Welcome to Shan & Co
Dato`Dr. Shanmughanathan Vellanthurai
Message from the Partner, Shan & Co
Inspired by the resilience of the people he grew up with, Dato`Dr. Shan turned this motivation into his own success story. He was further encouraged by his elder brother and made it a point to complete his education beyond the tertiary level, an option not explored by many others within his village. “I was born and raised in the area that is now the Selayang Hospital and we were poor,” says this quiet, unassuming man. Poverty however, was not an obstacle.
After completing his Bachelor of Accountancy at University Utara Malaysia, he started working at Ernst & Young while teaching part-time at the Stamford College Group. He then went on to seek higher academic achievements. Armed with a Masters in Business Administration from University Putra Malaysia, then a PhD from Bircham International University, and currently pursuing a degree in Jurisprudence from University Malaya, this Chartered Accountant set out to achieve his dream.
While at Ernst & Young, his former boss, the now retired Director General of Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri, gave him one good piece of advice which he practices until today. “He told me that when I’m at the office, focus on work and when at home, focus on the family. This principle has helped me a lot although I do admit I spend 13 to 14 hours a day in the office,” he smiles. Then there is his teacher and mentor, Dr Arjunan Subramaniam who inspired him to become a taxman. “It’s what I’ve always wanted to be,” he says simply.
He started Shan & Co in February 1998 at the age of 33 and describing himself as a straightforward character, he explains the years he spent working in various organisations. “I needed to earn that experience in order to gain the confidence of my clients. But my ultimate goal was to start my own establishment.”
He started out by working from a rented table in a friend’s office and now seven years later, he runs a successful auditing and taxation company with a staff strength of 35 and offices that take up four floors of a shop lot building in Kuala Lumpur. “Some of the staff here have been with me since I started.” The office environment is friendly and relaxed but the respect towards the boss is evident in the effective and efficient manner in which work is carried out. “We are like one big family and I make it a point to get to know their families too.”
This is one of the ways in which he feels that the business will thrive. “It is the staff that makes the company work, not me alone,” he says explaining his emphasis on staff unity. He intends to even create a profit sharing scheme to motivate the staff and encourage a sense of belonging to the organisation. “In this way, they get something back for all the hard work they put in.”
While running his own firm, Dato`Dr. Shan makes time for other commitments. He lectures part-time in a number of academic institutions, organises public counselling services for young entrepreneurs while acting as student counsellor and advisor at the National Vocational Training Council. He has been appointed company auditor and liquidator by the Ministry of Finance, Malaysia, and is a regular speaker at seminars and conferences related to his vocation. Philanthropy is another large area he attends to with care. “I didn’t have much when I was growing up so I feel the need to give as much as I can to the less fortunate.”
Shan & Co’s plans for the future are ambitious. Dato`Dr. Shan knows that the competition is tough yet he does not see the need to limit his aims. “I want this company to be the leading Malaysian-based audit firm.” It may take him a while but he intends to run a hundred percent Malaysian outfit within the next five years.
“In order to achieve globalisation, Shan & Co needs to open up to affiliate itself with foreign auditors and let them know what we are capable of so that we can work together,” explaining his move towards creating a new website for the company. “It’s our way of letting the world know who we are.”