Meet Shameel Rumjaun, Director – Business Development based in our IQ-EQ Mauritius office. Shameel started his career in accountancy and has since moved into business development.
In this short interview, we asked Shameel a few questions about his career journey, why he joined IQ-EQ and what advice he has for new professionals.
How long have you been working for IQ-EQ? Please share your career journey so far.
It’s been over three years since I joined IQ-EQ Mauritius, following a 10-year stint with another Management Company in Mauritius. I am a Certified Accountant. Accountancy was my favourite subject at school, and it was naturally what I opted for as my career after I left college. I was lucky at the time to get employed as a junior auditor by the leading accounting and auditing firm in Mauritius. It also provided me with the opportunity to start studying for my accountancy qualification at the same time.
After two years of traineeship I switched to one of the Big Four firms. I spent twelve long and enriching years there, before I decided to move to the other side of the fence, from audit/ accountancy to industry. I spent a further four years as the Finance and Administrative Manager of a major US textile and apparel group, spending my time between Mauritius and South Africa, while covering the Indian Ocean and Sub-Sahara Africa regions.
Then in 2004, my wife and I decided to move to London to further our respective careers, where I went back to accounting and auditing for a few years. The arrival of our two daughters prompted our return to Mauritius in 2007, when I engaged in the fascinating world of global business and cross-border structuring, and where I am still enjoying the challenges and joys of this particular segment of our financial sector.
What is your biggest achievement in your career and do you have any highlights?
Becoming a qualified accountant was my goal since I was at school. I viewed myself as a good accountant and auditor, with an eye for details, and a critical mind. While the accountancy qualification helped forge my professional career, it also opened the door for me to a completely different and extraordinary world, namely the textile and fashion industry. This was not reviewing financial statements or processes anymore, it was the real world of production; lead times; delays; logistics; store inventories; fashion shows. It brought me to countries I would never have dreamed of going before, and I engaged with people from top international fashion brands. This experience has been a game-changer for me, where I found a completely different trait of my personality. From being a rather introvert and ‘boring accountant’ (as we are usually tagged), I discovered the joys of reaching out and connecting to people from various cultural backgrounds, in different countries across the globe.
How was the transition from accountancy to business development?
The transition into a business development role while in the global business sector has become like a natural evolution for me. In my position as Business Development Director I now do presentations to large live audiences in foreign countries, act as a panellist on webinars or conduct on-line presentations to prospective clients without any apprehension. I really enjoy the interactions with people, the engagement, and the trust that you have to build with your prospective clients to get them to engage with your organisation. It is something which would never have crossed my mind 30 years ago when I engaged in my accounting career, but has been made possible by the opportunities that can come your way when you have a professional qualification and want to make the most of it.
What attracted you to IQ-EQ?
I had just turned 50 and had spent around 10 years with my previous employer, and I felt that I needed that one last defining career change to engage towards the latter part of my professional life. And the opportunity came at the right moment. While my previous employer was a great company to work for, it had a local foundation, whereas IQ-EQ as a Group offers that possibility of working for a truly international organisation with representation in more than 20 countries, with a strategy, vision and values that are very much aligned to mine. I am glad that I made the move, and the growth of IQ-EQ as a Group over the years makes us proud to be part of such a dynamic and reputable organisation.
Do you have any advice for new professionals?
My advice to all young accountancy students or graduates is: don’t just view yourself as a number-cruncher, you have to be good at numbers (of course) but it’s not everything. There are loads of opportunities that will come your way with your qualification and experience. Make sure you grab them and make the most of them as the results will be extraordinary!
Lastly, any advice for someone looking to join IQ-EQ?
It’s never too late for a career switch! IQ-EQ is a global organisation with opportunities at all levels, worldwide. The world’s your oyster! If you want to be part of our story, we’d love to hear from you and get to know you better.