The 12th edition of CFO Leadership Summit organised by Exito Media Concepts Pvt. Ltd. in Mumbai on June 13, 2018, delivered good insights on the emerging challenges of the CFOs against the backdrop of the fast-changing business environment. This summit served as a guide to the journey of the CFOs to attain the next level of excellence in their profession. Top 20 CFOs were honoured at the event for their continued commitment to excellence, and developing best practices and strategies.

It is well known that the job portfolio of CFOs is no longer restricted to just finance management, rather it is continuously evolving to accommodate more and more demanding tools of business management including digitisation, data analytics, artificial intelligence, risk management and several non-financial information analyses that drive the financials.

The demanding scenario
The conference started with the welcome note delivered by Rishikesh Shetty, Founder and MD, Exito Media Concepts Pvt. Ltd., who highlighted the transformation in the Indian business environment, and stressed the need for versatile skills to be successful as a CFO in today’s complex industry scenario. Next up, the Global CFO of Netmagic, Alok Bajpai, deliberated the industry keynote suggesting the need for the all-around grooming of the CFOs – who are practically expected to deliver no less than CEOs under the circumstances today.

Solutions to challenges
There were several presentations at the event by the partner companies. Richard Johnson, Director, Solutions Group, Asia Pacific, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, shed light on ‘How data science can help companies manage T&E spends without impacting the businesses’. Anantharaman Balakrishnan, Head Enterprise Business Development, Amazon Internet Services Pvt Ltd, talked about ‘Unlocking resources for digital transformation’. Archibald Serrao, Business Manager, Oracle NetSuite, spoke on ‘Why fast-growing companies adopt cloud financials to accelerate growth’. John E Matheson, Chairman, One Delta Technology Solutions Pvt Ltd, focused on ‘Value creation through legal compliance’. Also, Ramesh Iyer, Senior Adviser, Happay, discussed ‘The 5th wave in T&E expense management: AI enabled automation’.

Meeting expectations
In a panel discussion moderated by Alok Bajpai, Global CFO, Netmagic, panelists included Deepak Harlalka, CFO & Head IT, Raychem RPG Pvt Ltd; Nitin Khanna, CFO, Inorbit Malls (India) Pvt Ltd; Bibek Agarwala, CFO, Raymond Lifestyle; Ashutosh Verma, VP Product Management, PayMate India Pvt Ltd; Manas Datta, Group CFO, Wockhardt Ltd; and Dinesh Modi, CFO, Cactus Global – discussed how CFOs are entering a new era with Analytics 4.0. They stressed on the need for developing a digital mind set and focused on the journey from descriptive analytics to predictive analytics to perspective analytics.

In another highly-perceptive panel discussion which was moderated by Nabomita Mazumdar, Mentor of Change at NITI Aayog, Yogesh Dhingra, CFO & COO at Blue Dart Express Ltd, Essar Project; Sambasivan G, CFO at Tata Sky Ltd; Jayant Menghani, CFO at Company Secretary and Whole Time Director at DHL Supply Chain; Rajneesh Jain, CFO at Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd; Paresh Gupta, CFO at GVK Bio Group of Companies; and Archibald Serrao, were the panelists. They brought forward the transforming role of the CFO as a strategist-catalyst partner. They reaffirmed that although compliance does not save cost, non-compliance costs much more. Also, they stressed on the fact that every CFO needs to thoroughly understand what the CEO of the company is thinking.

Praise for the event

“I came to this event to find out how the business environment is changing, what trends are becoming prominent, what forthcoming challenges are expected in my way, and what kind of solutions are being offered to prevent those. I have come across several technological developments here. In particular, I like the solutions being offered by companies like Happay.” — Alok Jain, CFO & Director Finance at Weener Empire Plastic Pvt. Ltd

“It was a good platform for understanding what is happening in the industry. Also, the event offered a great networking opportunity. I have come to know about several things here that my industry peers are thinking. I am very happy to get an idea of some of the best practices that I can implement in my company.” — Jaidip Dhar, Finance Controller, and Head of Shared Service Centre at Raymond Ltd

“The demography of the participants in the event was really good. I have developed several important and new contacts. In my day-to day life, I don’t usually get time to interact with field seniors, this event has given me that opportunity. I have spent some quality time with Mr. Sambasivan – who is a field senior. For me, it was a grand opportunity for partnering with my community.” — Narain Raamkumar, CFO, Tessolve Semiconductor Pvt Ltd

“I have thoroughly enjoyed all the sessions. The content of the event was very good. All the speakers were quite knowledgeable. I really appreciate the Amazon’s presentation. Most of the solutions being displayed here are very good. However, every organisation will have to further verify the application benefits in their organisation, but the solution vendors definitely have got here a nice platform to display their offerings. Overall, it was a very successful drive.” — Rajneesh Jain, CFO, Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd

“Considering the vastness of every CFO’s operating area today, such an event is always beneficial – as it improves the knowledge-base of all present in the event – either through listening the peers or seeing the solutions being offered in the market or through interaction with others. As new and different challenges are emerging every day, interaction with the community is absolutely important these days. Thanks to the team Exito for creating such a nice platform.” — Manas Datta, Group CFO, Wockhardt Ltd

“The megatrends that are coming up are based on technology and digitisation, which will bring in disruptive changes. The role of the CFO will be to keep abreast and align with those changes. We have to come out of our financial cells and start getting into understanding what is happening around us. This event provided me with a very nice opportunity for interaction with my peers and discuss the new industry trends.” — Alok Bajpai, Global CFO, Netmagic

“I am grateful to be in this CFO Leadership Summit. CFOs who are making the investors invest in the projects – and making sure that the money that has gone into the business comes back with targeted profit; need to be highly capable. And today, they have to depend on technology. Now the question is how to go about it? This type of events helps them find out the answer, and particularly this Exito event has successfully delivered that.” — Nabomita Mazumdar, Mentor of Change at NITI Aayog

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