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‘Once in a career’ experiences

In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Serco has been contracted by the National Project Management Organization (Mashroat) to help transform government services at a national scale. Mitesh Amin (above, far right) joined the Mashroat contract in 2019 as our Director of Enablement, based in Riyadh. His career with Serco began in the UK in 2006, before moving into Operational Strategy and Transformation consultancy for Serco in 2013. Mitesh returned to the UK in 2016, having worked in the United Arab Emirates, KSA, Qatar and Bahrain. 

Here, Mitesh shares his experience of international transfer with Serco, and his advice for following in his footsteps. 

What does the opportunity to work on the Mashroat contract mean to you? 

Once in a while, Serco is privileged to work on something truly inspirational. The vast scale of what we’re doing here is very special – it certainly made my eyes light up! We’re working with 16 Ministries and other government organisations. Collectively they spend billions on operations and maintenance, manage more than 300,000 employees and maintain more than 40 million square metres of property. That’s not even the full picture – we’re still gathering data! Our work will have a profound impact on Saudi society and the economy – through employment opportunities and the development of an entire supplier ecosystem, for example. 

And from a developmental perspective? 

This is a stretch assignment like no other – for all of us. It’s given me the opportunity to sharpen existing skills whilst learning more about myself. I’m working with experienced and inspirational people and I’ve returned to client-facing work, which I really enjoy, but with more responsibility than ever before. I have the privilege of reporting to Assistant Ministers of various Saudi Government Ministries and being asked for perspectives on macro-economic issues. 

What is the value of international experience for you? 

My development at Serco has been second to none. I’ve gained a lot of experience in working with people from different backgrounds and cultures, a much broader perspective on business and a strong desire to apply all I have learned from one region to the next. Being able to transfer knowledge and capability across different geographies gives me – and Serco – great versatility in developing solutions and delivering services for our customers. 

What does it take to get international experience and be successful in it? 

If you want international experience, let people know. Talk to people in different parts of the organisation, especially in the locations where you want to work. At Serco you can pick up the phone and talk to just about anyone. My most important opportunities have found me through colleagues and managers. 

Be prepared to step up and stretch further each time. It’s not easy but reaching beyond your comfort zone and embracing new challenges is the best way to grow. Go with your instincts, not your fears, and the results may surprise you. 

It’s not just about you, though. Get your family on board – it has to work for them as well. It can be difficult, but also beneficial – helping everyone to grow by becoming more resilient and adaptable whilst broadening their horizons. Get to know new colleagues before you move as well. They’ll become your new friends and family, so you need to align your thinking to theirs. 

Applied to any opportunity, all of this together will help you to get the most out of it, put your best into it and have a great time in the process.