Experienced CFO Rohan Higgins Offers Financial Insights as an Industry Guest Lecturer
An MBA is a notoriously rigorous degree, with the finance curriculum often regarded by students as the most challenging, especially for those with little experience in the area. It is for this reason that the facilitation of practical learning in these subjects is so valuable, and why AIB’s partnerships with their Industry Guest Lecturers are so important.
With that in mind, we’re delighted to announce a new addition to our team of Industry Guest Lecturers – Rohan Higgins, Chief Financial Officer for Kyocera Document Solutions Australasia. Rohan is a veteran CFO with decades of experience in the financial sector, and he will be sharing the skills and insights he’s acquired throughout his career with AIB students to enhance their learning journey.
Rohan boasts over 20 years of senior finance, strategy, operations and transformational leadership experience across a range of sectors and businesses including NRMA, GE, Fuji Xerox and Thrifty. He holds a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) from Monash University, an MBA from AIB and he is a CPA.
Rohan’s career started in banking and finance in the 1980s with the Commonwealth Bank. His next career opportunity was with a steel distribution company, where he gained a lot of experience in the accounting stream and held multiple roles. In 2000, Rohan joined Fuji Xerox where he was exposed to system and process implementation and change, before a few years later taking on a role with GE Water & Process Technologies across South East Asia and Australasia.
Reflecting on his time with GE, Rohan shared, “That was probably the piece that changed my career. It gave me global exposure as I was the Head of Supply Chain Finance as well as Chief Financial Officer of the Southeast Asia region.” He continued in roles in that region, next working for a company that was under threat from its first serious competitor in 100 years. “There were a lot of defence mechanisms that were put in place, structural changes, process changes and system enhancements,” Rohan remembers. “That gave me a real introduction to transformation and change processes, which really helped me over the following few years.”
Back in Australia, he worked with Rentokil, NRMA and then Thrifty. “Thrifty was going through some pretty tough times when I joined the company as CFO. So, my role there was really to transform the procurement finance side and develop the sales area,” said Rohan.
After four years with the company, Rohan followed a passion of his to take on a CFO role with corporate mental health care provider Converge International. An interesting appointment for Rohan, the organisation had a not-for-profit as well as commercial aspect, with growth rates of 25-35% per year.
Rohan commenced with Kyocera in December 2017, so he’s still relatively new to the company. “It’s an industry I’m familiar with,” he shared, “But it gives me a chance to develop further in this particular function and move back into products.”
Reflecting on his MBA, which he graduated from not long before taking the role with Kyocera, Rohan shared that it broadened his business perspective and gave him a more rounded appreciation of the key business units.
Clearly understanding the mindset of an MBA student, he’s keen to share his in-depth knowledge and insight in finance to enhance the practical learning journey for current and future AIB students.
Having commuted interstate each week for his executive role while studying the MBA, Rohan understands and acknowledges the challenge postgraduate students face in trying to fit in study commitments around a full-time workload. To manage, he says, he concentrated on his priorities, “Other than your health and your family, you have got to ascertain what your priorities for the period are. For me, it was about developing myself and setting up a foundation for the future, so I just invested time, energy and effort into successfully completing the MBA.”
We’re delighted to welcome Rohan on board to guest lecture with AIB and share his expert insights in the subjects that are often regarded by students as the most difficult – Financial Management and Corporate Finance. Welcome Rohan!