His first ever job was working for a vegetable importer at the Avondale markets, but today Vinay Iswar is the Director of a million dollar business that he founded with his brother at the young age of 24. This month Vinay was asked to answer 20 questions by Newmarket Magazine. Get to know Vinay a little better, right from how he starts his mornings to what he considers his biggest achievement is to date.
Why do you love working in Newmarket?
It is a vibrant place with plenty of change. I can see huge potential for growth in Newmarket and I love how all the businesses in the area have really done their bit to revitalise the district. It is also one of the best locations in Auckland and is a central hub for our team and customers with great public transport and access to motorways.
What is one piece of advice that you would give to someone who was looking at starting out in your industry?
When starting NexGen my goal was to change the industry. I wanted to lead the change by creating a firm that practices a pro-active approach to clients by offering a more personal service. So, my advice to people starting out in the accounting industry would be to not accept the status quo. Do things differently, with a client focus, always maintain a long-term mindset, understand every aspect of your customer and never underestimates the power of networking.
What would you do if you weren’t in your current role? I don’t think I’d ever been able to stray too far from my current role because I have such a strong passion for New Zealand businesses and helping them grow. As long I could do anything that involved process improvement and strategy.
Name 3 people that you would invite to a dinner party (living or dead).
Gary Vaynerchuk. Denzel Washington. My Grandfather.
What was your first job?
My first ever paid job was working for a vegetable importer at the Avondale Markets at the Avondale Racecourse. I was paid to unload boxes from trucks/containers and man the checkout. I learned a lot from that role.
What motivates you?
Watching renowned leaders and business owners motivates me – studying how other experts have been successful and then applying similar principles is a daily practice for me. And of course, NexGen customers are also a huge motivation for me – their success is my success.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
Auckland has always been my home and will be for the foreseeable future as NexGen continues to grow. I love travelling, but I’ll always comeback to New Zealand.
Where is your favourite place to get coffee or a drink in Newmarket?
Safran for coffee in the morning and The Lumsden for a beer in the afternoon sun.
Describe Newmarket in 3 words: Growing. Central. Diverse.
What do you wish you’d known before you started your career?
How important it is to listen more than contribute to a conversation. To seek out people you want to be like and learn from their experiences.
How do you start each morning?
Check the news for anything interesting and out the door around 7am-7.30am to drop my fiancé to work, and then breakfast at my desk around 8am while checking emails and planning for the day.
What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve received?
Listen to your gut and put aside your emotions. There is actually scientific reasoning behind your gut telling you the right thing to do.
What is your favourite holiday destination and why?
I couldn’t pick one. In the last few years, I’ve been to some incredible countries and I want to keep exploring. Some highlights have been Japan, Greece and London.
What is Newmarket’s best-kept secret?
I don’t know if it’s a secret, but Archie’s Restaurant is NexGen’s go-to spot for lunch.
What would you consider to be your greatest achievement?
Launching NexGen at 24 years of age and growing it to be a $1m business before hitting 30. My brother and I decided to go into business together against the advice of friends and family, but it couldn’t have worked out better. Today, NexGen is almost 6 years old and is leading the way in the accounting industry.
Name one item that you can’t live without.
My bed. I work damn hard during the day so being able to retreat to a comfortable bed and getting a good night’s rest is priceless.
It’s 10am on a Sunday morning. Where wouldwe find you and what are you doing?
I’ll either be at home having a late breakfast with my fiancé or having brunch with friends or family– so cliché!
Who has had the greatest influence on your life and why?
Easily, my Dad. A hard-working family man who is incredibly ethical and who has made it through life against many challenges. I’ve learned more from him than anyone else.
What is your greatest fear?
Regret and failure. To overcome it I now live by the mantra of “the greatest things in life happen on the other side of fear.” It has served me well.
What do you love most about your job?
Every day I get to work alongside a variety of NewZealand businesses to help them reach their full potential. Drilling down on their financials and creating business plans to set them off in the direction of success is seriously rewarding. The best part of it all is watching these businesses achieve the goals they set and being a partner in that.