CFO Perspectives Episode 2
Transcripts from the second installation of our CFO Perspectives series where we gain insights on harnessing the digital agenda from the finance stalwart, Mr. Sambasivan G, CFO, Tata Sky.
Enterprises today are looking to optimise and re-assess their processes, what are some of the top learnings the finance functions should make a note of in the current situations which are applicable across functions and industries?
Firstly, enterprises need to focus on cash management and saving cash in a bigger way in the current COVID-19 situation. Earlier we used to manage or look at the cash flows once every week or so but now for instance I look at cash flows every day to make decisions on spending, investing, postponing projects, etc. Therefore, we need to make sure that the cash situation has to be managed properly.
Secondly, I believe whatever we as an organization have done over the past 7 years in terms of automation, I am sure that other enterprises will do it in one year’s time. Today, many companies are doing digitization and automation in a very accelerated way because it is mandatory to automate all of your processes to manage this kind of situation.
Thirdly, we need to adapt. Now people are adapting to the current situation and have started working remotely. The entire mindset of companies about what it means to manage and monitor employees have to change. We need to move from a process-based monitoring to a result-based evaluation now.
What is the best way for enterprises to maximize ROI by investing on automation technologies such as RPA Bots?
When we launched bots, we did not know whether it is going to be used at all by the way. One needs to take a “Leap of Faith” especially when initiating new projects with emerging technologies. The ROI will eventually be realized. We invested in bots because we believed it is going to be hygiene for the future i.e., somethings will change on its own, while we also need change for the future and definitely be in that space when the change happens.
What is your perspective on how the role of CFO has changed over the last many years?
The role of a CFO has drastically changed in the past so many years. Now it is more of a strategic business partner kind of a role than anything else. My primary role is to focus on the business, the future of business and how it can grow. My core role is to control costs, monitor completion of processes, carrying out of stakeholder governance, etc. which are the aspects of the hygiene role. However, I should be able to spend less time in the hygiene role and more amount of time for business partnering.
Finance resources need to become better business partners in the days to come by using the latest technologies and improve their story telling capabilities using data analytics.