INTHEBLACK December 2020 - Magazine - Page 44
C A R E E R PAT H
// FA D I M AWA L C PA
STORY LACHLAN COLQUHOUN
ONE PIECE OF ADVICE
“Having success is all about
building relationships, and
that means supporting others
and helping them achieve
their goals. Mutual trust and
respect are the foundation
of any kind of success.”
W H AT FA D I M AWA L C PA T H O U G H T WAS J U S T
AN INTERIM EMPLOYMENT PLAN TURNED OUT
T O B E T H E S TA R T O F A N I M M E N S E LY
R E WA R D I N G C A R E E R PAT H .
adi Mawal CPA’s strong connection
with the Ford Motor Company began
many years ago, though in a rather
It was the early 1990s, and Mawal had
just completed a bachelor of business
degree, but Australia was in a recession,
and times were tough for new
undergraduates seeking professional jobs.
As an interim plan, Mawal started
working as a forklift driver, and soon heard
that Ford was looking for drivers in its parts
and service warehouse.
“I had always wanted to work at Ford, so
I pursued it, and soon I was working there
driving a forklift,” he says.
From there, Mawal’s career progressed
quickly. He applied for an internally
advertised job and was offered a role in
44 ITB December 2020
the finance department, which, over the
following 15 years, enabled Mawal to work
across all the key functions of the business
Next was a move to Ford’s Asia-Pacific
regional headquarters in Shanghai, where
Mawal worked in several roles, including
corporate financial controller and business
Coming back to Australia in 2016, Mawal
was the Australian CFO for four years
before taking on his current role as sales
director at Ford Motor Company Australia
earlier this year.
“Coming across from production gave
me a really good grounding in our business
and the workforce, and that helped me
become a better partner to the business,”
Mawal says. “I think it’s really important to
from the CPA
find your passion, and I’ve always had a
strong connection with the ‘blue oval’.
That connection with the brand has been
a strong motivating force for me to deliver
results, and I think it’s also helped energise
people around me.”
A LARGE PLAYER IN A SMALLER MARKET
Although he has more than two decades
with Ford under his belt, Mawal says the
differences between the Asia-Pacific and
Australian operations are pronounced.
In China, Ford has been a growing a
business in a country with an expanding
vehicle market, where more than 21 million
passenger cars were sold in 2019 alone.
In Australia, Ford has been a dominant
player in a much smaller market, where
about one million cars are sold each year,
and where the company has wound down
its manufacturing activity.
“In Asia we couldn’t grow fast enough,”
“We built five new plants in China, and
it was the most rapid expansion we had
Back in Australia, Ford has been scaling
down manufacturing, and is instead investing
in research and development of new tech for
electric and self-driving driving vehicles.
“Ford is now a mobility company,
providing the full spectrum of mobility
solutions, and that is about looking after
the full range of transportation needs, as
well as producing vehicles,” says Mawal.
“At a global level, we are working with
other partners to provide a cloud-based
mobility and transportation system, so that
when an autonomous vehicle is on the road,
it is talking to the other cars around it and
While Ford vehicles are no longer
produced in Australia, Ford still has a strong
presence Down Under, with annual revenues
of about A$3.8 billion and more than 2500
staff. Mawal says he is proud that Australia is
one of Ford’s key global product
FROM CFO TO SALES DIRECTOR
“As CFO, I saw my role as driving results in
the business, and financials are a key focus
in times of economic uncertainty,” he says.
“Navigating these times has required us
to have a strong focus on managing costs
and cash flow to bring the breakeven down,
and that means we have built a business
that can withstand external shocks and be
viable in the long term. Having just
transitioned to the role of sales director,
my focus now is building on these strong
fundamentals by partnering with our
dealer network in order to grow our
business and offer great experiences
This includes looking at new opportunities
and adapting the company’s business model.
Ford’s Australian team has recently
launched Ford 2nd Car, which is a
membership service that gives Ford
customers access to a second vehicle,
in addition to the one they already own.
Mawal sees the initiative as a “whole
new level of change and disruption in our
industry”, and an example of how Ford is
working to “stay ahead of the curve”.
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