Jack’s Group Of Companies And Tappoo Group Of Companies

There is so much we can learn from members of our society who have left our shores for greener pastures. And this week we bring you a special feature from
13 Sep 2014 10:31

There is so much we can learn from members of our society who have left our shores for greener pastures. And this week we bring you a special feature from a man we can surely learn from.

When Dr Divesh Sharma shares his life story and experiences people tend not to be believe given his colourful background.

Divesh Sharma

Divesh Sharma

Dr Sharma was in Fiji recently conducting consulting work and giving guest lectures at the University of the South Pacific for an accounting post graduate unit.

He has given a number of lectures in US universities and also developed business models and provided knowledge on what it takes for a business to be successful.

Dr Sharma is currently an Associate Professor and an Accounting Discipline Doctoral Programme coordinator at the Kennesaw State University in the United States.

He was raised in Sigatoka, attended St Joan of Arc Primary School, then Marist Brothers High School and Cuvu College in Sigatoka.

“When I tell my life story/struggles, people do not believe me, so I’ll simply say to our youngsters nothing comes on a silver platter,” Dr Sharma said.

“I married my high school sweet-heart Vineeta, a Professor too, and we have a daughter in university.

“Since migrating to the USA, I began work on corporate governance and have focused on audit committees, former audit firm partners, and auditor independence.”

Because of the nature of his work, he is also able to train employees in organisations on various topics including but not limited to financial analysis, credit analysis.

He has published several research papers in top academic journals about his model and predictions.

What are the attributes to a successful business?

Their continuous strive excellent customer service and satisfaction.  This is one of the main problems especially in Fiji.  Only a few businesses focus on customer service, while others are about minimising cost.

Those that are customer driven are highly successful just look at Jack’s Group of Companies and Tappoo Group of Companies.

However, it is only natural as most businesses are family-owned built, from scratch hence maximising profit through cost minimisation seems reasonable to them.

I feel there is a need to broaden the horizons of business owners in Fiji and other Pacific Islands.

What are some things you value and share with your students?

I love to chat about many important topics but right now at this stage of my life, I love to talk about mentoring new academics and discussing how they can be successful.

I believe my success is seeing my students succeed and I take this quite seriously.

My philosophy is that knowledge passed to the next generation will live forever but giving someone a material item will decay one day. A person is remembered for his/her character and not by wealth!

What character should an accountant have?

Possess integrity and ethics, be highly meticulous, and a great sense of humour.

There is a stigma that accountants are boring – not true – come to my class and you’ll enjoy accounting like never before!  Just ask some of my students.

Tell us about the models you’ve developed?

I developed a model to predict which companies will likely go into bankruptcy within 12 months and which would perform well.

I developed and tested this model on companies in Australia when I was teaching at Griffith University in Brisbane.

The best model was one that contained several cash flow ratios that I developed.

The model I developed performed better than existing models and commercial bank lending officers with many years of experience.

I have published several research papers in top academic journals about my model and predictions.

Over the years I have provided training to banks and auditors on how to analyze financial performance.  My model works well because it unmasks accounting deceptions that firms in distress engage in to hide their true performance.

What is the secret to your success?

Success can mean a number of things and too many folks success is ultimately accumulating material items such as money, big house, fancy cars, etc.

For me success is being happy and achieving challenges I set that are intrinsic not materialism.

The secret to my success meaning my happiness and achievements have several hands: (1) Grace of God, (2) parental guidance during formative years, (3) support from spouse, and (4) finally, my part – dedication, motivation and commitment to engage in scholarly activities striving for excellence.  In short, I love what I do!



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