Devesh Vijay’s Personal Life
The Worlds Times: Explain your background and “BAKERTILLY” in detail.
Devesh Vijay: In the early stages of my career, I embarked on a journey with one of the Big Four advisory firms, known for its global reach, reputation, and diverse range of clients. I joined the firm, eager to learn and grow within the challenging and dynamic consulting world. Over the years, I navigated through various departments and various advisory services. Before being with the advisory firm, I was in the telecommunications industry, where I was responsible for building their data center of excellence enabling tremendous operational efficiencies across the ecosystem. Before that, I ran two start-ups for almost six years, helping me understand the gravitas of building and sustaining teams.
My tenure at the Big Four firm was marked by my dedication and commitment to delivering high-quality work. I developed a reputation for attention to detail, analytical skills, and the ability to forge strong client relationships. As I progressed in my career, I was entrusted with more complex projects, team leadership responsibilities, and client management roles.
Despite the many successes and experiences I gained at the Big Four firm, I began to desire a more personalized and client-focused approach. While the Big 4 provided unparalleled resources and global reach, the sheer scale of the firm sometimes made it challenging to connect deeply with clients on an individual level. I longed for an environment where I could build more personal relationships and directly impact my clients’ success in a way that aligned with my values.
During this contemplative phase, I came across Baker Tilly, a reputable accounting and advisory firm known for its strong commitment to client-centric services. The culture and values of Baker Tilly resonated with me. The emphasis on tailoring solutions to meet clients’ specific needs and the focus on industry expertise and innovative thinking piqued my interest.
After careful consideration and discussions with colleagues, mentors, and friends, I boldly decided to transition from the Big Four firm to Baker Tilly. I saw this as an opportunity to continue building on the skills and knowledge I had acquired while embracing a more intimate and collaborative environment. The prospect of directly contributing to clients’ success stories while enjoying a closer-knit team and a culture that values personal connections was the driving force behind my decision.
Joining Baker Tilly, I brought a wealth of experience and expertise from my years at the Big Four firm, along with the industrial experience of running my start-ups. My background in working with diverse clients and managing complex Digital and Innovation projects made me a valuable addition to the Baker Tilly team. I am excited to embark on this new chapter of my career, embracing the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead while continuing to make a meaningful impact on the clients I serve.
Strengths and Goals of Devesh Vijay
The Worlds Times: What are your goals?
Devesh Vijay: As the Partner and Regional Head of Digital and Innovation Advisory at Baker Tilly, my goals encompass driving transformative change, fostering innovation, and strategically positioning the firm and its clients at the forefront of the digital landscape.
The Worlds Times: Give us one word that describes you the best.
Devesh Vijay: Visionary
The Worlds Times: What do you feel is the biggest strength of “BAKER TILLY” right now?
Devesh Vijay: One of the biggest strengths of Baker Tilly, an accounting and advisory firm, is its commitment to delivering personalized and comprehensive solutions to its clients. Baker Tilly is known for its client-centric approach, which strives to deeply understand each client’s unique challenges, goals, and industry dynamics. This enables the firm to provide tailored and relevant advice, strategies, and services that directly address the specific needs of its clients.
Additionally, Baker Tilly places a strong emphasis on industry expertise and specialization. The firm has professionals with deep knowledge and experience across a wide range of industries, allowing them to provide insights and guidance that are finely tuned to the intricacies of each sector. This industry-focused approach ensures that clients receive advice that is not only technically sound but also relevant and actionable within the context of their specific industry landscape.
Furthermore, Baker Tilly’s dedication to innovation and staying at the forefront of technological advancements is another significant strength. The firm embraces new technologies and data analytics to enhance its services, streamline processes, and provide clients with more accurate and timely information for decision-making.
Overall, Baker Tilly’s combination of personalized client service, industry expertise, and technological innovation positions it as a trusted partner capable of helping clients navigate complex business challenges and seize growth opportunities.
Path Took by Devesh Vijay
The Worlds Times: What was your path to get to where you are today?
Devesh Vijay: Certainly, I appreciate your interest in my journey.
I began my career with a Computer Science degree and several professional certifications in various business fields, which gave me a foundational understanding of the interplay between technology and business operations.
After my academic pursuits, I started as a junior consultant in a prestigious consulting firm in India. I was privileged to work on several digital transformation projects across various sectors and support a diverse clientele globally. These experiences provided me with a profound appreciation for the diverse business challenges and the role of technology in addressing them.
Recognizing the untapped potential in the Middle East and Africa, I took an opportunity to move to the region. Over the years, I’ve worked in multiple countries, understanding the unique cultural, economic, and digital nuances of each. This on-ground experience was invaluable. It helped me bridge the gap between global best practices and local requirements, which is often challenging in our line of work.
After accumulating these experiences, I became a Partner at my current firm, where I’m now responsible for the digital and innovation advisory across the MEA region. The journey has been filled with continuous learning, adapting, and understanding the dynamics of a rapidly evolving market.
At the heart of my success, though, is a dedicated team and a belief in the transformative power of technology. Additionally, nurturing relationships and understanding our client’s core challenges has been pivotal. The Middle East and Africa region is unique in its diversity, challenges, and potential, and I’m excited about the future prospects and our role in shaping it.
The Worlds Times: Why did you start working at “BAKERTILLY”?
Devesh Vijay: Joining Baker Tilly was a strategic decision driven by several factors:
- Reputation & Global Reach: Baker Tilly International’s reputation as a leading global network of independent accounting and business advisory firms was compelling. Their presence in over 145 territories ensures we can offer clients the best of both worlds: local expertise and global reach.
- Commitment to Innovation: Even as a traditional consulting firm, Baker Tilly showed a solid commitment to embracing digital transformation and innovation, which aligned with my expertise and vision for the future of businesses in the MEA region.
- Client-Centric Approach: I was particularly impressed by Baker Tilly’s client-centric ethos. The firm genuinely seeks to understand each client’s unique challenges, allowing for tailored, practical solutions.
- Opportunity to Shape the Digital Landscape in MEA: The MEA region is dynamic, diverse, and holds immense potential. Baker Tilly’s commitment to the region allowed me to play a pivotal role in guiding businesses here through their digital transformation journeys.
- Cultural Fit: On a personal level, I found Baker Tilly’s values and culture resonated with mine. The emphasis on teamwork, integrity, and excellence ensured that I was joining a community where I could thrive professionally while also contributing meaningfully.
All these factors combined made Baker Tilly the perfect platform for me to leverage my skills and experiences, helping clients navigate the complexities of the digital era, especially in the vibrant and evolving MEA market.
Challenges faced by Devesh Vijay
The Worlds Times: What have been the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome during the journey of your leadership?
Devesh Vijay: Certainly, leadership in such a dynamic and diverse region like the Middle East and Africa has come with its set of unique challenges:
- Navigating Cultural Diversity: The MEA region is incredibly diverse, with a multitude of languages, cultures, and business etiquettes. Ensuring our consulting services resonate while respecting these nuances has been both challenging and rewarding.
- Balancing Global Best Practices with Local Relevance: While it’s tempting to bring in proven strategies from global markets, it’s crucial to tailor them to local needs. Striking this balance has always been a significant focus.
- Talent Acquisition & Retention: Finding and retaining top-tier talent in the digital and innovation sectors, given the region’s rapid development, has been a consistent challenge. Ensuring we offer an environment conducive to growth, learning, and innovation has been vital.
- Staying Ahead of Digital Trends: The pace of digital innovation is relentless. As a leader, ensuring our firm remains at the forefront, constantly updating our knowledge and skills have been crucial.
- Managing Expectations: Given the rapid pace of development in some MEA economies, clients often have high expectations for swift digital transformation. Managing these expectations while ensuring sustainable and effective change has required careful communication and planning.
- Building Trust: Establishing trust in new markets, especially when introducing innovative digital solutions, requires patience and consistent delivery of value. Overcoming skepticism and building lasting client relationships has been a journey in itself
Throughout these challenges, my focus has always been on learning, adapting, and staying committed to our core values. Every hurdle has been an opportunity for growth, not just for me as a leader but for the entire team and the firm at large. It’s the resilience, adaptability, and collective effort of our team that has truly made overcoming these challenges possible.
The Worlds Times: What are the key values which helped you to overcome the challenges in your path? Tell us something about your memorable incident in your leadership?
Devesh Vijay: 1. Resilience: In the ever-evolving digital landscape, setbacks are inevitable. My ability to bounce back, learn from mistakes, and move forward has been instrumental.
- Empathy: Leading a diverse team across multiple cultures necessitates a deep understanding and appreciation for different perspectives. Empathy has allowed me to connect, motivate, and foster a cohesive team environment.
- Continuous Learning: The digital realm is marked by constant change. My commitment to personal and professional growth, and encouraging the same within my team, has kept us at the forefront of our domain.
- Integrity: In all business dealings, both internally and with clients, upholding the highest standards of honesty and ethics has been foundational. It’s not just about doing things right, but doing the right things.
- Collaboration: Recognizing that no one succeeds in isolation, I’ve always prioritized collaboration, ensuring that diverse insights come together to craft the best solutions.
Memorable Incident:A particularly memorable incident occurred a few years back when we were spearheading a digital transformation project for a large client in a country facing political unrest. The situation escalated suddenly, leading to logistical and communication challenges. Our primary concern was, of course, the safety of our team members on the ground.
Amid this, we had to ensure the continuity of the project and maintain the trust of our client. Using a mix of remote working tools, crisis management strategies, and frequent communication, we managed to not only ensure our team’s safety but also keep the project on track.
However, the most heartwarming aspect was the outpouring of support and camaraderie within our team. Colleagues from other regions volunteered assistance, team members offered to work extra hours to cover for those affected, and there was a palpable sense of unity.
It was a testament to the strength of our organizational culture and the bonds we’d built over the years. The incident, while challenging, reinforced my belief in our values and the incredible team I have the privilege to lead.
Knowledge about the Company
The Worlds Times: What are the strategies of “BAKER TILLY” and how do you stand unique from your competitors?
- Devesh Vijay: Client-Centric Approach: Baker Tilly might focus on understanding clients’ unique needs and tailoring solutions that align with their goals.
- Industry Expertise: Specializing in specific industries could allow Baker Tilly to offer specialized knowledge and insights to clients.
- Innovation and Technology: Incorporating cutting-edge technology and innovative approaches into their services can enhance efficiency and effectiveness.
- Global Network: Utilizing a global network of offices and professionals could enable Baker Tilly to provide services across different regions and markets.
- Holistic Solutions: Providing comprehensive solutions that address multiple aspects of clients’ challenges could be a strategy to offer added value.
- Thought Leadership: Sharing industry insights and thought leadership through publications, webinars, and events can position Baker Tilly as a trusted advisor.
- Talent Development: Focusing on developing employees’ skills and expertise can contribute to high-quality client service.
- Mid-Market Focus: Baker Tilly specializes in serving mid-market clients, this could set them apart from larger, more corporate-focused consulting firms.
- Collaborative Culture: A strong emphasis on collaboration among teams and with clients could foster a unique working environment.
- Entrepreneurial Mindset: Baker Tilly encourages entrepreneurial thinking, this might lead to innovative solutions and approaches.
- Local and Global Presence: A combination of local expertise and a global network could provide clients with a unique balance of insights.
- Customized Solutions: Baker Tilly tailors solutions to each client’s specific needs, this could differentiate them from one-size-fits-all approaches.
- Community Engagement: Being actively involved in community initiatives or CSR efforts might demonstrate a unique commitment to social responsibility.
Build: We believe in building capabilities of clients without any hesitation to ensure they become sustainable and grow with us.
The Worlds Times: What benefits are clients getting from “BAKERTILLY” in this competitive world?
Devesh Vijay: In today’s fiercely competitive business landscape, clients are turning to consultancy services like “Baker Tilly” for a multitude of benefits that help them navigate challenges, seize opportunities, and stay ahead of the competition. Here are some of the key benefits clients are gaining from partnering with “Baker Tilly” consultancy:
Strategic Insights: “Baker Tilly” provides clients with valuable strategic insights and industry expertise that enable them to make informed decisions. This foresight is crucial in a rapidly changing business environment where staying ahead requires a deep understanding of market trends, competitive dynamics, and emerging opportunities.
Tailored Solutions: Recognizing that one size does not fit all, “Baker Tilly” crafts customized solutions that align with each client’s unique objectives and challenges. This tailored approach ensures that clients receive recommendations and strategies that are directly relevant to their specific needs.
Innovation and Transformation: In a world driven by technological advancements, clients benefit from “Baker Tilly’s” expertise in innovation and digital transformation. The consultancy guides clients through the process of embracing new technologies, optimizing processes, and fostering a culture of innovation to stay relevant and competitive.
Operational Efficiency: By streamlining processes, optimizing workflows, and identifying operational bottlenecks, “Baker Tilly” helps clients achieve higher levels of efficiency. This improved efficiency translates to cost savings, faster time-to-market, and a competitive edge in delivering products or services.
Risk Management: Navigating risks is a critical aspect of business success. “Baker Tilly” assists clients in identifying, assessing, and managing risks effectively. This proactive approach safeguards clients from potential pitfalls, enabling them to make decisions with greater confidence.
Financial Expertise: With a deep understanding of financial intricacies, “Baker Tilly” helps clients make informed financial decisions. Whether it’s optimizing taxation strategies, managing financial resources, or ensuring regulatory compliance, clients benefit from sound financial guidance.
Market Expansion and M&A: For clients eyeing growth through market expansion or mergers and acquisitions, “Baker Tilly” offers guidance on feasibility studies, due diligence, market assessments, and integration strategies. This guidance minimizes risks and maximizes the success of such initiatives
Professional Network: “Baker Tilly” boasts a global network of professionals across various industries. Clients gain access to this vast network, tapping into a wealth of knowledge, resources, and connections that can amplify their growth and expansion efforts.
Sustainable Practices: As sustainability becomes increasingly important, “Baker Tilly” assists clients in adopting environmentally conscious practices that align with responsible business operations. This not only benefits the planet but also enhances a company’s reputation and customer appeal.
Long-Term Partnerships: “Baker Tilly” prioritizes building long-term relationships with clients. This dedication to understanding their evolving needs fosters trust and continuity, allowing clients to benefit from ongoing support, insights, and guidance.
- In a world where every advantage matters, “Baker Tilly” consultancy serves as a strategic partner that empowers clients to thrive amidst competition. The consultancy’s commitment to excellence, innovation, and client-centricity ensures that clients are equipped with the tools and knowledge needed to succeed in a dynamic and challenging business environment.
Vision for BAKERTILLY’s Transformation
The Worlds Times: How do you see “BAKERTILLY” changing in two years, and how do you see yourself creating that change?
Devesh Vijay: In the next two years, I envision “Baker Tilly” undergoing a significant transformation to embrace the evolving digital landscape and stay competitive in the consultancy industry. As a digital and innovation professional, my role would be instrumental in driving and facilitating these changes within the organization. Here’s how I foresee the change and my involvement:
Digital Integration: “Baker Tilly” is likely to integrate digital technologies across its service offerings. I would lead the charge in identifying the right technologies, such as AI, data analytics, and automation, to enhance the firm’s operations and client solutions. I would work closely with teams to ensure the seamless implementation of these technologies.
Innovation Mindset: Cultivating an innovation-driven culture will be essential. I would initiate innovation workshops, ideation sessions, and hackathons to encourage employees to think creatively and come up with novel solutions. This culture of innovation would permeate the entire organization and lead to breakthrough ideas.
Client-Centric Approach: I would champion a client-centric approach, focusing on understanding the unique needs of each client and tailoring solutions accordingly. By closely collaborating with clients, I can ensure that our digital and innovation strategies align with their goals, resulting in more effective and impactful outcomes.
Agile Methodologies: To adapt swiftly to changes in the industry, “Baker Tilly” would need to adopt agile methodologies. I would lead the adoption of agile practices, enabling teams to work collaboratively, respond to client feedback, and deliver solutions iteratively. This agility would position the firm as responsive and forward-thinking.
Thought Leadership: I would take the initiative to contribute to industry discussions, publish articles, and deliver presentations on digital and innovation trends. This would position “Baker Tilly” as a thought leader in the field, attracting clients seeking cutting-edge solutions and elevating the firm’s reputation.
Talent Development: With technology evolving rapidly, I would play a crucial role in upskilling and reskilling employees. By organizing training programs, workshops, and mentoring sessions, I would empower colleagues to stay current with digital advancements and contribute effectively to the firm’s growth.
Client Engagement Platforms: Recognizing the importance of client engagement, I would explore and implement digital platforms that enhance client interactions and provide them with valuable insights. This would foster stronger relationships and position “Baker Tilly” as a trusted advisor.
In summary, “Baker Tilly” is poised for transformation through digital integration, innovation, and an enhanced client-centric approach. By leading these initiatives, I aim to position “Baker Tilly” as a frontrunner in the consultancy industry, ready to tackle the challenges and opportunities of the digital era.
The Worlds Times: What do you value the most about “BAKER TILLY” vision?
Devesh Vijay: “Adaptability.” Adaptability is paramount in the fast-paced, constantly evolving landscape of the MEA region, especially in the realms of digital and innovation. Baker Tilly’s vision emphasizes flexibility and responsiveness to global shifts and local nuances. This ability to adapt while maintaining a foundation of integrity and excellence ensures that we consistently deliver value to our clients and stay ahead in our advisory roles. This element of adaptability, rooted in a deep understanding of diverse markets and industries, is what I value most about Baker Tilly’s vision. It allows us to be both strategic and agile, a combination that’s indispensable in today’s business world.
Advice from Devesh Vijay
The Worlds Times: Would you like to say anything else to our viewers?
Devesh Vijay: Projects are the backbone of progress. They are the vehicles through which innovations are brought to life, strategies are executed, and goals are achieved. In the dynamic landscape of modern business, effective project management is not just a necessity – it’s a strategic advantage.
Successful projects are built on a solid foundation of collaboration. As you embark on your projects, remember that effective communication and teamwork are essential. Engage stakeholders, encourage cross-functional interaction, and create a culture where ideas flow freely.
Planning is your compass. Crafting a comprehensive project plan is akin to charting a course for success. A well-defined roadmap outlines the tasks, milestones, and resources required. But remember, flexibility within the plan is equally important to adapt to unforeseen changes.
Risk is part of the journey. Embrace a proactive approach to risk management. Identifying potential challenges early and devising mitigation strategies can help you navigate uncertainties with confidence, safeguarding project timelines and outcomes.
Metrics matter. Measuring project progress against predefined key performance indicators (KPIs) gives you actionable insights. Regularly evaluating and optimizing your projects based on these metrics ensures continuous improvement.
Client satisfaction is paramount. Remember that the success of a project is ultimately measured by how well it meets client expectations. Regular communication, transparency, and alignment with client objectives build trust and lasting partnerships.
Leverage technology wisely. In today’s digital age, technology can streamline processes, enhance collaboration, and drive efficiency. Stay abreast of relevant tools and trends that amplify your project management capabilities.
Lastly, embrace the journey. Each project presents an opportunity to learn, grow, and innovate. It’s a chance to refine your skills, cultivate leadership qualities, and contribute to your organization’s success.
Thank you for entrusting us with your projects and allowing us to be part of your transformative journey. Together, let’s continue to push the boundaries of excellence and deliver projects that make a lasting impact.
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