I started my career as a trainee taking on temporary assignments in London. I moved across various industries and regions, taking on different responsibilities and roles such as finance systems accountant, financial controller and project controller, before moving on to be head of financial planning and analysis (FP&A). I am now finance director – planning and reporting, at a Dubai-based multinational commodity trading group.

We need extended planning and analysis (XP&A) so we are not limited to just the financial side of the business

During my trainee days, I moved across various companies in a short span of time. I quickly developed an interest in corporate finance. Management decision support and analysis always intrigued me. Speaking to career counsellors, I developed an understanding of what is involved in the corporate world and compared this to the more conventional route of working for an accounting firm, which helped me make my decision on what career I wanted to pursue.

FP&A and risk management have always been challenging in evolving and growing organisations. Leaders expect to have answers to a variety of scenarios and expect FP&A to provide support for those questions so that better-informed decisions can be made.

The pandemic amplified the challenges of FP&A. We were expected to find patterns from historic trends that had never occurred, along with a zero amount of variable inputs for future expected events.

We all hoped for a better, brighter and more predictable world as the pandemic came to an end. However, geopolitical events have brought about a new cloud of uncertainty which puts further pressure on an already fluid situation. In FP&A, we can fall into the trap of an infinite loop of what-if analysis. I now believe that FP&A is not enough, and we need to be in state of extended planning and analysis (XP&A), where we are not limited to just the financial side of the business but can also tap non-financial data from areas such as sales, procurement and HR.

A challenge for Dubai is the introduction of corporate tax, which will be implemented in 2023. It will raise the cost of doing business for companies in an environment where such costs are already high.

However, there are opportunities. With the leadership that we have in the country, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a further overhaul of the current business landscape, which has already evolved significantly following the pandemic.

I am passionate about what I do. Every day is a new day for me where I can use my talent and develop further. I enjoy collaboration, problem-solving and sharing ideas with my team and the wider business. I see first-hand the impact FP&A has on our multinational organisation.

If I had law-making powers, I would have free and mandatory nourishment and education for every child in the world. We owe this to the next generations.

My biggest achievement was earning the designation of FCCA. It has given me recognition, developed my skills and provided me with many opportunities. I will always be proud of this achievement.

If I wasn’t in finance, I would be an engineer. I have strengths in ideation and strategy, and I could use these for designing mechanical and technological solutions.

Outside of work, I enjoy football and fitness. I am a qualified level-1 personal trainer and a firm believer that health is wealth. I actively pursue a healthy lifestyle and my inner circle have benefitted from my diet plans and workout programmes.