PwC Malaysia Managing Partner proclaims his love for Liverpool FC

02 September 2019 Consultancy.asia

PwC Malaysia Managing Partner Sridharan Nair has spoken of his madness for soccer, and in particular Liverpool FC, which currently sits atop the Premier League table.

As the English Premier League kicks off for another season, PwC Malaysia’s managing partner Sridharan Nair has spoken of his lifelong passion for the Liverpool Football Club in an interview with the local edition of leading business and finance publication The Edge. The 2019 defending champions currently sit atop the League table with a four-zip record to start the season, having knocked off Burnely FC and title contenders Arsenal over the past two weeks.

Nair – who this month celebrated his 25th anniversary with PwC – states that he has been a Reds fan for more than 40 years, adopting the team as a child (while his unfortunate brother chose Leeds, still stranded in Championship League after a disastrous end to last season), and compares the leadership approach of manager Jürgen Klopp to that of PwC’s: “What Klopp really emphasises is team ethos versus the superstar. And, just like PwC, we never operate as individuals because working together is one of our values.”

Consistently ranked among the most attractive employers in the country, Nair oversees a PwC team in Malaysia in excess of 2,500 staff spread across seven offices – including the professional services firm’s latest outlet in Kuching in Sarawak (incidentally Nair’s birthplace), which opened its doors in June. “Sarawak is embarking on an exciting transformation journey. As the State shifts its efforts in developing their digital economy into high gear, we believe we can play a role in supporting this vision,” Nair said at the launch.

Sridharan Nair, Managing Partner PwC Malaysia

In addition to heading up Malaysia, Nair also serves as Chairman of PwC’s Southeast Asia Consulting practice and is a member of the firm’s Asia Pacific Executive Board. Despite such leadership credentials however, Nair notes in the interview that his oldest son supports Tottenham Hotspur while his younger son has a soft spot for the Wanderers (due to perhaps their shiny gold kit) – which Nair describes as one of his failings as a father.

Meanwhile, highlighting the generational gap between father and sons, Nair Snr names Kevin Keegan as his all-time favourite Liverpool player, followed by Kenny Dalglish. Remarkably, these footballers were still on the pitch when Nair started out on his career over thirty years ago, initially qualifying as a chartered accountant with another of the Big Four in London before ultimately being elected as the managing partner of PwC Malaysia in 2012.

As for the present, Nair is expecting a top-four finish for the Reds in 2019/20, and for them to ‘maybe make it to the top of the table’ this season with a bit of luck. Despite Liverpool claiming the UEFA Champion’s League title in June, Nair, like most avid sports-fans, has creeping doubts about his own team in the season ahead – concerned that Klopp hasn’t strengthened the team with some additional talent up forward.

This is not surprising; championing talent has been a focus of the humble managing partner, particularly in terms of inclusion and diversity. Those efforts, which include a suite of flexible working programmes introduced at PwC during Nair’s tenure, were recently recognised with a Diversity & Inclusion Excellence Award from the British Malaysian Chamber of Commerce. “May seem like a lifetime to some but it has been a great ride and I still enjoy what I do - most of the time :)”, Nair tweeted on his 25th anniversary at PwC.