Jagdev Singh

Tax Leader

Professional association memberships 
Certified Practising Accountant of CPA Australia

Current role
I have overall responsibility for managing the tax practice at PwC Malaysia and this includes growing the business and differentiating us from the competition. Although managing a business takes up time, I spend at least 50% of my time directly working on engagements with clients because I’m very passionate about client service.

What attracted you to this role and this company?
We spend a lot of time at work, in fact more than half of our waking hours. So it’s important to work with a firm whose values resonate with you. I chose to stay with PwC for the past 20 years because I identify with the firm’s emphasis on integrity and taking personal responsibility for actions at work as well as personal development and progression.

What makes you suitable for this job?
One of my biggest strengths is getting my team to work well together. I take the time to get to know them and understand what it takes to harness their strengths to grow the business. I also like meeting people because this brings about new ideas and new approaches in tackling challenges. Tax is perceived as a boring and compliance based profession. I’m keen to change that and encourage our people to be business partners to their clients.

What is the one skill you possess that makes you an effective leader?
Listening and building consensus. Even if we had superhuman abilities, we can’t do everything ourselves. To move the business forward, we need buy in from the whole team.When they are convinced and believe in your cause, you can move mountains together.

Professional motivation
Two things motivate me. My work and the opportunity to engage with people. I feel very motivated when we start new initiatives to grow the business and make it a better place to grow professionally for our people. One example is the way we encourage our managers to share new ideas over lunch, sort of like an incubator for ideas. I’m not a stickler for hierarchy and always welcome new ideas, even from fresh graduates! One new joiner recently suggested that we include a YouTube video in a proposal, which really impressed our clients. This is the quality of graduates we want.

It’s a steep learning curve when you join the working world and you should invest your time to learn. Take charge of your learning and show lots of initiative, instead of waiting for instructions.

Career Highlights
1993 Graduated from Swinburne University of Technology, Australia with a Bachelor of Business majoring in Accounting and minoring in Computing
1994 Joined Price Waterhouse as Associate. Started CPA Australia exams
1995 Promoted to Associate Consultant
1997 Promoted to Consultant
1998 Promoted to Senior Consultant
2000 Promoted to Managing Consultant. Completed CFA examination
2002 Advanced to status of Certified Practising Accountant of CPA Australia
2003 Seconded to PwC London as a Senior Manager
2005 Returned to PwC Malaysia as an Executive Director
2007 Admitted as Senior Executive Director
2012 Appointed as Tax Leader