Exclusive interview with Mehrzaad Mogrelia

Mehrzaad Mogrelia receives the Global Pride Award 2021 for achievement in the field of Financial Crime Prevention. His focus is on establishing his credentials in the field of Financial Crime detection and prevention through his freelancing work. Here’s an exclusive interview with Mehrzaad Mogrelia:

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

Professionally, I am a Financial Crime Investigator, having qualified as a Certified Financial Crime Specialist from the Association of Certified Financial Crime Specialists, U.S.A. in January 2020. I have completed my Master in Commerce (Accounting and Business Law) from the University of Sydney, Australia in 2019. Adding on to the professional front, I have around four years of experience in the accounting, auditing and taxation fields having headed quite a few audit projects of varying lengths and nature.

My hobbies include reading, swimming, quizzing and writing. I am also an author of my first book titled- ‘A Quest Called Life’ which was published in 2020 and since then, it has sold more than 500 copies and won 15+ national and international literary awards.

What were the challenges that you faced initially and how did you overcome them?

One of the main challenges I have faced and I guess is prevalent almost everywhere is the age-old question- “How much are you going to earn while freelancing?” “Why don’t you take up a 9-5 job that’s much more secure and has a guaranteed payout?” 

It did play on my mind to some extent as well but my vision and path were clear. I wanted to do something for myself and fulfil my dreams rather than working for someone else and hence, decided to take the big step into the freelancing world and the rest is there for everyone to see.

The next big challenge which I believe is a challenge for all the freelancers is building a client base. I was completely clueless as to where should I start from? Should I be looking it up on freelancing platforms? Should I be talking to my contacts? I tried out a bit of both and I guess when you are taking such a big risk, you need a little bit of luck going your way and luckily one of my contacts had a project on which I could work. Since then, it’s been hard work and the goodwill spreading to other clients through recommendations and that’s how I successfully built my client base.

What has been your most significant achievement?

Having qualified to be a Certified Financial Crime Specialist at the age of 27 where the average age of people qualifying for the exam across the globe being well over 30, till date remains a significant achievement for me on the professional front along with unearthing embezzlement of around $100,000 in an organization in Sydney, Australia in 2018.

On the personal front, my biggest achievement is finishing second in the Asian Quizzing Championships representing Australia in 2019 and being the youngest to secure a podium finish.

How do you come up with new ideas?

I go (or defy) by the saying- “An idle mind is a Devil’s Workshop.” For me, however, an idle mind becomes a factory of ideas. In short, I think of new ideas to solve problems within my field of work when I do nothing. Besides that, I put in a lot of research through various digital platforms and magazines to understand the prevailing issues and then work out solutions (as well as alternate solutions in case one fails) to eradicate the issue and produce effective results.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

Growing up, I have always wanted to be a swimmer and have competed at various university and city levels throughout my life so far, hence my biggest inspiration has been Michael Phelps, not because of the sheer number of Olympic medals he has won throughout his career but for the perseverance and fights through adverse situations that he has displayed along with the legacy he has left which is unparalleled. That alone inspires me to strive to do better with each passing day.

What motivates you?

Two of my biggest dreams are: Owning a Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport which is one of the fastest cars in the world and travelling to every country of the world. To achieve, one needs to be ruthless with their vision and persevere through all difficulties. I have formed an image of these two dreams in my mind and stored them in my phone. Hence, every morning, even when I don’t feel like getting up, seeing the image of the two dreams pushes me out of the bed and motivates me to do better every day.

What does a typical day look like for you?

My day starts with waking up at 9 am followed by freshening up and having breakfast after which my working day starts at 11 am and doesn’t have a fixed ending time. However, there are two important periods for me during the day- lunchtime and working out. I refer to these periods as ‘me time.’ I believe ‘me time’ in between work and post is essential as it gives us some time away from work to re-energize and refresh to strengthen our focus to carry out our pending tasks with higher efficiency and deliver the best results.

Who do you look toward for advice?

I have a very close circle of people that I look up to for advice. That circle includes my family and three to four close friends who know me well and who I know will never guide me or advise me anything wrong.

How do you define success?

Success for me is rarely defined by numbers or statistics. It is defined by how one has progressed today from yesterday and the best part is that when this positive shift happens, numbers and statistics automatically better up.

What are your growth plans for the next 12 months?

The next 12-month period will solely focus on me establishing my credentials further in the field of Financial Crime detection and prevention through my freelancing work and spreading awareness on the various type of frauds happening across the globe and looking to foray into the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) space, specifically.

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