INTHEBLACK November 2021 - Flipbook - Page 44
STORY BELINDA PARKES
P A R I T O S H D E O C P A W A S T A U G H T A T A N E A R LY A G E T H A T A N Y T H I N G W O R T H
D O I N G D E S E R V E S O N E ’ S B E S T E F F O R T S . T H AT L E S S O N H A S B E E N O N E O F
THE MAIN INGREDIENTS IN HIS RECIPE FOR SUCCESS.
essons sometimes reveal themselves in
unusual ways. Paritosh Deo CPA learned
the importance of adaptability after
struggling to keep up with the laundry
required for New Zealand’s unpredictable
The young accountant was on a secondment
from PwC Fiji, where each day begins with a
shorts and-flip-flops wardrobe decision, and
says he soon discovered that, in New Zealand,
it did not pay to be lazy on washing day or
you would be left feeling cold.
On a more serious note, all the challenges
of relocating from Fiji to New Zealand – from
meeting new people, fitting into a different
culture, a new workplace, a faster pace of
work and a different form of commute, right
down to basic living skills such as his laundry
– rewired Deo’s thinking.
He discovered that broadening his
perspective could be an advantage, and he
extended that into the way he processed his
thoughts at work. The two-year secondment
also inspired self-reflection on the personal
growth needed to achieve his career goals.
Working abroad was life-changing for Deo,
particularly because the offer had come at
a time when he was questioning whether
accounting was the profession for him. He’d
also been considering migrating to another
country. This opportunity meant he could
put all those thoughts to the test.
44 ITB November 2021
“Things can be really hectic in a large
accounting firm,” Deo says. “The work hours
are crazy, there are a lot of demands on your
personal time, and you have to be really
resilient to survive.”
Being an accountant wasn’t always at the
top of Deo’s career aspirations. Physics was
his first love, but limited opportunities,
particularly in a small Pacific Island country,
prompted him to redirect his path to the
more stable and diverse finance sector.
Deo graduated from the University of the
South Pacific in 2007 with a bachelor of arts
in accounting, financial management and
information systems. He also left with a
hat-trick of gold medal honours for being the
most outstanding arts graduate in business
and economics, the most outstanding
graduate majoring in accounting and financial
management, and the most outstanding
graduate majoring in information systems.
Despite his impressive achievements, Deo
remains humble and says he simply lives by
the motto of doing his best. It’s an attitude
he has towards everything he does, including
sports, and it earned him a place on the
Fijian under-15s and under-17s national
“My thinking is, if you’re going to spend
time doing something, why not do a good job
of it? Otherwise, you’ve just wasted that time
you’ve spent doing it,” Deo says.
Deo joined PwC as a graduate accountant,
working his way up to assistant manager in
Fiji, before his secondment to PwC New Zealand
in 2013. Upon his return two years later, Deo
was appointed manager and director. In July
2020, aged 34, he was made partner.
“It was a proud moment for me to have
made it to partner,” Deo says, “No doubt I had
to work hard, and there were sacrifices along
the way, but I guess working hard has paid off
in the end.”
Deo has had many mentors along the way,
including his father and older brother, who
have both had successful accounting careers.
The small PwC Fiji office has provided him
with experience in industries ranging from
manufacturing and consumer goods to retail
and financial institutions. He’s worked with
multinationals, listed entities, privately held
entities and not-for-profits.
A CHANGE IN APPROACH
Starting out, Deo was introverted, which he
says served him well on the bottom rungs of
his career, but began to limit his prospects
further up the ladder.
When Deo was a trainee, one partner
described him as being “like a bird”, quietly
building his nest without anyone noticing, until
suddenly the finished nest is revealed. He
urged Deo to change this approach, but it
would be several years before Deo understood
what he had meant.
The time in New Zealand honed Deo’s
self-awareness, and he learned to identify the
things that made him take notice, as well as