Date posted: 28/05/2018 3 min read

Rising to the top in Pakistan

Iftikhar A.Chaudhry’s positive attitude has kept him motivated and active in accounting for more than 40 years.

In Brief

  • Iftikhar A.Chaudhry CA played a vital role in setting up three organisations overseas, including Volvo and Deloitte ventures in Pakistan.
  • The CA qualification opened up many opportunities for him in both Australia and around the world.
  • He has worked for two Big 4 firms and across industries such as telecoms and construction.

What is your current position?

Until recently, I was Chief Operating Officer of Cretesol Pvt Limited, a tiles and stones business. However, I have now left that role to start my own financial advisory and consulting services firm.

How did you find yourself there?

I took the job of chief financial officer and company secretary at the Panasian Group in 1995 and moved to Pakistan from Sydney in February 1996. This involved setting up Volvo Pakistan, a joint venture between a local company and AB Volvo Sweden to cater for the local truck market.

What does a typical day look like?

I am an early riser and I love to do some exercise before I go to work. My team and I spend the morning dealing with the most urgent tasks before getting to some long-term projects in the afternoon. I don’t like late meetings and prefer to be home in the evening. I enjoy my work and have a positive attitude, which keeps me active and motivated.

What do you like most and least?

Being involved in the setting up of organisations has been the most enjoyable part of my career. I’ve been fortunate enough to have been instrumental in setting up three operations, one of which was the Deloitte Pakistan Islamabad office in 2011. I took up the challenge to start the professional practice, which has expanded into audit, assurance, financial advisory and tax and is running successfully.   

I have had remarkable opportunities to serve both the profession and the industry.
Iftikhar A.Chaudhry Chief Operating Officer

I was also involved in Transworld Associates, the first privately owned submarine fibre optic cable operator. Dealing with government authorities has been the biggest challenge, because that can be both time-consuming and frustrating.

When you chose accounting, where did you expect to end up?

I joined Price Waterhouse Sydney in 1970 as an audit trainee and spent 12 years working there. During that time I was based in Sydney, Darwin and Hobart. Then, with my parents’ support, I achieved my chartered accounting qualification and that was a dream come true. Working in this profession has given me many great opportunities in Australia and around the world to serve both the profession and industry. I’ve been able to work with two of the Big 4 firms and had the chance to be involved in various industries, including telecom and construction.

As a CA, I’ve also worked as a tax adviser, auditor, consultant, corporate secretary, CFO, COO, company director and board member. A lot of my success has come from having great support from a dedicated team.

Would you recommend an overseas posting?

Definitely. It enriches your life and you learn to understand, appreciate, and value other cultures as the world is full of interesting and beautiful people. Chartered accountants can make significant professional contributions, especially in developing countries.

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As the acting CEO for the ANZ Banking Group in Seoul, Richard Watt CA says he has jumped at any chance that has come his way within the group.