The IOEE’s member base is incredibly diverse, with people from all walks of life signed-up to enjoy the privilege, services and benefits associated with it. To let you know just how broad a spectrum of people we work with and what membership represents to them as individuals, we’ve created Spotlight on… which, every month, introduces you to an IOEE member with an interesting story to tell. This month, the spotlight in on Amarjeet Hans, a senior business consultant whose career has seen him operate on an international platform, and whose varied client list includes both blue chip names and tech start ups. More than just a member of our organisation, Amarjeet is a Fellow of the IOEE.
Business consultant and IOEE Fellow Amarjeet Hans’ name has recently been added to another prestigious register. Last month, the Sunday Times published the Vouchedfor list of top UK Accountants, of which Amarjeet is one. Having led a rich and interesting career including stints in the Middle East, the 51-year-old financial services professional returned to his native London in recent years to establish Crystal Clear Business Consultants Ltd.
A qualified Chartered Management Accountant, Amarjeet also holds an MBA and spent the early part his career in the UK. In 2000 he took a holiday to Dubai which turned in a stay of some 13 years, some of which were spent working as Chief Financial Officer of Emaar Properties, a leading global property developer. For Amarjeet, the timing was just right, as he recalls:
“At that time the UAE real estate market was getting ready for an explosion. If you were to value Emaar Properties, it was the most valuable company on the planet, because of the land banks it had and the value of the shares. As Emaar Property’s CFO, I was involved in the building of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world.”
Returning to the UK in 2013 with a broad set of experience working with companies of all sizes, Amarjeet wanted to work for himself, which is why he established Crystal Clear Business Consultants.
“Looking around at where I could provide most value to clients, I found myself drawn to the small to medium sized sector, particularly start ups and specifically pre-revenue start-ups. In the main I work with companies that are fewer than five years old. Initially, I provide the skills of a finance director to these clients, performing the role of a mentor or guide on how to set up or grow their business.”
From these beginnings, Amarjeet soon found clients were asking him to help them develop business plans, win new markets and provide input on issues like cost control, as he recalls:
“The service progressed naturally into helping clients raise finance, specifically alternative sources of finance like peer-to-peer lending, crowdfunding, grants – the type of funding that is perhaps not readily available on the high street.”
New entrepreneurs, often operating in the tech industry, who had approached their banks for finance, been refused and believed themselves to be defeated, found that with Amarjeet’s support they were able to explore more innovative sources of funding and secure the launch money they needed. However, although Amarjeet runs his business alone, he’s not an isolated source of support. The finance professional has been careful to create a pool of valuable links that improve the service he can offer his clients. He says:
“I spent a lot of time networking like crazy to identify the right partners to work with. Although I’m a single person company, I have a network of around 40 trusted strategic partners whose services I call on as and when I need them. If I need a lawyer, a tax planner, an HR expert – whatever the client may require, I’m always able to say yes!.”
Around a year ago, Amarjeet, who already holds a position on the Council for his own specific professional body – the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), became a Fellow of the IOEE. He told us why:
“I just thought, if the IOEE is an organisation that helps entrepreneurs and supports enterprise with mentoring and advice, it was a natural place for me to be to offer my services. The IOEE is a great fit for me as a professional. It lends me a real gravitas and, like my CIMA association, assures clients of my credentials. It says that I belong to an organisation dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and furthering enterprise.”
Amarjeet has a genuine passion for helping people turn their fledgling businesses into solid companies with promising futures. Stepping in close to the start their journeys and armed with an enviable breadth of business experience, he’s able to effect real change in the small and medium business' fortunes. We asked him in which area, in his experience, start-ups most frequently flounder. He said:
“They struggle most often in not being investor ready and in particular not having the right documentation available. Business plans and associated financials are available but commonly ill-thought out; there’s no depth. Limited research may have been carried out but there’s often not enough or relevant information for a prospective investor. My role is to get them investor ready and get the right investors on board.”
I am truly passionate about helping businesses grow. I get great satisfaction from clients who ask me, ‘can you please be our FD on a permanent basis’ or even better, tell me ‘I wish I had found you earlier… my business would be in a different world.’ Total satisfaction! I look forward to growing with my clients, providing business solutions that are well, Crystal Clear.”