Candidate stories

Sonia Sodha on how she found the job she loves

21st November 2016

We spoke to Sonia Sodha about finding a role and the future of financial services under the spectre of automation and robotisation.

Candidate Name: Sonia Sodha
Role: Finance Director, EY HR Tech Incubator

Tell us a little about your role:
I act as the Finance Director for 8 separate EY-backed HR Tech Businesses. I advise them on strategic planning and lead a team which supports their reporting, forecasting and pay and bill management.

How did you find your role?
I viewed an advert on Monster placed by a specialist recruitment firm (not Harmonic Group, sorry!). What advice do you have for anyone who aspires to secure a role like yours?

“I’m fortunate enough to work for a wonderful, supportive organisation. However, Finance Directors working in the tech startup sector need to have a thick skin and also be willing and able to break bad news on a regular basis.

Entrepreneurs tend to be hugely optimistic individuals which is great from the perspective of delivering a vision, but can lead to some being in denial about the harsh reality of what the management accounts are telling them. I’m often the big bad wolf because of this! Also, use email as your secondary rather than primary form of communication. From experience, the people that build their careers quicker in Finance tend to be those that have developed the empathy, emotional intelligence and influencing skills to get those from other teams”

How do you feel about the spectre of robotisation in Financial Services?
I think that change is good, and obviously in my position I’m a massive advocate of the benefits of technology and automation. Yes, there may be some changes to how certain areas work, like audit for instance. But I think we’re decades away from a situation where tech can communicate and interpret data to enable businesses to make real, meaningful decisions.