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The new-age CFO and his many avatars

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Many avatars of the new age CFO

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

Working with the PE – Role of the Modern day CFO by Vikas Chadha

Vikas Chadha CFO

Vikas Chadha, Chief Financial Officer,
Berggruen Hotels Pvt Ltd

CFO is one of the earliest moves made by a PE firm upon adding a company to its portfolio. PE investors want to track the Investee Company’s financial situation as soon as they are invested. While the acquired portfolio company may have solid financial systems and reporting, the PE firm’s first priority will be to upgrade the financial structure and transparency by adding a new CFO.

PE investors prefer CFOs who have worked in both large and small corporates. The large corporate experience provides an understanding of sophisticated corporate systems and the experience in a small company helps to test and enhance the CFO’s resourcefulness and ability to deliver when removed from the expansive support systems of a large corporate setting. Continue reading

A CFO`s guide to balancing company spends and investments

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.

Read more: A CFO`s guide to balancing company spends and investments