CFO's Role Explored at CFO Summit, Mumbai


Mumbai: A CFO is considered as a key influencer as he has the responsibility of maintaining a good financial management system in the company. He interprets and analyses the financial structure and decides on how to invest the company's money, keeping in mind the risk and liquidity. In addition to this, the role of the CFO is also to oversee the capital structure of the company.

Considering the above facts, the CFO Summit was organized on April 18, 2013 in Mumbai where Top Financial Executives gathered and shared their views in various discussions and interesting sessions. The conference covered topics ranging from Sustainability Business Performance Management using 4P’s to CFO as a Transformational Agent and Unravelling Financial Transformation to What’s Next for CFOs.

The CFO Summit was initiated with the Inaugural Keynote Session on “CFO as a Transformational Agent” by Ramesh Swaminathan, President - Finance & Planning, Lupin. It was then followed by an interesting panel discussion on “Sustainability Business Performance Management using 4Ps: How CFOs can boost up the Value”. Jet Airways’ CFO, Ravishankar Gopalakrishnan was the moderator and the panel consisted of:  Krieshan Groverr, Group CFO, Wadhawan Group, Manish Jhunjhunwala, CFO, Agility Logistics India, Venkata Kishore D, CFO, Huawei Telecommunications Mumbai, Sumeet Kumar, CFO, Global Holding Corporation.

Speaking on the topic, Krieshan said “The Sustainability Performance Management (SPM) has to be more strategic than tactical. CFOs have to accept the fact that movement of sustainability and green strategies is going to stay forever. They will have to upgrade their skills and develop matrix for reporting on sustainability and green strategies and the focus has to shift from reporting to analysis.”

The successive session was by Gaurav Sundaram, Country Director, Egencia India on “Global Best Practice in Corporate Travel Spend: Generating the Optimal ROI”.

We can’t deny that the role of the CFO is undergoing a metamorphosis.  With the rapidly changing environment, businesses need to be driven by the global markets. To address this change, a panel discussion on the topic “What's next for CFOs?” was also held. The panel consisted of Neeraj Jain, VP Finance, Supply Chain & Strategic Distribution, Johnson & Johnson Medical India, Ranjan Narayan, CFO, Viacom 18 Media, Sachin Raole, CFO & SVP - Corporate Services, RPG Life Sciences. The discussion was perfectly moderated by Ganapathy Subramaniam, CFO, Hathway Cable & Datacom.

Speaking on the role of CFO’s, Neeraj said “For future CFOs, there is a clear shift expected from transaction based accounting, tax, banking and audit dominated roles to strategic business partnering with an ability to predict and manage change as well as provide an increased level of governance and compliance.” He further threw light on the responsibility of CFO by adding “Stakeholder management, whether internal or external, shall remain a key responsibility for the CFO. Managing talent in a fast changing environment shall be a key differentiator. Technology adoption would help release time for the CFOs to attend to other emerging priorities.”

Overall, the CFO summit served as an excellent platform for the Senior Financial Executives to network with their like-minded peers who are responsible for taking critical decisions and responsibilities for the growth of an organization.

The CFO Summit was well received by more than 70 CFOs and was supported by SBI Corporate Cards, American Appraisal, iXCFO Services and Egencia.