"He is passionate about golf, Formula 1, rugby and ... making clients happy"
Craig Richardson shares his impressions of Ukraine and describes the commonalities between a successful business and sport.
Craig, you recently joined KPMG in Ukraine from another Big Four firm in Russia. What interested you in making the move?
I joined KPMG Ukraine three months ago after a very successful time in Russia growing my tax practice area by four times in three years. I was offered an opportunity to do the same in Ukraine, and I am very excited about the chance to make a difference to KPMG clients here in Ukraine.
How does Kyiv compare with Moscow?
I can say that Kyiv is a more “livable” city compared with Moscow. The experience here is also much warmer than in Moscow in many respects.
You have an interesting accent, where are you from?
I am proud to say that I am a South African citizen and worked there as a tax partner in a Big Four accounting firm for 8 years before spending several years advising on tax in Hong Kong. I then moved to Moscow where I was a tax partner for more than 5 years in a Big Four accounting firm.
Is it fair to say that you are a sports fan?
Yes indeed! I have played golf and been passionate about Formula 1 motor racing most of my life. I am also a lifelong fan of Springboks (South Africa’s national rugby team). I am delighted to have discovered the joys of televised sport at O’Briens which is only 100 metres from the KPMG office. Unfortunately, however, I only have time to watch sport on the weekend!
Do you see any parallels between success in business and your favorite sports?
You have hit the nail on the head. In golf focus, commitment and patience are often highly rewarded. In Formula 1 it’s fair to say that the champions have a unique skill set, while great teamwork is a critical factor to the team’s success. In my experience both on the golf course and in business, the principles of success are similar.
What has been your most memorable moment in business?
I saved a South African company over $1.1 million in VAT and the warmth of the finance director’s handshake is something I will never forget.
What makes you want to come to work every day?
For me work is all about people. I get a buzz from creating an environment where my team is serious about providing excellent client service, while having fun doing what we do. In this way, we can exceed the expectations of both our clients and of our people. We will be doubling our team this year, and I see huge opportunities ahead.