This week on SuperChat with SuperCFO, we are delighted to present a tete – a – tete with Vikas Chadha, who is the Chief Financial Officer at Berggruen Hotels Pvt. Ltd. specifically Keys Hotels, a brand of Berggruen Hotels Pvt. Ltd, a New York based hospitality chain. Vikas is a Chartered Accountant, having completed his Bachelor of Commerce from Mumbai University, India. Vikas has a prolific professional experience of over 15 years in organizations of repute like Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Tea Limited, Thomas Cook. In this freewheeling chat, Vikas delves on his 3 favorite companies, and why he admires Steve Jobs. He admits that he is a gizmo freak; iPAD 3 and Wii being his favorites. For more on the SuperChat, please read on……
Education: Bachelor in Commerce (B.Com.), Chartered Accountant (I.C.A.I.)
Companies Worked with: Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Tea Limited, Thomas Cook, Bharti Airtel Limited, Marico, Rochem Separation Systems India Pvt. Ltd. Berggruen Hotels Pvt. Ltd.
SuperCFO: What particular skills or talents are most essential to be effective in your job apart from formal training?
Vikas Chadha: Patience , perseverance, and hard-work are the most important attributes that a CFO must possess and exhibit. Also all modern day CFOs have to be extremely comfortable with the use of IT and should leverage the same to improve systems and processes.
I feel the CFO is the one with the complete view of the business and should be involved indepth in the running of the business.
SuperCFO: Who is your role model and why?
Vikas Chadha: My role model would be Steve Jobs for his unconventional intelligence and his persistence for innovation and quality. These two features differentiate his company and have been the pillars of growth and hold true for all new startups.
SuperCFO: What has been your biggest achievement professionally?
1. I have been able to drive businesses and make them profitable.
2. I have in my previous stints also worked with startups, which I have grown from Zero base to nearly US $ 100 Million in valuation
3. I have been strong on process implementations and streamlining operations and getting work done in the most efficient manner.
SuperCFO: Who are the 3 Corporate Honchos you admire a lot and why?
1. Narayan Murthy – everyone knows his strory and how he created Infosys
2. Ratan Tata – for his tenacity, leadership, and vision
3. Anand Mahindra – For creating a multinational conglomerate of a typically Indian company and brand.
SuperCFO: Which are the 3 companies you admire a lot and why?
1. HDFC bank – Tremendous growth and high thought leadership.
2. Marico Ltd – Innovative thinking.
3. Indian Hotels Ltd. – Taj – for the world wide image and branding that it has created for the company as well as the country.
SuperCFO: Assume that you are indulging in role play. If you were given the position of the Finance Minister of your country, what would your top priority agenda items be?
1. Interest rate reductions to enable industrial growth.
2. Enhancing employment opportunities.
3. Reduce inflation and make India self sufficient on necessities.
SuperCFO: What would you advise aspiring CFOs on dos and don’ts to become a successful CFO?
1. Follow your instincts.
2. Always do what is right for your organization.
3. Stand up for the cause and be counted.
4. Its important to have your opinion.
SuperCFO: What are your 3 “Must Ask” questions in an interview?
1. What is your Key Driver to change?
2. What is your long term vision?
3. Have you been a contributor in the past – what are the key contibutions to your business so far in your career?
SuperCFO: Which is one accounting software that has impressed you and why?
1. SAP – Highly process driven.
2. A CFO’s delight once implemented though SAP requires a lot of preparation and time and effort to chart out the individual process.
3. It is an investment and will pay rich dividends in long term.
SuperCFO: How do you manage talent within your team?
1. Job Rotation
2. Learning opportunities
3. Cross functional learning opportunities
4. Creating project teams with finite targets and rewards linked to achievements
5. Showing how their efforts are impacting the organization and it’s growth.
SuperCFO: Are you a gizmo freak? What is your favorite gadget?
Ya sure, I own an iPad Retina Display and simply love it.
I also love gaming consoles like Wii, and PlayStation.
SuperCFO: What is your favorite piece of literature?
Autobiographies; as they are real. Loved the one on Mahatma Gandhi.
SuperCFO: Any sport that you are passionate about?
Love to play and watch both of them
SuperCFO: Describe some of the activities that you undertake to de stress yourself?
Vikas Chadha: Love listening to light music; really works everytime.
SuperCFO: What has been your favorite vacation destination and why?
Vikas Chadha: Loved my trip to Macau, stayed at Venetian and then spent a few days at Disneyland at Hongkong. Was the most favourite as my son enjoyed the experience a lot and he still fondly remembers the family time spent together by us..