Sterling Snapshot | Tushar Jain, Chief Financial Officer
30th Jan 2024
Chief Financial Officer, Tushar Jain, joined Sterling’s Cramlington site in 2012 to implement a new strategy to support Sterling’s future growth. Read on to learn more about his, and his teams’, responsibilities across Sterling’s global network.
Can you briefly describe your background?
I am a Chartered Accountant by background, and I always had a keen interest in the workings of a business. I actually started working for my father’s business when I was a teenager, which is when I realised that I liked numbers and was good at working with them. This is what inspired me to go into accountancy.
I began my career with Deloitte, completing audits for a range of large and small companies. This gave me foundational knowledge of the industry, and I worked in this role for around three years. Due to the diversity of Deloitte’s customer base, I had the opportunity to work with a variety of sectors including the pharmaceutical industry.
I then moved on to work for KPMG, supporting their customers with mergers and acquisitions. This was a role change for me, but I knew I wanted to expand my experience in this area, so it was a great opportunity. Although I enjoyed my role at KPMG, I wanted to have a go at executing what I was advising others on and move to an in-house role.
This is when I joined Shasun as Head of Supply Chain at its India facility, also supporting with mergers and acquisitions due to my previous experience in this area.
In early 2015, I was relocated to Shasun’s subsidiary in England, which is now known as Sterling’s Cramlington facility. Here, I became Head of Finance and Procurement. In this role, I worked alongside the rest of the senior leadership team to implement a new strategic growth plan to support Sterling’s future and promote business growth and development.
What are your main responsibilities as Chief Financial Officer at Sterling?
I oversee the finance team, which involves coaching and training team members, and I work to develop long term strategies to help shape and transform the future of Sterling.
An important part of my role is helping all employees, regardless of whether they work in the finance team or not, to understand the financial goals and ambitions of the company. This inevitably helps individuals to make effective decisions which consider our financial aims.
Chief Financial Officer
The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants
Mergers and acquisitions, auditing, finance
What are some of the top priorities in your role?
One of my main priorities as Chief Financial Officer is to support Sterling with sustainable, rapid growth to help meet customer and market demands. To do this, we constantly review investment opportunities, demand, capacity, availability, and market requirements to shape our strategy and investment plans to ensure a secure future for Sterling and our customers.
We want to make sure that any acquisitions we undertake bring value to our business, our customers, and our employees, whether that’s additional capacity or new capabilities and technologies, to help expand Sterling’s offering.
In our view, investment and our environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy will help secure Sterling’s future. Through this we ensure that we are giving back to our employees and our local communities. This is the right thing to do and also supports our growth.
Can you tell us a little about Sterling’s growth over your time as Chief Financial Officer?
When I started working at the Cramlington facility back in 2014, our revenues were £25m with one site. Today, we are at £350m with six sites across the world. We have grown significantly over the years, through both organic and inorganic growth. We have transitioned from around 300 people in 2019 to over 1,300 in 2023, and have a great workforce on board, across every department, who help us to achieve these results and support our customers. We wouldn’t be able to do any of this without them.
We constantly review investment opportunities, demand, capacity, availability, and market requirements to shape our strategy and investment plans to ensure a secure future for Sterling and our customers.”
Can you tell us about the future plans for your department?
We have grown to six sites now and we are looking to further align and automate processes across the network to support our One Sterling goal. In the long run, this will allow our employees to engage in more value adding activities, removing some of the resource intensive and monotonous work.
Our pipeline is strong, with around 115 molecules within the clinical phase as of August 2023. Our aim is to support these customers throughout their molecule’s journey. So, it is key for our business to continue delivering the great customer service and partnership we are known for. This will allow Sterling to continue to grow, and ensure we are able to make the key strategic investments required in order to support our customers and new prospects with their ever-developing market requirements.
As a finance team, we are trying to make sure that finance is considered across every department within Sterling, rather than us working in a silo. This will allow us to increase understanding across our sites and support our future growth goals.