The Changing Dynamics of the Finance Function

Are you ready for the battle ahead?

“The future finance professional is as much a strategist as an accountant.”

Overview

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”

The Epic Rise of Patanjali: Game-changer in Indian FMCG Industry

Demystifying the unusual growth story of Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Empire.

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“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.

Overview

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”

Is FinTech the Next Big Thing or a Flavour of the Season?

Decoding the wildly exciting collaboration between Finance and Technology 

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“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

Overview

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?”

CFO – The Corporate Super Hero!

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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!”