The One-Minute Interview
Chairman & CEO
The Iyer Practice
1. Shanker, you are very successful in your career. What is the one trait which you think has led to your success?
Whatever little success I have achieved has been due to a variety of traits, which include:
- hard work and passion
- staying focused
- the ability to get on with people from all walks of life across the world
- a positive outlook
- strong support from family and colleagues
- and a sense of humour!
This year's budget was all about sharing the country's success with the people across all sectors of society. Given the strong economy and inflationary pressures, the government saw little need for a general stimulus. Low productivity is seen as a key weakness amongst Singapore enterprises and generous financial incentives have been provided for businesses to upgrade themselves. The increase in foreign worker levies will hurt businesses, at least in the short term, due to a shortage of talent in the local workforce in this strong economy.3. In your view, how does the 2011 budget help businesses more than the previous year?
In my view it is difficult to say that the 2011 budget helps businesses more than the previous year. The one exception would be the enhanced PIC scheme, which will now be more attractive to a wider range of companies.
The proposed foreign tax credit pooling system may help some companies to remit foreign income back to Singapore. However, we are still awaiting details from IRAS for the specifics of this proposal.
4. Turning to hiring practices, you currently employ many ACCA members and students. What advice can you give younger members and students as they begin their careers in your practice?
I tell all young recruits that we take their intelligence for granted if they have passed their ACCA exams or are in the process of qualifying. However, what we need from them to help them succeed in their careers is passion and hard work and in taking pride in what they do. Success will follow naturally to those who get this right.
5. How do you spot potential leaders and what do you and your senior team do to groom them?
Potential leaders are generally spotted quite early on by small things such as individuals accepting responsibility for their work, getting jobs done on time at the right quality and taking the initiative when needed. Such individuals are sought after and generally given the more challenging assignments and fast tracked in their careers.
6. And finally, with such a demanding schedule, how do you manage balancing work and family? What advice can you offer fellow members?
This is a tricky question. Unfortunately taking on more responsibilities at work and in the community inevitably means that the family suffers. Certainly I could not do what I do without the total support and understanding of my family. I'm often asked about 'work life balance'. In my view a perfect balance is impossible. Individuals need to decide which aspect is more important to them and accept the consequences.