A global management consultant and early proponent of the ‘gig’ economy, Indran Purushothaman (MBA International Business 1996) has been doing for decades what labour market pundits predict is the work path of the future – pursuing a project-oriented career as an independent consultant, worldwide.
I always knew I wanted to work internationally - driven by curiosity, a global outlook and a desire for lifelong learning, I’ve built an international finance career over the past three decades that’s seen me raise capital in North America, transform finance functions in Australia and launch greenfield operations in Asia.
Originating from Kuala Lumpur, I completed an accounting degree in country Victoria before commencing my career with Arthur Young (now EY) in New Zealand. Returning to Australia two years later, I worked in accounting roles within the banking and finance sector. After five years of working and following a ‘life-changing’ backpacking trip in Europe, I realized that to take my career to the next level, I needed to undertake some further studies.
"The MBA program was captivating and challenged me immensely - I read voraciously, cultivated a penchant of languages and strengthened my cross-cultural awareness"
Completing the CPA program was a given, and as I evaluated post-graduate options, it became clear to me that the Monash MBA program was the ideal choice. The strength of the faculty, its international student base and range of subjects have proven to be invaluable. I focused on internationally themed subjects such as Politics of International Finance, International Strategic Management, Business and Government in East Asia and to mix things up, I studied French and Japanese. The MBA program was captivating and challenged me immensely - I read voraciously, cultivated a penchant of languages and strengthened my cross-cultural awareness.
My first role after completing the MBA program was a business analyst with Boral where I gained an understanding of the operational complexities of a multifaceted manufacturing business. My next move was a return to Melbourne to join KPMG Consulting, arguably my most important career break ever and the launching pad for the next two decades. At KPMG, I was part of the team that supported the Kennett government to privatize the state’s gas and electricity utilities and I also executed a range of international corporate finance projects.
In 2002, through my network, I was presented with a unique opportunity to relocate to New York to set up the finance function of a digital media start-up, TheNewsMarket. This propelled me into the US venture capital scene and I built a consulting practice supporting entrepreneurs. Over the next 15 years, I worked across all key phases of the business cycle from raising capital for growth businesses in New York, Mumbai and Berlin to implementing process improvements at more mature entities in the Washington DC, London and Abu Dubai.
I’m now back home in Melbourne where my focus these days is to provide Interim CFO services. Recent engagements include Anglicare Victoria, BankFirst, BlueCross|SapphireCare and currently Australia and New Zealand School of Government.
Looking back, I believe that my career has been greatly enhanced by having done the Monash MBA program. Throughout my career, I’ve always maintained a strong connection with Australia attending numerous Monash University sponsored events in New York, San Francisco, Melbourne, Mumbai and Kuala Lumpur.
In wrapping up, my three tips for a successful global career are:
- pursue a lifelong learning program
- network - cultivate global relationships, leverage the Monash alumni
- contribute to the well-being of your local communities – good karma!