Suresh takes us on his expansive PwC career journey and talks to us about his fascination for mountains and passion for trekking.
Suresh started out as a trainee accountant in 1976 and was admitted to partnership in 1985. He served in various roles during his partnership tenure, including: Client Engagement Partner on listed clients, Technical Partner, Assurance Leader, Human Capital Leader, CEO of PwC Southern Africa and CEO/Senior Partner of PwC Africa. He also served on the PwC Global Board, Network Leadership Team and Cluster Leadership Team.
His love for trekking started as a fascination with mountains as a child, and he became passionate about high-altitude mountain trekking in 2000. He is attracted to the mountains for their beauty, peace and serenity, and has done too many treks to keep track of. He has trekked in Nepal in the Himalayas, including Mount Everest, and also in Peru, Tanzania, Japan, Vietnam and North America.
His most challenging trek was Mount Naya Kanga in the Himalayas, because of its deep snow, menacing ice levels, challenging technical climbing and hidden crevices. After leading the team to High Camp, which was the team’s ambition, he decided to attempt the summit.
He was close to the summit but unfortunately had to turn back due to his summit time running out. His favourite mountain is Mount Annapurna in the Himalayas because of its absolute majesty.
He takes groups of youngsters on some of these treks, stating that leading teams on mountains is no different from leading in the boardroom: ‘You have to demonstrate leadership, passion, teamwork, excellence and authenticity – all this builds trust.’ To date he has led 58 individuals, male and female, from all walks of life and varying ages on six expeditions into the Himalayas, with a 100% destination success rate.
Clearly passionate about helping others, he says that empowering others is the best form of giving back. He spends at least six months before each expedition preparing, coaching and mentoring the team on a group and individual basis. The team is expected to display commitment and train with him every weekend: ‘The lessons imparted assist and encourage them tremendously in their personal and professional lives. It also keeps me fit!’
He has completed an expedition in April/May 2019, and his next expedition is planned to be Mount Elbrus in Russia or Patagonia in Chile in 2021.
Suresh balances his time between work responsibilities and these expeditions by good diary management, which enables him to balance his professional, personal, family and community responsibilities. His other hobbies are reading and philately.
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