Naseba Chief Financial Officers highlights role of CFOs in a flat world

September 15th, 2008 - 10:56 pm ICT by ANI  

Mumbai, Sept 15 (ANI/Business Wire India ): The role of the CFO has been discussed time and again over the years. With the markets opening up, the responsibilities of the CFOs have become complex and demanding and require constant reinvention of the role.

D D Jalan, CFO, Vedanta Resources PLC set the scene by discussing the changing pressures on the CFOs as their role extends.

He emphasized the need for creating shareholder value, which includes striking a balance between growth and non-dilution of controls.

Jalan said, For companies which are expanding their footprints in the global markets - multiple governance requirements assume huge importance considering it’’s presence in various geographies. Striking an example, he mentioned that Vedanta is perhaps the first Indian company to be reporting under three different accounting standards - Indian GAAP, IFRS and US GAAP.

Taking the discussion further, Marc Rudolf from Greater Zurich Area AG highlighted the trend of Indian companies using Europe as a destination for freeing up profits through tax effective structures.

According to Marc, the large revenue-generating markets are usually also high-tax jurisdictions: Smaller European countries are more flexible and provide better conditions for European Headquarters and Shared Services Centres, especially Switzerland which politically is not a member of the EU and can set its own tax rates.

The forum also had an interesting educational case study on M&A presented by Kaushik Chatterjee, Group CFO, TATA Steel, highlighted the various cultural, financial and strategic challenges that a CFO faces during an M&A deal and the post integration challenges.

The event also had Bruce Rigby, the global retirement business leader, Mercer UK emphasizing on the changing landscape of pension plans and liabilities. As Indian companies grow, they acquire the features of a multinational firm and face similar challenges, including those of pension and liabilities.

Bruce further mentioned, There are issues that need to be considered for the Indian market, including changing healthcare costs, the need to engage the employees in order to keep committed workforces and also the application of technology to improve the benefit and HR processes generally. These are all global challenges which face all global businesses. What perhaps may be unique about India is the speed in which these issues are increasing in importance.

A panel discussion led by S Sreenivasan , CFO, Bajaj Alliance and V Balasundaram, CFO, Frost and Sullivan and moderated by Saurav Majumdar, Deputy Executive Editor, Financial Express, debated the current market situation as a signal towards the downturn. There was a consensus that the Indian market being led by domestic consumption witnessed a slowdown/blip, but not a downturn. S Sreenivasan also suggested that the inflation will not dampen the current investment pipeline.

The growth and future of debt market in India was discussed by D R Dogra, Deputy Managing Director, Credit Analysis and Research Ltd wherein he underlined the role of credit rating in debt market development and focused on the importance of debt market as an alternative source of funding.

Naseba’’s CFO Strategies India had a unique format where in apart from attending keynote presentations and interactive panel discussions, the CFOs also had the opportunity to attend educational workshops led by an industry specialist or expert trainer, designed to provide an in-depth analysis and strategic approach for the specific topic concerned and encourage one-on-one interaction with the participants that enables them to discuss their specific concerns in an exclusive, problem solving and interactive environment.

These workshops led by Pike Electronic, BT India and Pricewaterhousecoopers (PWC) , focused on 3 different streams each led by a specialist from topics revolving around Technological investments, network IT infrastructure and Mergers and Acquisitions.

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