- Poohan Nathan CA became an independent director of ChildFund NZ in July 2021, partly inspired by his own experience adopting children.
- The international NGO helps impoverished communities become self-sufficient in providing the basics for children.
- Nathan wants to assist the charity in adapting to technological change and reaching communities that need help.
“Like most aspiring accountants, I began my career with PwC. That was almost 20 years ago. I spent half my career in professional services working in Asia, the Caribbean and New Zealand with large accounting firms. I ventured into the technology sector in New Zealand about five years ago with a hyper-growth start-up called Pushpay [a donor management system for churches] and have thoroughly enjoyed the software-as-a-service (SaaS) scene since then.
Around that time my wife, Jaya, and I started getting actively involved in child welfare and inter-country adoption support networks. Jaya and I adopted our children from an orphanage in India; they spent their early years in the most difficult circumstances imaginable.
Throughout our journey, Jaya and I have come to learn very quickly how resilient children can be if given love and the nurturing that shapes them into confident, caring people.
My exposure to the plight of impoverished communities during this experience, coupled with my passion for the tech industry, gravitated me to ChildFund New Zealand. ChildFund’s mission of helping children and communities to thrive is very close to my heart. It has a clear purpose to make a difference and that is why it appeals to me greatly.
It feels like a great fit as charitable organisations adapt to rapid technological changes that are impacting the way they operate. As an experienced CFO in tech, I am keen to add value where I can in financial strategy, robust internal controls, and in supporting the organisation to reach out to communities and children that are most in need of help.
Training as a CA prompted me to be curious about data and its drivers. It is very much a core expectation now that CFOs and their finance teams are deep into financial and nonfinancial data and analysis to empower their organisations.
Jaya and I have been involved in and supported the intercountry adoption community for many years. We have tried various things, such as establishing English language programs and learning systems for blind children in India. Some of them have been successful while others haven’t. Nevertheless, it gives us a great sense of fulfilment every time we know we’ve made a small difference for children anywhere in the world.”
Support act: Peter Pryn FCA
Peter Pryn FCA is treasurer and financial controller for Ready Set, a job seeker service for the long-term unemployed.Read more