Are you ready for the battle ahead?
“The future finance professional is as much a strategist as an accountant.”
We live in an era of transformation, an era which is widely referred as the ‘Third Industrial Revolution’ fuelled by the giant and out of the blue technological developments viz. artificial intelligence and machine learning, data analytics, robotics, blockchain, and cloud computing. Undoubtedly, the dramatic advancement in science and tech has forced businesses to reinvent themselves, right from redesigning the age-old processes to reimagining the product and service offering, to rethinking the go-to-market strategies to re-engineering the business and revenue models. Every organizational function – be it sales & marketing, finance, HR or operations, is today facing a tempestuous heat; an unprecedented challenge to revamp itself, stay current and relevant, while timely delivering on the ever-increasing expectations.
Finance, which is often rhetorically labeled as ‘bean counter’, is all set to be completely disrupted by the changing business and industrial landscape, volatile economic environment, as well as immense thrust on adding value and achieving business objectives. This is really going to be intriguing as time spent in transactional activities would reduce substantially and finance professionals would find themselves doing more interpretative analysis, delivering consequential inputs on strategic business decisions. Take it with a pinch of salt, finance, hitherto, has focused mostly on ensuring robust finance control, risk management and, adherence to regulatory norms and internally adopted policies with less time to collaborate with business and pro-actively drive financial performance. Continue reading “The Changing Dynamics of the Finance Function”
Decoding the Sordid Saga behind the Hype, Gloss, and Glamour.
“No growth hack, brilliant marketing idea, or sales team can save you long-term if you don’t have a sufficiently good product.” – Sam Altman
We all aspire to be rich, successful, and famous, who doesn’t? Being ambitious, having an innate desire to accomplish something notable and chasing worthwhile goals is everyone’s ultimate dream. Why follow the traditional route when you can be different? But what happens when ambition transforms into insatiable hunger and leads to “bigger-is-better” attitude? How dire could be the consequences? Certainly, one is that greed of a few had led to dreams of many being shattered. This, to some extent, holds good in the context of the current state of hitherto thriving indigenous start-ups severely hit by flawed business models, funding winter, mounting losses and depressing investor sentiment resulting in mass layoffs and shutdowns. There is a recent view that the tall tales of Indian startups is over and the biggies like Amazon and Uber can proclaim victory. Call for protection from so-called ‘capital dumping’ with risk capital drying up hints that the party is now over and one should be prepared for hell of a topsy-turvy experience. Continue reading “Is Ache Din over for Indian Start-ups?”
Decoding the “Jio or Maro” bet, Senior Ambani can’t afford to lose!
“We Indians have come to appreciate and applaud Gandhigiri. Now, we can all do Datagiri, which is an opportunity for every Indian to do unlimited good things, with unlimited data,” – Mukesh Ambani
We live in extraordinary times when the world is at the dawn of a digital revolution. The emergence of disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, SMAC and Internet of Things (IoT) is reshaping human civilization in a fundamental way while posing major challenges to businesses in terms of innovation and reskilling, developing new age products and solutions, partnering and creating value for the customers and most importantly survive the technological storm. Every industry, be it manufacturing, retail, healthcare, education, entertainment, is going digital, embracing the rapidly evolving technologies not just to continue being relevant and avoid obsolescence but also to capture the market and seize opportunities offered by the transformation.
The Indian Telecommunication sector which has its own history of disruptive innovations is no exception. Whether it is the emergence of revenue killer over-the-top messaging apps, big data and GPS-based free services, cut-throat price per second tariff plans, shifting of business model from voice to data, the USD 37 Billion industry has seen it all. Continue reading “How Reliance Jio unleashed the much-needed digital tsunami in the Indian Telecom Industry”
Demystifying the unusual growth story of Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Empire.
“An Indian, who built Yoga empire, a product and symbol of the New India, A yogic fusion of Richard Simmons, Dr. Oz and Oprah Winfrey, irrepressible and bursting with Vedic wisdom.” – New York Times on Baba Ramdev.
What started in 1997 as a small sized pharmacy, Patanjali Ayurveda Ltd. (PAL), today, is arguably the fastest growing company in the Indian FMCG sector, a USD 50 Billion industry once dominated by multinational behemoths – the likes of Unilever, P&G, Nestle, Colgate – Palmolive, Johnson & Johnson. From shampoo and biscuits to ghee and noodles, and now apparel and footwear – no other indigenous company has built such a well-diversified product portfolio. It has grown more than ten times in revenue in last five years, an unparalleled feat in India’s FMCG industry. The company which is targeting revenues of Rs. 10,000 crore for FY 2016-17 and Rs. 20,000 -25,000 crore in FY 2018 has extensive sales channel of over 5000 distributors, 15,000 stores, and 100 mega-marts. Moreover, it has also tied up with retail chains like Future Group, Reliance Retail, Hyper City and Star Bazaar as well as leading e-commerce platforms. The recent announcements of Rs. 1,600 crore food park in Noida and Rs. 1,200 crore production facility in Assam as well as the buzz around Patanjali’s plans to go public signals the company’s robust expansion plan. Continue reading “The Epic Rise of Patanjali: Game-changer in Indian FMCG Industry”
Decoding the wildly exciting collaboration between Finance and Technology
“Fintech is changing the finance sector just like the Internet changed the written press and the music industries. In what is a stagnant sector monopolized by banks, finance is ripe for innovation and fintech is unquestionably the catalyst needed for change.” – Philippe Gelis
Fintech represents a novel cohort of progressive enterprises that leverage cutting edge technology to deliver financial products and solutions that are far more agile and seamless compared to conventional services provided by traditional financial institutions. It is, in essence, a new generation of specialized firms backed by disruptive technologies such as behavioral and transactional analytics, machine learning, blockchain, biometrics, cloud and mobile that enables, compete and collaborate with market participants to re-engineer the age-old processes, operating model and infrastructure ultimately transforming the end user experience. Continue reading “Is FinTech the Next Big Thing or a Flavour of the Season?”
“The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change.” – Bill Clinton
The world around us is rapidly changing and it is changing at a dynamic and ever increasing pace. The progress in the field of science and technology is transforming our lives fundamentally, impacting everything we do – be it the way we shop, order food, pay, transfer or borrow money. The advent of AI and robotics has led to massive disruption across industries, revolutionizing business models and has forced businesses to transform themselves for the sake of survival.
From self-driving cars to intuitive automatic vacuum cleaners to self-propelled lawn mowers that know the difference between overgrown grass and carefully maintained flower gardens, new age shopping technology such as Amazon Go which are free of queues and check-outs, accurate legal advice from virtual assistants like IBM’s Watson, tasks that once took up so much of your time will soon become the responsibilities of intelligent systems. Continue reading “Why you should look at AI positively and not fear from it.”
“If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.” – Bruce Lee
The one thing I have found in common in people who are at the top of their game is that they never stop when things are good enough. They are always striving for perfection.
Everyone is good enough for anything. But a small number of people are remarkable in what they do because they go the extra mile. That means they go beyond average, dedicate time and efforts and make personal sacrifices. It’s a sure way to success and great results in any area, but few are willing to actually do it. Continue reading “Going the Extra Mile: Above and Beyond the Call of Duty!”
We have all been pulled into meetings where our only purpose seemed to be to warm a chair, and we’ve endured hour-long meetings still rambling at the two-hour mark. Rhetorically speaking, the innate objective as to why organizations typically hold meetings is to discuss ideas, debate issues, overcome obstacles and drive outcomes ultimately getting things done. Why is it, then, that most meetings only serve as time sink or even chewing the fat? The truth is that most meetings end up being about as valuable as a Snapchat post – people talk, ideas quickly disappear without outcomes or follow up. Well, perhaps not so surprisingly, a major reason is because most people multitask during meetings, making them far less efficient than they could be. Continue reading “Effective Meetings!”
What makes superman a hero is not that he has power, but that he has the wisdom and the maturity to use the power wisely – Christopher Reeve.
CFOs are people who generally occupy a position next only to CEO (read it “power”) and are expected to exercise it with utmost integrity, responsibility, and accountability. With the ever changing nature of business models, technological advancements and the dynamic environment in which an organization operates, the role of CFO no longer remains of a finance controller, rather a strategic business catalyst who is expected to play a pivotal role in not just rescuing companies in the need of emergency but also in partnering with the business in helping them scale. The 21st century has seen a profound shift in the office of the CFO. It has shed its traditional image limited to financial stewardship, safeguarding assets, controls, and governance. Continue reading “CFO – The Corporate Super Hero!”