I am part of KPMG in India's Forensic Services team, based in Mumbai. About a third of my time I'm at the office, with the rest spent either traveling or at client locations. I work in a team of 18, though for a typical project the team is no more than two members. We undertake fraud investigations and risk assessments, and vendor monitoring. I am responsible overall for each project I am assigned to. Really, no two projects are the same and one needs to be creative.
I joined from the corporate finance department of a large, listed, luxury hotel group. I was working on a business improvement project with a large consulting organisation, generating and fine-tuning revenue ideas and areas for cost reduction, finding synergies across the group.
The project gave me a good insight into this type of work and I was fascinated by it. I felt that if I could get into advisory/consulting, I wouldn't be restricted to working within one industry. I had heard a lot about KPMG and how it was growing strongly — and I felt if I joined I could grow with it and move quickly to new heights.
Several things. You don't know initially what areas of work will attract you but if you take the attitude of learning as much as you can, you will soon find what you really enjoy, and this is what you should be looking for over and above financial fulfillment. The Advisory practice has been doing exceptionally well in the last 2 years. The advantage of this is that you, as an individual, also get an opportunity to grow really fast.
Finally, professional qualifications augment one's knowledge but in addition the training and coaching has really helped me understand the practical situations we come across while dealing with KPMG firms' clients. Managing client expectations is very important: if the client is not content, all your hard work can become futile.
I have a lot of friends in and around my working environment. While there is not much inter-departmental interaction on work projects, we make up for it by meeting socially — and this helps me to share knowledge and information and also build my network of colleagues. Otherwise, I generally try to separate work commitment and social activities but sometimes the two meet and that's how our management skills are put to test. For instance, meeting client deadlines!