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Progressive TSL profiles: Pam Persand

Progressive TSL profiles: Pam Persand

11 June 2020

Pam has been at Progressive TSL from almost the very beginning, watching the business grow, change, and adapt. Here we discuss what it was like to be there when Progressive TSL started up and what changes she’s seen to the company over the past decade.

How long have you been at Progressive TSL?

I was the third employee at Progressive, I started in January 2010, and for a while, we didn’t have an office. I just met Marianne (Progressive TSL’s Founder and COO, Marianne Walcot) for meetings and coffee and then went back to my home and worked on our growing client base of Infor SunSystems implementations. But once we started getting busier, I found myself working in an office with 10, then 20, then more people.

Tell us more about your role at Progressive TSL?

I am part of the finance team, from the origins of Progressive right through to present day (before the current travel lockdown she was due to travel to Gabon) I have been travelling to various locations, like Seplat’s offices in Lagos and meeting with their finance teams - helping and supporting them throughout their implementation and management of SunSystems.

What path had your career taken before joining Progressive TSL?

I had many roles before I joined Progressive TSL, one of the most memorable places I worked was at Marie Stopes (Women’s Healthcare Provider) for eight years. As their Systems Accountant, I was helping the offices to implement and use SunSystems, and during my time there, I visited places like Afghanistan. I have also worked on the systems and management accountancy sides for Christian Aid. 

What attracted you to work at Progressive TSL?

Really, it was Marianne who sold me on the idea. She interviewed me for an interim role within the Finance Department of a large oil & gas business– where Progressive were providing Systems Accounting support. I really liked the way she interviewed: she knew what to ask – obviously, she knew the ins and outs of SunSystems and financial management in oil & gas. When Marianne heard my interim role had finished, she contacted me and asked me to come on board. 

What’s it like working at Progressive TSL?

It’s really great: the team is a good size and really friendly. Right now, while working from home, I miss the busyness of the office and going to visit our clients (all the clients love Pam – she has a wonderful rapport with them, often when she goes to client’s offices, there’s a queue to see her!). I have been having team and client video calls which work well, but I do miss our face-to-face meetings.

What do you enjoy most about working here?

I get a warm glow from helping people.  When I can help make a client’s life easier by suggesting quicker or better ways to do things in SunSystems and Q&A (e.g. centralising data like production numbers, so all departments have access) you can see that it really makes a difference, and that feels good.

Where have been your favourite places to travel for clients?

I have been to lots of great places in the ten years I have been here. I like going to Lagos and visiting Seplat – that’s always nice. I have been to Ankara in Turkey a few times, and I loved the atmosphere there - one of the friends I made at a customer site, showed me around the markets on a day off, they were amazing, so colourful! I have also visited one of our gold mining clients in Burkina Faso; the size of the pit was incredible!

What’s changed since starting to work here (10 years ago) until now?

Definitely the size of the company - when we first started it was just me, Marianne and Chris (Chris Walcot, Progressive TSL’s CEO, then along came Alex (Alexandra Taylor, Finance Lead) and very rapidly we have grown into a sizeable company. We are not so big that we lose that personal touch that we have with our clients. Over the years, we have developed a ‘Progressive way of doing things’ - which upholds Progressive TSL’s high standards and best practices.

What do you like to do to relax?

I like to do arts and crafts, and I decorate our local temple. Last Diwali, I made a Rangoli (beautiful patterns traditionally made in coloured sand for the festival) out of beads so that it could be used again. I also have two children (11 and 13), so my family life keeps me pretty busy!

Finally, is there anything you want to add about Progressive TSL? 

What I like about Progressive is that we are not rigid. We listen to clients and the business, and we adapt. We find ways to make things easier for our clients, and we have the flexibility to do that. And once we have finished our implementation of a system, it does not end there; we keep that relationship going, offering best-practice solutions and making suggestions that help businesses to get the best from their systems – and that for me, gives great job satisfaction!

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