“Do what you do so well, that when others see you do it, they want to see you do it again, and will bring others to see you do it.”

That quote comes from Walt Disney. It was this strategy he used to market Disneyland, and he said it could apply to any business, regardless of what that business sold or offered. India’s High Growth Businesses would do well to follow Walt Disney’s mantra. Indian Companies are now exposed to greater opportunities than ever before for expansion and diversification across sectors. Question is – are we capable of consistent and sustained focus on world class quality and total customer satisfaction?  While several Indian companies have been (and are) guilty of taking a short term view on this subject, things have improved tremendously in these last few years.  Primary among the factors that are driving this change is the recognition that Quality and Customer Satisfaction are not a ‘one off’ but a result of a strong value system with the Company, the desire to find practical solutions for customers, of strong internal processes that ensure quality and value delivery and a passion for excellence. 

How can CFOs help?  Every CFO has the authority and responsibility of ensuring that growth of his/ her company is sustainable in the long term.  The CFO is probably the only Senior Officer in most companies who has the moral and managerial authority to get High Growth promoters and CEOs to think long term and understand the trade-offs between immediate cost savings and benefits of improved customer stickiness accruing in the future.  Smart CFOs recognize that their role is not just to minimize costs and ensure P/L gains for the current year, but to enhance business value for their Enterprise in the long term.  Is your CFO helping you think about the trade off?

This issue of My CFO covers the importance of having a long term strategy document in the form of a business plan and also the introduction of the SME Exchange by the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) which will allow SMEs to access funds through the capital markets at a reasonable cost, in addition to the usual features on Book Review and WealthTree Case Study. So read on and hope you have a good time browsing through yet another edition of ‘My CFO’.

 

     

The importance of a comprehensive, well thought out business plan is crucial for the long term vision and health of any enterprise. Business Plan helps businesses to chart their business goals and objectives and also sets out the ways and means of helping businesses to achieve those objectives. Despite being a key ingredient to every business, many entrepreneurs drag their feet when it comes to preparing a written document. They argue that their marketplace changes too fast for a business plan to be useful or that they just don't have enough time, but just as a builder won't begin construction without a blueprint, eager business owners should never rush into new ventures without a written plan. Entrepreneurs need to realise that ultimately all of them are selling an idea be it to your customers, vendors, employees or investors and a written document gives the stakeholders involved the confidence that they are dealing with the right kind of business.

However, Business plan exercise is not a ‘one off’ activity. This requires periodic updation and revision in order to align your business goals with the external environment.  Good business plans are those which are looked at and updated atleast once every year to remind one of the new market trends, revisiting business targets, inclusion of new products/services to the portfolio etc. In short the ‘business plan must evolve as the business evolves’. Entrepreneurs or businesses take the assistance of professional consultants or look up to professional managers within their company to draw up a business plan. The non availability of resources should never come in the way of any entrepreneur to write a well thought out business plan since they may lose out on the benefits that comes with a solid, exhaustive and well thought out plan.

 


The "SME Exchange", a brand new exchange being set up by the country's apex bourse, the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), will offer small companies the chance to float initial public offers that retail investors can participate in. This seminal development has the potential to address a serious grouse that entrepreneurs and investors have had for long about the start-up ecosystem in India - the lack of liquidity options for small firms. 

"Companies can now raise as little as Rs 25 crore on the exchange all the way up to Rs 200 crore," said Lakhsman Gugulothu, CEO, BSE SME. What started as a white paper discussion in 2008 has now gathered steam, after almost three years and multiple iterations.

There is a felt need for developing a dedicated stock exchange for the SME sector so that SMEs can access capital markets easily, quickly and at lower costs. Greater liquidity in the public market will lead to better valuation for shares than would be seen through private transactions. It also helps listed companies to acquire target companies instead of a direct cash offering. Greater public awareness gained through media coverage, publicly filed documents and coverage of stock by sector investment analysts can provide the SME with greater profile and credibility.

This concept of an SME Exchange has been successfully implemented in some of the developed countries viz. AIM Exchange in London, JSE- AltX in South Africa, MOTHERS in Japan, KOSDAQ in Korea, GEM in Hongkong etc. The real test would be for all institutions or stakeholders in India to come together to make this interesting concept work.  



   
 

‘Making Breakthrough Innovation Happen : How 11 Indians pulled off the Impossible’

 

India is known as a country not of innovation but of improvisation—or 'Jugaad', as they say in Hindi. But that has begun to change. We have enough examples in this country of people who have turned industry norms upside down to pull off the impossible in their fields. Eleven such case studies are featured in the book, including: Titan, which came out with the slimmest water-resistant watch in the world; Su-Kam, a power backup company that did not fit into an existing industry but ended up creating a new one; Shantha Biotech, which developed a low-costHepatitis-B vaccine and ushered in the biotechnology age in India amongst others. Through the breakthroughs
achieved by these organizations, Author Porus Munshi shows that to do what is considered 'impossible' in your particular industry, you have to be subversive and think differently. In the process, if the existing business model needs to be turned on its head, then so be it!

To lay your hands on this book, please visit http://www.harpercollins.co.in/BookDetail.asp?Book_Code=2256
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 



 

MyCFO is assisting a large overseas crew services company in an IT implementation project.  The project involves optimizing the features available in the ERP, mapping client requirements with ERP’s standard features, selection of special configurations, testing of select features and assisting in a smooth rollover from legacy to the new system.  The implementation also included development of MIS and Business Intelligence reports from the ERP and the development of significantly improved controls, in a high volume, low profit environment.  Our involvement has helped the new management to cut process improvement time by as much as 6 months, ensuring that productivity gains are enjoyed by the Company, much earlier than initially anticipated. For more details of how your Company can get more out of an already implemented IT solution, without significant further investment in costs, please write to deepak@wealthtree.in  

 

 

Business Today in its tenth annual edition of ‘Best Companies to Work For uncovers new facets of talent management in the Indian workplace. To be read in the context of record attrition levels predicted for 2011, the survey makes for relevant, if not critical, reading for almost anyone in India: workers, managers, HR chiefs, CEOs, businessmen. In the survey, 75 per cent of the respondents said they will leave an organisation if they feel their career is not growing.  There are strong signals from the workplace that the life part of the work-life balance, acknowledged cursorily until now, is increasingly becoming a deciding factor in jobs.

To access the survey http://businesstoday.intoday.in/story/best-companies-to-work-for-survey/1/12570.html

 

WealthTree has been nominated as a Channel Activation Partner (CAP) for Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) cloud based ERP - iON. This partnership comes close on the heels of WealthTree being appointed a Channel Sales Partner for iON.  In its capacity as a CAP, WealthTree will reach out to fast growing companies who need cost-effective, easy to implement, practical but robust IT solutions to manage their business growth.  iON is a good solution for companies who need an ERP solution that is stronger than Tally, but without the complexity of a SAP or an Oracle.  For more details, please visit www.tcsion.com.

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  MyCFO is  Special Situations Finance and IT Solutions service.  The service is useful to companies who are in a high growth phase and to those which have specific, legacy issues that need resolution.  Main client groups include Family Managed Businesses, PE invested companies, technocrat promoters and large corporates.  

In the first three cases, MyCFO plays a full-fledged CFO role, providing Strategic and Finance support to the Promoters/ CEO in helping them to maximise business value and deliver business results.  My CFO is a commercial, risk management, governance, custodian role which a good CFO would play in a professionally run organisation - the only difference being that we play this role from the 'outside'.  In case of large corporates, which already have professionally qualified and experienced CFOs on board, MyCFO tends to work under the supervision of the client CFO for resolution of specific, legacy issues (messy reconciliations for e.g. or ERP implementations that have gone bad) or project specific initiatives (BI tools, improved control systems etc).  In either case, the focus is on actual implementation, rather than on advisory.  Invariably, this means that there would be one or more people from the MyCFO team working on onsite, on a dedicated basis at the client office.

In terms of functional areas, MyCFO is most active in development of Business Plans, budgetary systems, developing KPIs, establishment of advisory boards, running monthly business review meetings, raising PE funds, preparing for IPOs, implementation of ERP/ BI (all these generally for FMBs, PE invested companies and technocrat promoters) and in resolution of relatively complex legacy issues, IT roll out support, post merger integration support (these in the case of larger professionally managed corporates).

For more information on MyCFO, please contact SVenkat (venkat@wealthtree.in) at +91 98337 52537 or Deepak Narayanan (deepak@wealthtree.in) at +91 98671 56516.
 



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