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Amar Kotecha, Financial Planning & Analysis Manager here at Weetabix, speaks to us about rising through the ranks in our latest career blog. Amar discusses the opportunities he’s had with senior team members, the work culture at Weetabix and why he’s your man if you’re ever at a pub quiz.
What’s your role?
Within my current role as Financial Planning & Analysis Manager, I am responsible for collating the company’s financial forecasts and budgets. My team and I combine figures from various parts of the business, such as sales projections and manufacturing costs, to produce a profit and loss statement. We then provide the Executive Leadership team with a suite of reports which include key financial information, such as our profit and loss statement and cash flow projections. Our reporting provides guidance for them to review the company’s performance in previous months and gives them direction on the expectations of our performance going forward.
One of my team’s key deliverables is the annual budget figures, which we commit to our shareholders. As part of this process my team are responsible for combining figures from all the Weetabix Food Company divisions across the world to provide a group total forecast that is then shared with our owners.
How long have you been at Weetabix?
I have been working at Weetabix for just over five years having joined in January 2015. I have always been keen to work for big brands that people instantly recognise. This was one of the main reasons for me initially applying to Weetabix - most people have heard of Weetabix and many people are consumers too. I always get a friendly and surprised reaction when I tell someone that I work for Weetabix and this makes me feel proud to work for the company.
With regards to the role itself, the job described was filled with responsibilities which would allow me to gain key financial understanding and experience. This experience, alongside my professional CIMA studies, would help me in developing my fundamental financial knowledge of how a finance team in a large company really works, having completed my degree and graduating in 2014, and this was really important to me.
What’s it like to work at Weetabix?
At Weetabix, whilst we are part of a large global organisation with thousands of employees, it still very much has a family feel. I am lucky enough to have interactions and work with many senior leaders of the business across my role and various projects; in some larger corporations this would not be possible. This allows me to continuously gain knowledge and useful guidance on my development from those who have already reached senior positions within their careers.
Weetabix has also supported me in my professional development and my ambition to become a chartered accountant. There are opportunities to get involved in projects across the business which allow you to gain understanding of how different departments work. There are also some benefits, such as, the ‘dress for your day’ policy and the ability to work flexibly. We also have a summer hours policy, where we can finish early on Fridays during July & August, allowing us to enjoy whatever sunshine we are lucky to get that little bit longer.
What do you most enjoy about working at Weetabix?
One of the main reasons I enjoy working for Weetabix, is that I can really make an impact. Across the various roles I have done and including the current role I am in, I have on numerous occasions been given the opportunity to challenge processes, produce alternative proposals and then implement my suggested solutions. This gives me a real feeling of responsibility and accountability, and that is an environment I think brings out the best of me. In addition to this, the business has provided me opportunities to progress my career through three promotions since joining in 2015 and has invested in my development for which I am grateful.
What opportunities have you had whilst at Weetabix?
In just over five years that I have been with the business, I have had four different roles, three of which have been promotions. After almost three years supporting the UK business, I then was provided with an opportunity to move into a significantly more autonomous role, where I supported the International business, where from the UK we export to over 80 countries globally. This was a real sign of confidence in me from the business, as traditionally this role would have been given to a qualified accountant and I, at the stage of being given the role, was still completing my final exams.
In addition to the role changes I have had in my career here so far; I have also been involved in numerous projects that have increased my overall business understanding and how the different functions across the business operate. The roles in which I’ve worked in have provided me with numerous opportunities to present and be involved in senior meetings, this has allowed me to feel confident operating in those situations, where I would potentially have been nervous earlier in my career had I not had these opportunities.
Anything you’d like to share with us about your role?
The current role I am in provides me with responsibility for producing a complete profit and loss statement. Initially this was a pretty daunting task, as much of my career I have worked in commercial roles, where my exposure to the manufacturing parts of the business was minimal. This has been a great opportunity for me to ensure that through my time in this role, I will become a significantly more rounded in my financial acumen and this will hold me in good stead for my future career.
What do you love doing outside of work?
Outside of work, I am a huge sports fan - playing various sports on a weekly basis and following all my favourite teams too. Those that know me, know that I am hugely competitive, and this is a well-known fact at work, whether it’s a quiz or a group challenge - if you are on the same team as me, we are trying to win!
Recently during this period of lockdown, I have like many others taken up baking and cooking, and I now frequently try recipes I wouldn’t have ever dreamed off before.
I am keen to continue my personal development, so I am always reading books and autobiographies, watching documentaries and listening to podcasts, all with the intent that I will learn something, that I can hopefully apply to how I live my life.