The stage is set and the countdown begins. Come September 22nd, Thursday and the power, perspective and the new thinking-propelling capacity of the intellectual engine of the Indian finance arena will be on display. The FE CFO Connect Conclave 2022 is seeing some of the best minds from the Indian financial world and the industry sharing thoughts and swapping ideas on what is driving change in way financial decisions are made today and how the role of a chief financial officer or the CFO is getting redefined.
The developments over the past three years when the focus across the board was on containing the pandemic and dealing with the co-morbidities of the economy, the centrality of the role of the finance arm of organisations became clear. As every project proposal awaited a ‘Yes’ from the CFO, it became amply clear that the nod-giver was no more the bean-counter of the yore but a de-facto chief executive officer with a deeper and more strategic role.
No more was the CFO seen as a chartered accountant immersing himself or herself in spreadsheets and expected to back-channel with banks but one who is a key player with an unprecedented knowledge depth – be it on matters relating to compliances, regulations, handling investor relations or communications or arguably being an investment banker within an organisation.
The theme of the conclave – where financial decision-making happens for an autonomous future -, the focus of each of the sessions is to gather insights and experience of experts on how they see the landscape change and what to expect in the months and years ahead. The first session looks at the changing role of CFOs and the need to have the CFOs in sync.
To look at these and much more and sharing fresh insights and their deep expertise will be leaders from the industry like Keki Mistry, the vice chairman and CEO of HDFC Limited, an entity that is today a leading provider of finance for Indian homebuyers with Mistry known for his stellar role in the Indian finance firmament. Jaspal Bindra, executive chairman, Centrum Group and a globally known face from India in the banking arena. He is known to many as the veteran banker who led Standard Chartered as the CEO for the Asian region. Today, he is known for his key role in transitioning the Centrum Group from a pure play financial advisory business to become a diversified financial services group and not to miss his drive behind Centrum’s banking venture – the Unity Bank, a digital first bank.
The FE CFO Conclave is also to have the benefit of the deep expertise of D Sundaram, vice Chairman at TVS Capital Funds. A former vice chairman and CFO at HUL with over three decades of professional experience in corporate finance, business performance, governance, talent management and strategy. He also serves as an independent director on the boards of several leading companies.
Taking part along with Sundaram in the first session of the day, will also be Dinanath Dubhashi, the managing director and CEO of L & T Finance Holdings Ltd and an expert who has a wealth of experience spanning over three decades across multiple domains of financial services ranging from retail and infrastructure lending, rural finance, corporate banking, cash management, credit ratings, insurance and wealth management. He has been co-chairing the FICCI Committee on NBFCs.
Since healthcare occupied the mindspace of many business leaders, the perspective that K V Subramaniam, the president at the Reliance Life Sciences, would share here would be crucial. A chemical engineer, and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad and also a chartered financial analyst, Subramaniam comes with deep expertise in a career spanning over four decades with the Reliance Group and Indian Petrochemicals Corporation with experience across functions (from corporate planning, business development, project management to marketing) and across sectors (petrochemicals, energy, alternate energy, infrastructure, insurance, education, agriculture, healthcare to now life sciences). Reliance Life Sciences is into bio-therapeutics (plasma proteins, biosimilars and novel proteins), pharmaceuticals, clinical research services, regenerative medicine (stem cell therapy), molecular medicines and several other areas.
This session would be followed by select panellists of leading CFOs sharing their insights on key elements such as role in strategic decision-making, data and aspects of building resilience, digital upskilling of workforce and dealing with risks. While the conclave is getting most of the best minds across organisations and sectors, some of the CFOs speaking at the conclave include: Tarun Rustagi from HSBC Life Insurance, Pramod Nair from Everest Industries, Anand Batra from Pepperfry, Sandhya Sriram from Narayana Health and Nitin D Parekh from Zydus Lifesciences.
Looking closely at digital upskilling would be Amit Prabhu from Puma India, Narayan Saraf from Thermofisher, Puneet Sabharwal of Stellantis India, Abhishek Gupta from OYO, Abhinav Jain Ranka of Pharmeasy, Prateek Chandra of IndiaMart InterMESH, Parag Parikh of Adani Total Gas, Amrit Singh from Max Life Insurance Company, Amit Gupta of P&G Healthcare, Kapil Singla of Essar Power Business Group, Saibal Sengupta from Orient Electric.
The various sessions are to be ably moderated by experts such as Gaurav Agarwal from PwC India, Amit Rahane from EY India, Somdeb Sengupta from KPMG in India, Ankur Bhageria from Cashflo apart from Sushanth Pai from Matrimony.com.