Mr. Jagdish Agarwal is the CFO at Owens Corning India.
Today’s business world operates in VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and ambiguity) scenario and that demands a CFOs role beyond the traditional boundaries. Now the expectation from CFOs is not limited to financial matters alone but they have to partner and support CEO to drive the business and maximize the shareholders value. CFOs are custodian of the shareholders wealth and considered next to CEO with lots of expectations. I think there are five critical areas that need CFOs focus and attention to drive planning, performance and maximize the shareholders value. Continue reading →
S. Venkat and Abhiram Kandoor explain why education businesses need good CFOs
While the education sector has seen explosive growth in recent times, investments by PE funds and emergence of organised corporates, the sector is also faced with challenges due to government intervention, rules and regulations covering partnerships, capacity building and even pricing and requirements of large upfront capital investments. Whether it is pre-primary, K12, higher education skills or online assessment businesses, navigating choppy business waters without a good CFO at the helm can be daunting for management.
The one key element that has changed the way of doing business is the flow of information. The new-age CFO must now realise that he is no longer expected to linger in the background and surface every time the results are to be announced.
As the one person in the organisation who has intimate knowledge of both the past performance and the expected future growth, it becomes his responsibility not only to steer the company towards a better future but also be able to provide a transparent, big picture view of the future, to internal stakeholders, customers and investors. Continue reading →
A start up is much like the car that all driving schools have with two sets of controls, one with the promoter and the other with the CFO. It is upto the CFO then to determine whether and when to accelerate and when to apply the brakes on the fast growing start up’s growth. Here’s a look at some of the challenges that the CFOs are likely to face in their roles in a start up.
In a startup, the CFO is supposed to play the role of the trusted confidante of the entrepreneur, who might have opposing views to the promoter. A key challenge for the CFO is to walk the tightrope between his role and mindset, where one is telling him to tread cautiously and the other urging him to take risks. He also needs to be able to convince the promoter that sometimes divergent views are key to arriving at the company’s shared goal in the most effective manner. Continue reading →
A new age investor is someone other than a money lender, family, friends. These are Private Equity/ Venture Capital funds (institutional funds) or Angel investors (entrepreneurs/ professionals who invest in ideas/entrepreneurs) or High Net worth Individuals or Mutual Funds, Institutions, shareholders who invest in listed companies and understand the art of making money/returns on their investments. They are also professionals who are/have been entrepreneurs, run businesses or been/are part of a professional set ups. Continue reading →
A CFO is amongst a rare breed of people who is not just responsible for his own function/ department but is also required to contribute to the other functions within an organization. The CFO now has to straddle and importantly contribute to the company’s business functions. The CFO is often labelled as someone who is conservative, takes a very ‘numerical’ view of the business and does not understand the business intricacies.
Companies think hard when it comes to investments or spends relating to diversification to new geographies, new product introduction, Capex, R&D, marketing spends, M&A activities etc. While there is always a sense of optimism associated with any new initiative, these need to be viewed from a stand point of whether the spends will generate reasonable returns over a finite time frame. This is where the role of the CFO becomes crucial. The CFO here not just need to look at situations like these from a numerical stand point but also need to understand the underlying business assumptions that make up the spreadsheets.