Tag Archives: Financial Reporting

SuperChat with SuperCFO – Vikas Chadha

  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?
Vikas Chadha:
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?
Vikas Chadha:
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?
Vikas Chadha:
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?
Vikas Chadha:

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?
Vikas Chadha:
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?
Vikas Chadha:
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?
Vikas Chadha:
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?
Vikas Chadha:
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?
Vikas Chadha:
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?
Vikas Chadha:
Autobiographies; as they are real. Loved the one on Mahatma Gandhi.

SuperCFO: Any sport that you are passionate about?
Vikas Chadha:
1. Tennis
2. Soccer
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..

SuperChat with SuperCFO – Rajesh Surana

Rajesh Surana This week on SuperChat with SuperCFO, we are proud to present Rajesh Surana, CFO at Holcim (Lanka) Ltd, which is a part of the global Holcim group. Being the market leader in the cement industry, the company focuses on Economic, Social, and Environmental performance along the triple bottom line of sustainable development. Rajesh heads the Finance and Accounts function for them out of their Sri Lanka office. Rajesh has over 14 years of work experience with Multinational Companies (all are world leaders in their respective fields).
In this freewheeling chat, Rajesh talks about the lighter facets of life, his passion for writing in the digital and electronic age, why he admires Ratan Tata, Dhirubhai Ambani and Narayana Murthy amongst a host of other interesting perspectives and philosophies on management and life.

Education: IMD (International Institute for Management Development) – Business Programs, Mangement Program, Strategy, leadership, marketing, manufacturing, finance & accounting – University of St. Gallen, FCA: Accounting, Audit, Company Law, Financial Management – The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, FCS: Company Law,Secretarial,Legal – Institute of Company Secretaries of India

Companies Worked with: Holcim (Lanka) Limited; Delphi Automotive Systems; SABMiller India Ltd; A.F.Ferguson & Co.

SuperCFO: What particular skills or talents are most essential to be effective in your job apart from formal training?
Rajesh Surana:
1. Gaining deep understanding of business is most important. A CFO has to co-pilot the CEO and steer the business in the right direction, while ensuring robust controls and financial discipline.
2. Acting as a role model for the team; showing genuine efforts in their development; coaching and mentoring them.
3. Effective communication and expectation management.
4. Delivering results.

SuperCFO: Who is your role model and why?
Rajesh Surana: I do not have any role model as such. However, I admire those people who find their inner fire and are go getter; no matter what the world says, no matter what adverse circumstances they face, they do not stop until they achieve their mission

SuperCFO: What has been your biggest achievement professionally?
Rajesh Surana: I had a satisfactory professional life. I graduated from one of the best colleges of Commerce in Asia, was in the merit list of CA and CS exams. I became Head of Finance of Holcim (India) at the age of 28, and promoted a year later as South Asia CFO for Holcim Services. At 33, I was appointed as Country CFO for Cement operations of Holcim Sri Lanka

SuperCFO: Who are the 3 Corporate Honchos you admire a lot and why?
Rajesh Surana:
1. Dhirubhai Ambani; for his clear vision, proactive implementation of the same, and successfully executing that vision into personal and professional success.
2. Narayan Murthy for being the frontrunner of the IT revolution in India and for sharing of wealth with the stakeholders.
3. Ratan Tata; for taking the Tata group to the next quantum leap while maintaining a strong sense of business ethics, and managing to carve out a global vision for his group.

SuperCFO: Which are the 3 companies you admire a lot and why?
Rajesh Surana:
1. Apple for clear understanding of the customer needs and delivering it through simple innovations and their great marketing and unique selling propositions.
2. Google for creating wealth of information which enables us to take faster decisions.
3. Microsoft, for heralding a revolution in the software world and innovating products, which make our professional lives much more efficient.

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?
Rajesh Surana:
1. Simplifying the highly complex and cascading tax structure.
2. Stopping all employment guarantee schemes and creating more jobs through capital spending in infrastructure
3. Reducing people in government departments through process simplification, standardization & automation.
4. Creating level playing field for SMEs to compete with the best in the world

SuperCFO: What would you advise aspiring CFOs on dos and don’ts to become a successful CFO?
Rajesh Surana:
1. Never compromise with your integrity.
2. Be flexible to support the business, but if you have a point of view, express it openly & clearly.
3. Communicate effectively.
4. Always look at the big picture and avoid the accounting mentality.
5. Do not wait; take decisions.

SuperCFO: What are your 3 “Must Ask” questions in an interview?
Rajesh Surana:
1. What do you want to become and how are you going to achieve it?
2. If selected, what are the three things that would be your priority?
3. What would you like to achieve in the first 90 days of your employment in the company?
Usually I focus more on the attitude of the person and clarity of mind over technical skills.

SuperCFO: Which is one accounting software that has impressed you and why?
Rajesh Surana: I am greatly impressed by Tally, having used it for so many years for my personal accounting work as well as during the initial part of my career. I have never come across a better and simpler accounting package than Tally.

SuperCFO: How do you manage talent with in your team?
Rajesh Surana:
1. Continuous Engagement beyond work. Sometimes having a coffee is more fruitful than a business like discussion.
2. Giving clear feedback – most managers are afraid of giving clear feedback.

3. Celebrating every success – recognition of words is no less than monetary rewards
4. Discussing their developmental needs and playing the role of a mentor in their achieving them.

SuperCFO: Are you a gizmo freak? What is your favorite gadget?
Rajesh Surana: I am not really a Gizmo freak. I am still fond of writing and most of the time; I need a piece of paper to draw my mind onto it. In gadgets, I primarily use my
Blackberry and iPad/iPod, which have made my life so easy and efficient that I cannot think of living without them.

SuperCFO: What is your favorite piece of literature?
Rajesh Surana: I read a lot about spirituality and religion. In addition to that I like the two great Indian epics Ramayana and Mahabharata, both of which contain the best case studies on leadership than found anywhere else. The stories of Panchatantra remain etched our memories and will continue to do so as a beacon, guiding us through the inclement phases of our lives and helping us prepare for all eventualities.

SuperCFO: Any sport that you are passionate about?
Rajesh Surana: Among indoor games, I enjoy chess & carom. Among outdoor games I like to play badminton and I mostly watch all cricket matches.

SuperCFO: Describe some of the activities that you undertake to de stress yourself?
Rajesh Surana: I go to the gym regularly and am also fond of walking/jogging & swimming when the time permits me. In the evenings I very often go for a coffee with a friend or spend time with the kid’s which is the best de stressing activity.

SuperCFO: What has been your favorite vacation destination and why?
Rajesh Surana: Switzerland is my most favourite vacation destination. I also like to spend time in Bali (Indonesia) which contains some of the nicest beaches. In India I like to go to the picturesque locations of Rajasthan viz. Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur. I also like to go to the hill stations of Manali, Sikkim, Ladakh & Kashmir

Did you know this fact?

Did you know this fact? Parker Brothers (the inventors of Monopoly), have printed more money for its Monopoly games than all the money the Federal Reserve has ever issued in real money for the United States. If you stacked up all the Monopoly sets made, the pile would be more than 1,100 miles high.

Did you know this?

Did you know this?  Vision in Entrepreneurism!

Coca Cola was first discovered in 1886 when Dr. John Pemberton, a pharmacist accidentally stumbled upon the recipe for the soda in a brass kettle in his backyard. A visionary entrepreneur named Asa Candler bought the formula from Pemberton in 1891 for would you believe; a monstrous USD 2,300/-. Need I say more? The rest is history!