Introducing our new Group CFO, Roop Panjwani
I live in Watford with my wife Seema (a Psychiatrist by profession) and 10 year old twins Suhaan and Suhana. I’m a bit in sports, like watching football, playing golf/ badminton or cycling with my boy. I’m involved in some charity work. We all love travelling, but unfortunately no international holidays this year due to pandemic and our children’s 11 Plus exams!
Tell us a little bit about your career?
A qualified chartered accountant and after spending 14 years with two of the Big4 accountancy firms Deloitte and EY, I entered into the recruitment world. I’ve made my way through senior finance to leadership roles within the sector over the past 9 years at a mix of FTSE listed and PE backed businesses including some of the world’s largest recruitment firms such as SThree plc and nGAGE Specialist Recruitment.
You recently joined Tempest Resourcing, what made you want to join the team?
I’m personally very entrepreneurial and I like the challenging nature of the recruitment world. When I met with Paul for the first time I felt that in joining his journey I could add a great value to Tempest and its portfolio of businesses. I strongly believe that I can help take the group to the next level through M&A and organic growth and by creating a scalable back office platform which supports the group’s medium to long term growth plans.
What challenges and opportunities do you think the recruitment industry face?
Covid-19 has thrown the whole world into uncharted territory and the recruitment industry is no exception. Certain recruitment and public sector areas are still doing well while many others are significantly struggling with their NFI down by 15% to 35% from pre Covid levels. It’s a common business saying that turmoil always presents opportunities for those who are flexible and clever enough to see them. I’m a firm believer in this. This ‘new world’ may stay with us for longer than we expect, so we need to be agile and flexible in our approach. Our new ways of working will have to be sustainable and maintain our ability to keep strong relationships with our clients and candidates. We need to be innovative in the way we operate in this new normal by digitising our work and recruitment cycle including online interviews, vetting procedures, collecting and verifying ID online. This is already a leading part of Tempest’s business which makes our processes much more efficient in the long term and allows us to focus on the other opportunities alongside this, such as securing more high quality talent.
Even though we have been consumed with the pandemic for many months, we should not forget that Brexit is still looming! A no deal scenario can have an impact on our international businesses, Apsida and Upsilon, in terms of regulations concerning foreign workers. We are getting fully ready for it.
You’ve worked at some large companies over the years, what do you feel is the key to a successful brand?
A platform with a plug and play model and scalability is key if we are to become a multi brand group; whereby we can create a cost-effective, centralised, shared service centre which can support each business in a real time manner. Building a strong Employer brand by showcasing a compelling story on our websites and social media platforms is paramount in attracting the right talent. Internationalisation of most of our brands by exporting our home-grown experienced staff to international locations and building local teams around them will multiply the group value, especially post Brexit. It will also give our people an opportunity to experience new markets in this global village.
What is one of your greatest achievements in your career?
In my previous roles at the recruitment businesses, I was able to break the usual ‘you and me’ constraint between the front office and the back office finance teams. This created a unified working environment and a business partnering relationship which helped increase the mutual trust and efficiency across the board and significantly helped in achieving wider organisational growth objectives.
What is the most satisfying part of your new role?
It’s still early days, however, the success of any recruitment business is its people. I have already met some great people within the group who have welcomed me which has helped me ease into my role very quickly despite limited face to face interaction with many. Finance team that I’ve inherited are all great, hardworking and committed group of people who have been through a journey in the past 1-2 years. Through my experience of running the back office functions in larger recruitment businesses, I believe that I can bring some structure and stability to the team by creating a business partnering environment and a centralised shared service centre model for all portfolio companies. This will help build a scalable platform which can serve many more brands that we create through organic growth or acquisition.
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