Corporate India has gone through a lean patch in the last couple of years but even in these tough times there are those companies that have excelled. To judge these performances — as part of the FE CFO Awards 2017 — a jury headed by R Seshasayee, chairman, Infosys, YM Deosthalee, chairman, L&T Finance Holdings, Leo Puri, managing director, UTI Asset Management, Amit Chandra, MD, Bain Capital, and Pradip Shah, chairman, IndAsia Fund Advisors, spent the better part of a morning last week.
Picking winners from hundreds of companies across a variety of sectors isn’t easy; after all, every sector has its own set of challenges and each operates in a different business cycle. Even if broadly categorised between manufacturing and services and sliced into segments based on revenues, it is hard to compare performances. Much of the heavy lifting had been done by the team at Deloitte which sifted through the numbers and ran the checks to make sure nothing had been missed. Several parameters were taken into account including profitability, current ratios, leverage and return on net worth — and weightages were assigned — to come up with a manageable shortlist.
The jury members, while using the data as a basic tool, brought in their perspective; several other metrics were put to use depending on which one was felt to be the most apt. More importantly, other factors were considered — the pedigree of course, management quality and corporate governance standards. It’s the better managements that usually have strong financial track records. Every candidate’s performance was discussed in detail and these companies were compared. More often than not, the contest was a keen one but in a couple of instances, there were clear winners. Those companies that walk away with the awards can be sure they’ve done a good job given their performances have been judged by a very experienced and highly competent team of professionals.