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Devya Athwal – the woman behind the business

It’s good to get to know the person behind the business, especially when you are focused so heavily on those in finance and accountancy. So, questions were posed to find out more about Devya Athwal – the woman behind the business

Can you please share with us your accountancy background?

My journey started at school as I had a flair for numbers and took part of the Young Enterprise Scheme at school as the finance lead. During school breaks, I worked in the family business, a number of retail shops and also a manufacturing clothing business so developed an interest in business at a young age. I went onto university to study a Business and Finance Degree, and for my placement year, I became a Business Auditor with Electrolux where I was involved in business reviews for the UK subsidiaries, working on the Statutory Audit and also engaged in a fraud investigation. I loved my work there so, in my 20’s, it was natural for me to embark on a career within Accountancy. I gained some fabulous grass-root accounting experience working with SMEs such as Eidos, (the creators of Lara Croft), where I learned very hands-on accounting from processing invoices, credit control, to cash flow analysis and preparation of management accounts. I qualified as an ACMA accountant while working internationally with GKN. Here I was looking after the Joint Ventures aboard mainly in Asia and South America ensuring the reporting and budgeting of the 12 + Joint Ventures were submitted to the Group as well as completing International business reviews and involved in setting up the budgeting process in Singapore for the Asian Joint Ventures.

Why did you choose to change paths and go into recruitment?

All fairness I went looking for a role within Finance to expand my skills and gain more experience. I explained to the recruiter I wanted a more business-related role; I wanted to add value and wanted to be more commercial rather than do more than analyse spreadsheets. I was asked the direct question “Have you ever thought about coming into recruitment?” I toyed with the idea for six months as it was a big commitment to walk away from technical Finance.  I also realised that a more agile entrepreneurial business would suit me better rather than a ‘big company’ corporate world. The rest is history. I realised I could utilise my finance skills differently, helping others achieve their professional goals within the finance field. Had I known about the variety of finance roles available once I was in recruitment, maybe I would have reconsidered had it not been for my love of working with individuals to find them positions where they can thrive.

To find out more about Devya’s 20 years in recruitment, please read her blog.

What would you say makes you different to other recruitment agencies?

Over the years, I have acquired a wealth of knowledge from several disciplines, Accountancy and Recruitment and Business Coaching. My passion is always to add value to others and help them achieve their professional and personal goals whether they are candidates or clients.

My role has never been to sell. It’s always been to understand. Understand the skills and experiences of the individual but more importantly, understand their aspirations and deliver on them in their next career move. I put my ‘accountancy’ hat on when I am deep diving into their technical skills and then my ‘recruiter’ hat on if the individual need help on marketing their CV or selling themselves at interview. With my career coaching knowledge, my role is to make them not only good but to make them great. I aim to understand their skills and experience to date, what makes them tick, what they are passionate about and aim to close the gaps in their experience to deliver on their career goals.

As a Business Owner myself, I also understand the demands placed on MDs or Directors of businesses. Here at Athwal Resourcing, I strive to serve clients by providing a personal service with expert knowledge. I see my role as an integral part of the business, an actual finance resourcing partner. Ensuring my client’s strategic goals are met by finding the best finance talent in the market. I aim to understand the business’s long-term goals. Then by consulting, challenging and coaching have honest, transparent working relationships to deliver finance talent to suit.

What are your passions outside of work?

Traveling is my passion, be it exploring different cultures, lying on a beach, camping or skiing in the mountains. I am a fanatic boot camper and love running and swimming. I like a challenge! I have completed two 26 mile moonwalks, two Birmingham half marathons and a 5000m Swimathon all for charity raising over £10,000.

I love spending time with my family and with three teenage boys, there is never a dull moment! I really enjoy cooking and entertaining family and friends and also enjoy the quiet time of reading a book or relaxing to meditation.

I am also a lifelong learner, especially in personal development and recently become a Master Practitioner and Coach in NLP. Helping individuals find excellence in both professional and personal goals mastering their life.

What quote do you live by?

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WISH TO SEE IN THE WORLD.” —GANDHI

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