My career at Vanquis: Raj, Senior Finance Business Partner

UK | March

As part of National Careers week, we’ve been asking our colleagues to share their insights into their careers with us.

Here, we caught up with Rajvinder Bhachu about his move into Financial Services with Vanquis in 2018, his development and his recent promotion to Senior Finance Business Partner.

Hi Raj. Can you tell us more about what you do at Vanquis?
Hello. I’m currently working as Senior Finance Business Partner at Vanquis and report into the Director of FP&A. My role is to support Commercial executives on key initiatives and projects (among other items).

I’ve worked here for just under 3 years and have made great connections and development relationships across the whole business and all colleagues are very welcoming and open to conversations on work and non-work related topics.

Congratulations on your recent promotion. Can you tell us more about your background and career path before Vanquis?
I graduated in 2013 with a first from Queen Mary, University of London in Business and Management. I then moved on to a Graduate Programme at Home Retail Group (who used to own Argos and Homebase), and I left after two years as I wanted a move away from Retail. I then joined Tate and Lyle a speciality foods business, this is where I really learnt my technical financial knowledge from P&L and Balance sheet and become a qualified account (CIMA) in 2016. I spent 3 years there, moving into a commercial role for my last year at Tate & Lyle. Then I decide to move to Financial Services / Banking, and this is when an opportunity at Vanquis came up.

Why did you make the move into Retail Financial Services?
I wanted to learn more about the Banking industry, given my background in Business & Management from University. Despite common preconceptions, the Financial Services/Banking industry is “faster” moving than Retail in terms of regulation, consumer requirements and competition (Fintech entrants).

My expectations have been more than matched at Vanquis. I’ve enjoyed getting to understand the Credit Card Business Model better, helped by the support and development I’ve received from my colleagues across the Bank.

What is it like working in our FP&A team?
Working in the FP&A is fantastic, as mentioned before I have worked here for just under 3 years and have enjoyed my time here and even made a few friends! There is a lot of work on currently, which means everyone is very busy and so ensuring my team and I deliver our objectives and key pieces of work across the various functions we support is paramount to our success. This is my main challenge at the moment.   

It’s fantastic to hear how you have developed your career with us. What have you done personally to achieve this and how has Vanquis supported you?
Personally, I’ve made sure that I’m ready to learn new things and develop relationships with key people across the organisation as well as our Group companies. Vanquis has provided learning and development opportunities on a regular basis, which I’ve tried to take on and drive to completion.

A key focus I’ve applied is ensuring I receive feedback on key initiatives and projects as I complete pieces of work, so that I’m better prepared next time round. I have a weekly personal development session scheduled with my manager, for which I have a one-pager with my goals and progress against each item. Vanquis really encourages these discussions and I now feel well-supported as a people manager in having these conversations with my team.

What is your top tip for people approaching their own development?
Make sure you have a clear vision of your 5-10 year plan and consciously plan how to achieve your goals, then regularly review your performance and adjust accordingly. This doesn’t just have to be career targets, but also personal (non-career) targets. As I think work and home life balance goes hand in hand to ensuring you perform to your best every day. In addition, building a network of mentors and / or offering to mentor others is always a great way to learn and develop throughout your career.

Thanks for sharing insight on your career here at Vanquis as part of National Careers Week. All the best in your new role.

We are anticipating hiring into our FP&A team over the coming months, so keep an eye on our latest vacancies or follow us on LinkedIn to keep in touch.

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