income possibilities from non-energy sectors such as transportation and entertainment. The policy has already proven beneficial after oil prices took a hit during the pandemic.
If I had the power, I would make a law where there would be no difference between poor and rich in society. We are all created equal and should all have the same opportunities.
If I were not an accountant, I think I would be a doctor. It would allow me to serve humanity which is something I'd like to do.
In my spare time I like playing in informal cricket matches and, at the weekend, joining my friends for dinner. I enjoy the cuisine of Pakistan and food from around the world – sometimes even fast food.