We are delighted to feature an interview with Sherullah Khan. Sherullah is the Vice President and Head of Taxation at American Express for the JAPA Region.
How and why did you get into tax?
I studied tax in my final year of university and, as I went along, I fell in love with it. Tax is a very interesting subject which requires a good understanding of tax laws and accounting. You also need to possess good common sense and a strategic mindset if you want to practise it as a career. When I began my career life, I started with banking, then as a police inspector (trainee stage), and I subsequently saw an opportunity in Tax at Ernst & Young Hong Kong. I have enjoyed being in Tax ever since.
Who has been the most influential role model for your professional life?
My parents, who had performed their jobs professionally with great diligence, passion and integrity. I was also lucky to have worked for a number of managers in my job career who were very good to me, taught me many things and became friends.
What do you see as the biggest trend affecting the tax world over the next 10 years?
BEPS, digital economy, and the rise of other major economies such as China and India and their efforts in shaping the tax landscape.
What is your pet hate when dealing with advisers?
Those who focus mostly on their short term goals rather than on the long term and who do not try to form mutually beneficial relationships.
In a movie of your life story, which actor would you like to play you?
Chow Yun-fat of Hong Kong. He has been my TV/movie idol since his starring in Shanghai – The Bund (a TV series).
What would be your dream job if you didn’t work in tax?
A medical scientist who lives his life in making discoveries for the good of all mankind.
What is your biggest extravagance?
A sweet little cottage in the quiet countryside of Hong Kong as my holiday home.
What do you do to relax?
Play sports, read Chinese historical novels and poems, cook for friends and family, and go for short vacations ... and a good foot massage is also a nice pamper.
What is your favourite holiday destination?
China especially the historical parts of Beijing.
What piece of advice would you give your 16 year old self?
Work hard, help others as much as you can and do everything with good integrity and conscience.