Young Business Leaders 2014

Neel Augusthy

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Thinking big: Neel Augusthy CPA

36 | CFO supply chain | Johnson & Johnson Medical

Although Neel Augusthy decided on a career in the corporate arena quite early, he is the first to admit he didn’t expect to be in a CFO role at a multinational corporation quite so soon.

Augusthy has regional financial responsibility for both manufacturing logistics and bringing Johnson & Johnson products to customers. It’s a key position at the company, which he joined just four years ago.

“I did an MBA in London and used to run my own consulting business there but when the global financial diaster hit I switched back to the corporate world in 2009,” he says.

The bonus of joining a corporate of Johnson & Johnson’s size is the breadth of experience you can gain, he says.

Augusthy joined as finance director for the Philippines, then set up a research centre in Shanghai before moving to Singapore.

"The essential ingredient is credibility for yourself and what you do."

Running a team has shifted his ideas on what it takes to succeed. Earlier in his career, Augusthy says, technical expertise was his priority but in management the focus is on getting the right resources to the ones actually delivering most of the work.

“You’ve got to be able to manage the people you work for and who work for you. How you manage people determines how successful you will be, and the higher up the organisation your role is, the more about managing people and complexity it is.”

The essential ingredient is credibility for yourself and what you do, he adds.

His experience confirms that the career pathway provided by a financial role is far from limiting.

“Your finance and accounting doesn’t change and business needs don’t change, so you have more you can go for.”

The regional CFO role involves lots of travel and, having lived in several countries, Augusthy is open to further moves while his family is still young.

He remembers standing at the University of New South Wales (where he did his first degree) and a friend asked what he wanted to become – the answer was a CFO of a big company.

“That’s already happened. I managed to have a significant amount of responsibility as regional CFO and maybe will be a CEO one day – that’s the piece to happen.”

This article is from the May 2014 issue of INTHEBLACK.

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