MIT Pune’s MIT School of Telecom & Management Studies (MITSOT) organized the 2nd edition of its CFO Meet on Saturday, 10th December 2016 at the MIT Campus in Pune. The theme of the Meet was “Roadmap for India’s Strong Economic Growth – The CFO Perspective”. The objective of this Meet was to give the students an opportunity to benefit from the expertise of leading senior financial professionals from Industry and interact on a variety of issues which will assist them in their future careers. These CFOs represented diverse sectors such as IT & Telecom, Manufacturing, Financial Services and Insurance. The Meet which was organized in the form of a Panel discussion comprised of the following CFOs :
- Mr Milind Choudhari, CFO, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Co. Ltd.
- Mr Praveen Agarwal, Director – Finance, Piaggio Vehicles Pvt. Ltd.
- Ms Samira Kulkarni, Finance Controller, Vedanta Ltd
- Mr Mangesh Deshpande, Founding Partner, Strategic Edge Advisors LLP & Former Director – Finance, Amdocs India
The panelists in their address highlighted important areas which will contribute to India’s economic growth story. Some issues which were discussed were related to Investments in Infrastructure, Make in India Initiative, Interest rates, Disinvestment, Government’s Fiscal Planning, India’s Demographic Advantage, Need for Skill Development & Quality Education etc. Initially, each panelist was invited to share their initial thoughts with regards to the theme and with a particular focus on their respective sectors. They also shared insights into their personal growth in reaching the position of a CFO, sharing some personal anecdotes which was a great learning experience for the students, past experiences which demonstrated how important it is for a CFO to know their numbers and also knowing their business.
They also addressed the concerns of the management students with respect to their Career path in Finance stream in Industry, Importance of Finance Department in an organization with relation to managing Growth, Profitability, Cash Flows, Investments, Strategic direction etc. They shared their opinion on the kind of skill sets that are needed with respect to the financial side of the business in any organization. They also discussed the Industry Expectations from MBA Finance students and requirement of basic finance skills such as Reading Balance Sheets, Analytical skills etc. The CFOs reinforced that the basic traits like hard work, passion, right attitude and dedication, positive attitude have no substitutes. They also emphasized the importance and relevance of right skill & learning.
They highlighted on the need for students to remain updated on the events happening in the country and the global arena with related to finance for eg. IFRS, GST, stock markets, digital organizations etc. Based on their long experience in the industry, they also shared how senior industry finance professionals analyze the conditions under which they make decisions, plan forward, manage risks, foster change and solve problems. They added that modern day managers will have to gear up to face the challenging environment.
On the topical issue of Demonetization, they shared that this initiative of the Government, though it has its share of hiccups, will be a game changer for the economy. This reform process will also ensure that digital modes of payment too get utilized more and at the same time it will also usher in more income tax payees in the system. They also spoke on the new opportunities for finance students in digital organizations which they felt will become the norm for the future. They cited the example of Banks which are soon becoming virtual and how more opportunities will arise in the digital space.
The students too responded with a lot of questions with respect to career choices in the financial space, which option to go for i.e. being a entrepreneur or manager, impact of GST on the economy etc. The MITSOT Students of Finance Class of 2016-18 sincerely worked day and night for the grand success of the CFO Meet & other related finance events like Financial Intelligence, Munafa Khoj (Finance Treasure Hunt), Debates as well as participated in Workshop on “Economic Reforms & Indian Capital Markets” conducted by the Dean of National Institute of Securities Management (NISM). All these initiatives including the CFO Meet were a part of MITSOT’s annual FINASTRA initiative. Students from MITSOT as well as from other colleges from in and around Pune participated in this initiative in large numbers.