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BW Businessworld

Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant Speak At The BW CFO Awards

The YES Bank presents BW Businessworld CFO Awards were held at Taj Palace today (11th May). The awards, given under various categories, celebrated and honoured the best CFOs in India

Photo Credit : Ritesh Sharma

Mahesh Sharma, Minister of Tourism, Independent Charge, discussed the importance of ‘CFO’ as a profession. “CFOs are the biggest agent of change for an Institution and they are the drivers of India’s growth and the most critical agents in the growing economy”, he said. He also added how CFOs need to be futuristic in their approach since they have a critical role in determining the country’s future.

Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, also enthralled the audience with his words. He stressed on the importance of CFOs in a company and stated how their roles remain unrecognized and unappreciated. “CFOs are strategic thinkers and the most forward looking people in an Organization. The companies have started realising the importance of CFOs and the biggest example is Indra Nooyi, the CEO of Pepsico, who was initially their CFO. CFOs shape a Company’s future, as they understand the Company to its core”, he said. He also added how modern day CFOs are futuristic and more critical than a CEO. Mr. Kant talked about the big technological transformations across the Globe.

The opening remarks were proceeded by a Panel Discussion on “Deregulation, Digitization and Demographics”. The panellists included Mr. P.R. Ramesh, Chairman, Deloitte Haskins& Sells LLP, Premkumar Shesadri, Vice Chairman & MD, HCL Infosystems, Ashwani Lohani, CMD, Air India, Kevin Kimm, CEO, Mosaic India, Yashish Dahiya, CEO, Policybazzar and Manish Agarwal, Director Finance, Harley Davidson.

Mr. Ramesh talked about redefining the roll of a CFO. He said, a CFO should be more futuristic and strategically strong, ‘The role should change from news reading to news making in the future’, he added.Mr. Kimm discussed the impact of CFOs in a company, and that a CFO drives an organization.
The panel also discussed the fourth D, Demonetisation. While all the panellists pointed out how demonetisation disrupted the balance of finances, they emphasised on the importance of the role of CFO in grappling up with the revolutionary reform.

Mr. Agarwal insisted the CFOs not to get stuck in Financing and get into business and visualize the risks. Mr. Shesadri advised the CFOs to be more compliance oriented. He praised the role of CFOs and cited them as the ‘face of the Organization’ and a major growth driver.
Air India CMD, Mr. Lohani talked about the important role of CFOs in protecting the assets of an Organization and how CFOs act as a Catalyst in an Organization.