,United Arab Emirates

Baker Tilly’s CEO joins Middle East International Business Awards’ roster of judges

With the “acceptable next normal”, he believes that businesses must invest in success factors of upskilling and quicker performance methods.

Surya Narayanan Krishna Moorthy is the partner and CEO at Baker Tilly for Sharjah & UAE Northern Emirates. With over 35 years of professional involvement, Surya has rich and multifarious experience in five-star hotels, public schools, professional coaching centres and training institutes, governmental authorities and departments, manufacturing industries, public entities in textiles, cement and construction, corporates’ tea and coffee plantations, and global public accounting, auditing and business consulting firms, in India, the KSA, Bahrain, Canada, and the UAE.

He also has varied overseas professional experience focusing on CaseWare file reviews, audit quality assurance, risk management, financial analysis and presentations, audit methodology and procedures, and disclosure in financial statements mainly of joint-stock companies. He also has groomed his subordinates in these superb spheres and honed their skills in diverse domains.  Simply put, Surya is an exuberant trainer of executives at all levels.

Surya has also been a judge and, sometimes, a chief judge for speech contests, debate competitions, and business and industrial awards. His passion towards teaching, coaching, and training in general and his yearning to conduct youth leadership training programs, has transformed him into a “trainer of trainers”, which, later on, has induced him to commence authoring a book “Greener Pasture” about these turfs.

As one of the judges at the inaugural Middle East International Business Awards, Surya opines that the process and experience of selecting spectacular entrepreneurs shines light on where businesses should focus, especially in the next normal, and how they can set themselves apart from the competition.

Can you share with us a backstory of your expertise? What are the things that have contributed to your professional career?

Servicing large groups of publicly interested entities and advising clientele in all compasses of progress and development related to business, finance, and industrial consultancy—including accounting and auditing—within the framework of prescribed international standards are my forte.  For 35+ years, being dedicated, devoted, and determined, coupled with a plethora of integrity has definitely taken me to humbler and greater heights, achieving excellence and gaining respect in the international professional fraternity. 

Looking back to the teething days of my profession, I always recapitulate the ‘mantras’ of success implanted in me by my role model, my father, a centenarian, who sadly left us in 2017.  I gained wisdom from the manner my father served his occupation.  Every now and then, he used to, not only reiterate, but also proudly exhibited in him, the main rules of professionalism: “Knowledge is Power”, “Work is Worship”, “No Procrastination”, “Incorruptibility is Improvement”, and “High-Quality-Output.”

These were the magic words, which according to him, will flight a person from being ORDINARY to EXTRAORDINARY and from being SUCCESSFUL to SIGNIFICANT. I will always remember my admirable ‘Appa’ and am so happy to be unpretentiously significant today and for the lift I gained because of him.    

Crisis presents opportunities for businesses, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. What do you think are these opportunities; and how will they shape businesses in the future?

The “kick-started new normal” transformed into the “continued painful abnormal”; but the “acceptable next normal” is now knocking at the door of businesses that presently operate in a forever-changed realm of reformed consumer purchasing/investing behavior/pattern reliant on online reviews/ratings which, when analyzed with techno-tools, lead to newer/innovated/redesigned merchandises that satisfy needs of consumers. Consequent to certain aftereffects of the COVID-19, such as no-cash transactions, declined brand loyalty, reduced advertisement spends, and mental weaknesses—it is most imperative for businesses to invest in these success factors - up skilling and reskilling of workforce, quicker performance methods, high-quality-implementation of engagements, high-tech cyber gears, and, of course, mental wellness too.       

The impact of the pandemic lingers within and outside of the Middle East, what would be your advice to entrepreneurs that are still in the early stages of recovery?

Considering the appreciable fact that the decision-makers at the highest levels of authority not only have predetermined magnificent missions and vigorous visions in place but are also consistently committed to ardently accomplish in taking their respective regions to the next significant level for the overall benefit of the citizens and the expatriates, even in this shifting sands times, investing in success factors (above) will certainly be rewarded. Entrepreneurs believing in themselves and stretching beyond limits will realize that their life is worth a lot more than they think. They will never know their full potential unless they keep challenging themselves and pushing themselves beyond restraints. Sand storms may hit, but true strength will be unlocked ultimately. 

In what ways can companies set themselves apart from their competition?

With NO compromise on high-quality output and being gratified with minimal net margins, companies must aim to eliminate excessive expenditure, shrink superfluous wastes, reduce “de trop” costs. All these will improve the financial bottom line through the creation of a stronger customer base and retention too. Nitty-gritties of business remains the same everywhere, every time; and not to be disremembered! 

What key factors are you looking for when judging who should win?

  1. Trailblazing creativity;
  2. Significant imprint on community; and
  3. Escalating future positive possibilities.

What are some of your hobbies? Can you tell us more about them? 

Card tricks, math-magic, Sudoku, singing, and listening to melodies.   

As a kid, I realized my ability to perform various tricks using a pack of 54 playing cards. After meeting Madam Shakuntala Devi, the Human-Computer, during my school days, my affinity towards numbers got enhanced due to the mystic lurking in them, resulting in my performance of math-magic, and later, training young minds into similar gigs. On an aircraft to USA, with a 14 hour-journey ahead, Sudoku kept me out of boredom, and consequently, I could train others in quick finishes of hard Sudoku.  Listening to and singing along with melodies, with closed eyes, transmits me to a meditative state of relaxation.

Toastmasters International, USA, has also recognized me with a hat-trick “Triple Crown” Award last three years and has also pinnacled me with the prestigious “Distinguished Toastmaster” Award for active involvement and improvements in public speaking and leadership qualities.  To return the benefits to community, I am in the process of chartering toastmasters clubs for adults and gavel clubs for children!

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