Meet Ashok Mehta – Biopharmaceutical Consultant
Member Stories: Ashok Mehta
While Ashok Mehta focuses on his Biopharmaceutical Consultancy, we’re helping run his limited company accounts so he can spend time doing what he loves.
Ashok began his career in biopharmaceuticals 38 years ago. After taking on contractual work in 2003, he enjoyed self-employment so much that he set up his own limited company and, since then, ‘has never looked back’.
“When you work as a freelancer, you have unlimited freedom and flexibility. I only work on projects that I love and enjoy. It’s all about being happy!”
Ashok highly values the independence and freedom he gains from self-employment.
“I came to my retirement age at 66 this year, and as you age in life you really realise what’s more important to you. I realised I need to be in control of my own destiny, and that required having the flexibility self-employment gives me to have a work-life balance, see my family, relax, reflect on my life, and do things I want to do rather than to be in permanent employment”.
“My favourite part about self-employment is the range of experience I’ve had. If you remain in a permanent position for years, you only ever know one way of doing things. But if you move around a lot, you get a broader range of experience and each day is much more varied. It’s such an interesting way to work as you gain experience of different culture and working environment.”
Before deciding to work for himself, Ashok had his own set of concerns about financial security, stability, and how to pay off his mortgage but he quickly overcame these fears.
“I’ve contributed heavily to my private pension from the word go, so I’ve never been worried about these kinds of financial arrangements because I’ve always known how much I need to live on. And now I’ve been contracting for 18 years, if I don’t work for 6 months it doesn’t even matter… I’m covered.”
Although Ashok is very independent and knowledgeable about his financial arrangements, whenever he does have a query, his accountant at JSA is always on hand to help. “I have nothing but praise for my accountant at JSA. Every time I have a query, or something is wrong, my personal accountant helps me out straight away. JSA takes care of all my invoices, my P60, they help me keep track of my dividends and salary – and they’re always there to guide me through it.”
“I’ve never had a problem finding new contracts or searching for work. It’s very easy for me. In my industry, a lot of it is word of mouth – people you’ve worked with before recommending you. I also get a lot of calls from agencies with opportunities. So, it’s never been a problem.”
“If I were to do anything differently in my career, it would be to begin in self-employment sooner.”
“When I was in permanent jobs, the freelance consultants I would work with would tell me the benefits of this way of working, but I think early in my career I was a bit complacent and naïve, I was settled in my permanent job with my company car. But honestly, I should have gone into consulting earlier – it’s the best way to work. You can be independent, flexible, and make your own decisions. It’s a great position to be in. Even if you don’t decide to set up a Limited Company straight away and you choose to work via PAYE – I still say do it before it’s too late.”
“Don’t wait for the perfect time to start as it will never come. My favourite saying in life is: don’t strive for perfection, aim for progress. Now is the best time to become self-employed.”