Yasar Khan is a pragmatic business leader and entrepreneur with a background encompassing some of the world’s biggest brands. As the owner of a widely respected accountancy practice he delivers cost saving and revenue generating insights for hundreds of small and medium sized businesses.
With a real understanding of risk alongside the motivation that drives great companies he purchased and revived a failing engineering company in 2015. Under his leadership that business has grown and, with an expanding order book he has purchased two more businesses in London and Sheffield, while creating lasting partnerships in the automotive, marine, aerospace, energy and movie businesses.
Yasar graduated from the University of Cambridge with a degree in Engineering before joining accountancy giant Deloitte as an auditor. Over the following 20 years Yasar enjoyed high profile positions with one of the world’s major beverage companies Pepsi Co, followed by roles with leading network innovator Novell and DHL the global logistics company.
In 2010 Yasar Khan formed Incisive Accounting. Now serving over 350 small and medium sized clients in London and South East England, Incisive Accounting delivers value added services to scores of driven business owners.
For Yasar the joy of working with such a diverse client base is not just the advice he can deliver to them but the learning he receives in return.
“I enjoy delivering insights about what best practice looks like for a small business based on real shop floor experience amongst my leading clients, and though I’m an accountant I’ve learned that there are so many behavioural aspects to success in business, in fact I’ve had to unlearn so much from my corporate career in order to add value to my SME clients.”
Because of his commitment to building strong relationships, Incisive’s value added services becomes a key element in client companies growth. As businesses expand away from their small beginnings, and put in dedicated finance functions, Yasar and his team often maintain their role delivering both accountancy and valuable independent insight for business owners.
Reflecting his rapport with clients he was alerted to an opportunity by one in 2015. A client had identified a failing engineering business in need of some of Yasar’s tough love.
In this case Yasar saw an opportunity that would reconnect him to his early interests in engineering. Deciding to take the risk he saved the business from liquidation first by purchasing it and then by turning it around.
Using his experience with multiple accountancy clients he applied a forensic analysis not just of the books but also of the people and behaviours within the business, identifying the challenges and opportunities that needed addressing.
Making key changes in management, reporting and culture but crucially keeping the workforce on side and in employment the old business has been transformed into an ambitious, dynamic organisation that is looking forward to a prosperous future.
“I look at business transformation as a three stage process, firstly its crucial to eliminate debt, then we have to consolidate and ensure we have the right people, management and systems in place, and only then can we think about growth.”
Renamed Certa Precision Engineering the business has gone from strength to strength under Yasar Khan and is now a leading specialist-engineering partner for companies in Automotive, Aerospace, Marine, Oil & Gas and TV & Movie production.
Having a keen eye for opportunity and with an ambition to create a company that is sustainable and successful in the long term Yasar then bought one of his contractors businesses, a move which has helped Certa expand while acquiring a skilled workforce.
Certa has a growing order book and partnerships with some ambitious organisations, especially in the automotive industry. Their needs have driven the acquisition of a third business.
Ewan Engineering in Sheffield had been poorly managed in recent years, but had a skilled workforce and capacity to deliver the volume production Certa’s clients were looking for. Saving the factory and jobs from administration has been hailed in Sheffield’s local press while for Yasar it provides an opportunity to provide the manufacturing capacity needed to serve his cutting-edge client base.
Unlike many entrepreneurs Yasar Khan has a keen sense for business and a methodology for taking his companies into their growth and success phases. But he is also a pragmatist with realistic targets and ambition.
His drive comes from wanting to create successful businesses that work in growth industries, from building great relationships with partners, to work on fascinating projects and to leave a legacy that his team and his family can be proud of.
Yasar’s experience across the corporate, small business and engineering world has taught him many lessons, but his key to success is:
“Be comfortable with shades of grey, not everything in business is black and white."