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Biz Integration recognizes CFOs across industries for invaluable contributions to nation-building at the 4th Edition of India CFO Awards 2024

New Delhi, February 22, 2024 – Biz Integration, India’s fast-growing event-organizing company that brings together conferences and corporate events in a diversity of industry verticals, recognized the noteworthy contribution of Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) from across the country at the 4th Edition of the India CFO Awards 2024, held at The Park New Delhi on February 16th, 2024. This esteemed event honoured their incomparable commitment, strategic far-sightedness, and state-of-the-art financial management in navigating their organizations toward excellence in the present day’s fast-changing business environment.

 

The high-energy event commenced with a traditional lamp-lighting ceremony by Dr. Lalit Bhasin, President of the Society of Indian Law Firms and Immediate Past President of the Bar Association of India, and Urvashi Neogi, Founder, Biz Integration; Ruchika Kohli, Presales Senior Specialist, SAP Concur and graced by the esteemed presence of industry stalwarts.

 

In the current times, the role of CFOs exceeds the traditional boundaries of financial management and taps into responsibilities involving strategic decision-making and transformative project leadership. 

 

The India CFO Awards 2024 aimed to recognize and celebrate the exceptional contribution of financial heads who have showcased impeccable skill, truthfulness, and innovation in their roles. The event provided a unique platform for financial professionals from various sectors to come together to share invaluable insights, converse with like-minded individuals, and nurture meaningful collaborations that integrally help shape the future of finance in India.

 

In his keynote address, Dr Lalit Bhasin, President of the Society of Indian Law Firms and Immediate past President of the Bar Association of India highlighted the evolution of professional roles over the decades, while focusing on the cardinal role of CFOs in today’s corporate landscape. He appreciated Biz Integration’s initiative in recognizing the undeterred contributions of CFOs while underscoring the transparent and rigorous selection process of the awardees.

 

In his words, “Having spent more than 62 years in the corporate world, I have witnessed a steep evolution of not only the legal profession but also of other professions in India during the last 6+ decades. Previously the roles and responsibilities for professionals in the accountancy and finance department were meagre. However, over the period, the remarkable evolution can be seen of this very important role, which is played by the CFOs. This evolution has come with the opening of the Indian economy in the 1990s and has seen a marked increase in the activities which are there now. We have now the dream of Viksit Bharat and Amrit Kaal, but then that is not possible unless you have the support of professionals. Eventually, it is the CFOs who are held responsible to the board, not only for the financial position but also for the implications of various non-compliances in this expanding world of rules and regulations. It is a brilliant initiative by Biz Integration to recognize the cardinal role that the CFOs play in the corporate world today. To recognize their merit, is a befitting tribute, to this great profession of CFOs.”

 

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Chief Guest and Jury, Shri Mahaveer Singhvi, Jt. Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, shared invaluable insights at the India CFO Awards 2024 that provide a comprehensive overview of the evolving role of Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) in India, tending to unearth their crucial role that is not only confined to their corporations but also in the broader context of national development and economic growth. His observations offer a detailed exploration of several critical areas. Singhvi underscored the transformation of the CFO’s role from traditional financial management to a broader strategic partnership within businesses. This evolution indicates a shift towards CFOs being integral to strategic decision-making, leveraging their insights to drive business efficiency and profitability. This expanded role includes forecasting, risk management, and strategic investment decisions, highlighting the CFOs’ importance in navigating complex business landscapes.

 

The acknowledgment of CFOs’ contributions beyond their corporations is significant. Singhvi connects the dots between corporate efficiency, profitability, and national welfare, emphasizing the critical role CFOs play in nation-building. He draws attention to the government’s vision of “Viksit Bharat by 2047,” aiming for India to become a developed economy with an estimated GDP of 27-28 trillion dollars. CFOs, through their strategic acumen and transparent reporting, are seen as crucial to generating investor confidence, both domestic and international, thereby attracting the foreign direct investment (FDI) necessary for India’s ambitious growth targets.

 

The focus on infrastructure development as a key area for CFO involvement highlights the need for strategic financial planning and investment. Singhvi points out the importance of CFOs in projecting a positive image to investors, facilitating the flow of FDI into India’s critical sectors. This aspect underlines the CFO’s role goes beyond just financial management and also taps into economic diplomacy and international business relations.

 

Singhvi emphasizes sustainable development, advising CFOs to integrate Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) compliance into their business processes. This approach is in line with global trends towards sustainability and responsible investment, aligning India as an active participant in the global move towards sustainable development. He suggests that CFOs should be at the forefront of this transition, leveraging their strategic position to integrate sustainable practices within their organizations.

 

Recognizing the significance of technology, especially artificial intelligence (AI) and digital tools, Singhvi points out the necessity for CFOs to integrate these advancements into their operations. The transition to a digital economy requires CFOs to be tech-savvy, using AI and other digital tools for better decision-making. This perspective indicates the need for CFOs to continuously update their skills and knowledge to remain effective in a fast-evolving business environment.

 

Singhvi also mentioned the inevitable contribution of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to the Indian economy and the specific role that CFOs can play in enhancing their efficiency, sustainability, and integration into the broader economy. This suggests a vision where CFOs not only manage financial operations within their organizations but also contribute to the wider economic ecosystem by backing up the growth of MSMEs.

 

Singhvi lastly touched on the critical issue of financial inclusion, suggesting how CFOs have a role in integrating unbanked segments of the population into the financial system through FinTech platforms. This perspective showcases the broader social responsibilities of CFOs, extending beyond corporate profitability to amplify economic inclusivity and accessibility.

 

Moving to the awards ceremony, jury member, Suparna Bhattacharya, CFO of Schneider Electric Infrastructure Ltd., shed light on her career progression from being an award contender to a jury member for the event. She applauded Biz Integration for its fair, rigorous, and transparent selection process in awarding honors and encouraged those who didn’t win this year to look forward to future opportunities.

 

Jury, Pankaj Vasani, Group Chief Financial Officer, Cube Highways InvIT, in his remarks, spoke about the thoughtful and comprehensive criteria adopted by the jury to select the awardees, recognizing their financial acumen and strategic contributions to their respective industries and the finance sector at large.

 

Jury, Sanjay Gulati, Executive VP and Group Head (Corporate Tax – IDT and Litigation), GMR Airports Ltd., GMR Group., highlighted the developing role of in-house finance professionals in making businesses compliant and strategically positioned on a global scale. He emphasized the shift in the finance function from traditional accounting to a strategic role surrounding risk management, governance, and investor relations, among others. He also pointed out the increasing specialization within the CFO’s role, requiring expertise in various domains to meet the mounting scope of responsibilities, including compliance and reporting. This evolution signifies the critical and multifaceted contribution of financial leaders to business growth and global presence.

 

Ruchika Kohli, in her presentation, emphasized the importance of future-proofing businesses by focusing on efficient and compliant management of employee expenses. She introduced SAP Concur, a digital platform that automates expense reporting and invoice management, ensuring compliance and reducing non-compliant expenses. Kohli highlighted that through SAP Concur, businesses can streamline their operations better, right from allowing employees for self-managed travel bookings to automating invoice processing, hence enhancing business efficiency and compliance.

 

Pradeep, discussed SAP India’s Spend Management Platform, highlighting its exhaustive utility across various industries, including organizations like Cube Highways InvIT. SAP’s portfolio aims to assist companies in achieving their KPIs related to financial performance, ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) criteria, and compliance and governance standards. A key aspect of SAP’s approach includes conducting “What if?” analyses, benchmarking, and evaluating the true cost of commodities or services to aid in financial decision-making. Pradeep highlighted the importance of managing risk (including supply chain, financial, and reputational risks), cost containment, and category management as top priorities for financial officers. The increasing focus on ESG factors in the KPIs of financial officers was noted, showcasing a broader global and international concern. SAP’s Total Spend Management portfolio, including the Intelligent Spend and Business Network, is designed to ensure that all company expenditures, from travel and expenses to payments to suppliers and service providers, are documented and managed efficiently, with an eye toward compliance and optimization opportunities. The portfolio addresses various KPIs, including sourcing, buying, supplier management, and risk management.

The winners at the 4th edition of India CFO Awards 2024 were: 

  1. Young CFO of the Year (Male) – Large Private Companies: Dinkar Bagaria, Sastasundar Healthbuddy Limited.
  2. Young Finance Leader of the Year, (Female) – Mid-Sized Private Companies: Lalita Narula, Zone Division – Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels Limited.
  3. Best CFO, Financial Services – Large Private Companies: Sahil Sikka, SG Finserve Ltd.
  4. Best Use of Technology – Large Private Companies: Cognizant.
  5. Best Finance Leader Tech – Large Private Companies: Uttam Gujrati, Tata Technologies.
  6. Best CFO, E-Commerce – Large Private Companies: Gautam Sharma, Brainbees Solutions Limited (FirstCry).
  7. Best CFO, Infrastructure – Large Private Companies: Kavita Shirvaikar, Patel Engineering Ltd.
  8. Best CFO, Infrastructure – Mid-Sized Private Companies: Dattatray Pandav, Magus Infratech Pvt Ltd.
  9. Best CFO, ITES – Large Private Companies: Vikas Jain, Hexaware Technologies Limited.
  10. Best CFO, ITES – Large Private Companies: Hemlata Nevetia, Allstate India Private Limited.
  11. Best CFO, Pharma – Mid-Sized Private Companies: Madhumita Routh, Medtronic Engineering and Innovation Centre Private Limited.
  12. Best CFO, Power Sector (Thermal & Renewables) – Large Private Companies: Anil Jain, Hindustan Powerprojects
  13. Best CFO, Manufacturing (Automobile) – Large Private Companies: Rakesh Bhalla, SML Isuzu Ltd.
  14. Best CFO, Manufacturing (Steel) – Large Private Companies: Amitabha Bhattacharya, Hariom Pipe Industries Ltd.
  15. Best CFO, Manufacturing (Apparel) – Large Private Companies: Rohit Saraf, JG Hosiery Pvt. Ltd.
  16. Best CFO, Manufacturing – Mid-Sized Private Companies: Srinivasa Rao Mopidevi, SATRAC Engineering Private Limited.
  17. Best CFO, Manufacturing (Chemical) – large Private Companies: Nandakumar Tirumalai, Tata Chemicals Limited.
  18. Best Finance Transformation Team of the Year – Large Private Companies: Capgemini
  19. Best Finance Transportation Team of the Year – Mid-Sized Private Companies: Williams lea India Private Limited
  20. CFO of the Year – Large Private Companies: Vikas Jain, Hinduja Leyland Finance Limited
  21. CFO of the Year – Mid-Sized Private Companies: Chandrasekaran V, Kaar Technologies India Pvt. Ltd.
  22. Best Finance Team of the Year -Large Private Companies: Patel Engineering Ltd.
  23. Best Finance Team of the Year, Mid-Sized Private Companies: Equiniti India Pvt Ltd.

The sponsors for the 4th edition of the India CFO Awards 2024 were SAP Concur as Spend Management Partner; Gold Partner – Patel Engineering Ltd., and Silver Partner – TRC Corporate Consulting.

 

Biz Integration envisions being a leading organizer of conferences and corporate events. The success of the 4th edition of the India CFO Awards 2024 celebrates the achievements of present-day financial leaders while also paving the way for the continuing evolution of the CFO’s role in driving business success and economic growth.

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