Thursday February 18, 2016

1:15 PM IST

Speaker(s) Name

Multiple Speakers


ITC Sonar, JBS Haldane Avenue, Kolkata, West Bengal

The 20th Annual CFO Roundtable

In Association With



Thursday, February 18, 2016


Registration and High Tea

3.00 pm

At Pala, ITC Sonar

The Economy: India in the Context of A Changing World

4.00 pm – 5.45 pm

Adit Jain, Chairman and Editorial Director, IMA India

The Indian economy is poised at a most interesting juncture. Whilst growth – and an improvement over our lot two years ago – is clear, it remains below expectations, at least of industry. Changing India’s growth trajectory in the immediate term, however, is complex. Investment, demand and policy must all align, and each is currently mottled by challenge, each of a different variety. A transforming global economy has entered into a slower growth phase, regardless of the US’ resurgence. In Asia, China’s slowdown has negative ramifications at multiple levels, only some of which have played out. And yet, the tilt Asia-wards will continue. Nuanced, bedevilled with weaker emerging markets, but incremental global growth will still be driven by the region. India must find its place within this global and regional market, and within these regional supply chains. Open the 20th Annual Chief Financial Officers’ Roundtable in discussion with Adit Jain, one of India’s most farsighted economic commentators, as he provides a most authoritative view on the India risk and opportunity paradigm in the context of domestic demand, policy reform, and global change agents.

Coffee Break

5.45 pm – 6.15 pm


Geo-politics and National Security: The Overarching Context for Business, and Society

6.15 pm – 7.45 pm

Jayadeva Ranade, former Additional Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, Government of India, President Centre for China Analysis and Strategy
Pramit Pal Chaudhuri, Foreign Editor, Hindustan Times

India’s geo-political alignments are fundamental to trade, fundamental to business. Over the course of the coming decade, India’s engagement with a resurgent US, as indeed with a changing China, will form the fulcrum of our growth matrix, but it is equally in the ties with the rest of Asia that the greater opportunity might lie. CFO thinking on growth, competition and collaboration must be guided by a keen understanding of this over-arching context for business. Equally, the world is a dangerous place. The rise of IS and the recent attacks in Paris and Istanbul brought home to the global community at large, what we in India already have bitter and sobering experience of: the un-thwarted rise of terrorism, and of ‘non-state’ agents gaining the ability, state-sponsored quite often, to destroy lives at will. There is, in many ways, a clash of civilisations playing out in the world, one that the urbane realities of diplomatic engagement can strive only partially to quell. At the other end, a migrant crisis (again something we in India are familiar with) reflects the fact of populations in peril, forcing national responses that can be extreme. Jayadeva Ranade has been India’s top bureaucrat in our intelligence services. His on-field work, including in and with China, offers the most unique insight into ‘the dark side of the moon’, as it were. Pramit Pal Chaudhuri is among India’s best-informed journalists, whose sweeping perspective has informed CFO Roundtable thinking before. Join them as they talk through India’s geo-political and national security imperatives to make sense of a world more volatile, and more dangerous, than perhaps in centuries before.

Sonar Bangla 

Cocktails and Dinner Hosted by Consus at the Sundarbans Lawns – directly from Pala

7.45 pm

Friday, February 19, 2016

India’s Political Leadership: Assessing a Critical Imperative

9.00 am – 10.30 am

MJ Akbar, Member, Rajya Sabha, Author

What can you say about MJ Akbar? Member of the Rajya Sabha, prolific writer, best selling author, entrepreneur, thinker. Most of all, a man categorical in his opinions and deeply thought through on his position, one he stands by. MJ Akbar’s thinking on India’s fault-lines, and on its strengths, is impeccable for its logic, and sometimes, startling for its emotion. As a BJP Parliamentarian in the Rajya Sabha and National Spokesperson for the BJP, his insight on whether the political leadership India has today, the depth and ability that it needs is unique. So is his understanding of emerging India, in whose service, any successful government will have to centre efforts on. That then lends itself further to an assessment of the priorities of the current government, and the causal agents behind the same. Engage with him as he talks through the approach of the NDA at the Centre, his expectations of a functioning Parliament, and his hopes for the future of India.

Change of Hats

10.30 am – 10.45 am


The Quest for Internal Excellence: Extracting Hidden Value

10.45 am – 12.00 noon

Nitin Suvarna, Vice President and Centre Head Business Services, CapGemini

The quest for excellence has many dimensions. In times of plenty, the focus is on growth and expansion, occasionally sacrificing margin for market share. In times of contraction, CFO concentration is on consolidation, whilst still building for the future. Volatility brings its own layer of needed nimbleness to sight and then chase opportunity. In any of these scenarios, the one common attribute of organisations that excel is the consistent focus on productivity, on minimising waste, and enabling speed. The internal excellence paradigm of such firms remains in top priority, regardless of the external environment. As India enters a next phase of intense competitiveness among its corporations and with other nations, this attribute will need acceleration across the board, to develop systems where both process and mindset lend themselves to the minimisation of waste, the availability of the right resources and products at the right time, and the tightest processes in finance and supply chain management. The next level of internal excellence for firms in India will come from procurement and supply chains. The gains can be enormous, but what we do now is different, and perhaps weaker, than what we could, what we should, be doing. Together with a select CFO panel, join Nitin Suvarna, a subject matter expert from one of the world’s most successful consulting and outsourcing firms, as he talks through this excellence paradigm that he lives everyday, on behalf of client corporations who set new global benchmarks every day.

Discussion Break

12 noon – 12.30 pm


Funding, Liquidity, Growth and Accountability: The Holy Quadrant

12.30 pm – 1.30 pm

Rajendra Prasad, President and CFO, SRF
Sanjay Baweja, Chief Financial Officer,

Over the course of the last twenty-four months, and going into the next twenty-four, enabling the availability of funds will be amongst the most complex of tasks for the CFO. As sources diversify, and as domestic liquidity remains tight, CFO ability to balance availability, price and return on investment will have to take a quantum leap forward in terms of capability. Rajendra Prasad leads finance for one of India’s most successful – and globalising – manufacturing firms, and is among India’s most experienced CFOs. RP’s ability to build on growth demands the successful management of funds and borrowing sources. His calls on raising capital are carefully thought through and judiciously executed. Sanjay Baweja is CFO of India’s hottest online retail business. Funded by private equity and still focused on massive expansion, Sanjay’s management of the eCommerce growth mantra, often considered counter intuitive to traditional approaches, needs a high degree of accountability on the eventual return on capital to investors, but equally also, the management of a higher risk: return paradigm. Discuss with RP and Sanjay the optimal approaches to raising capital and managing the attendant challenges in the quest of growth.


1.30 pm – 2.15 pm

The Power of Collective Wisdom: Group Discussions

2.15 pm – 3.30 pm

CFO Brainstorming: 10-12 Groups, each focused on an individual subject

The top is a lonely place. For CFOs, who carry the responsibility of both compliance and the stewardship of growth, it can be lonelier still. Often, the only ‘sounding boards’ are peers, to whom we turn for both advice and opinion. Maximise the power of collective wisdom vested in the 120-strong CFO community joining the Kolkata conclave to talk through key issues, selected on the basis of CFO priorities highlighted by our member community. Each facilitated by a member CFO, groups of 8-10 each will brainstorm each issue, aiming to state the key challenges of the subjects selected, and most critically, then pool ideal responses and best practices in play. A ‘key takeouts’ summary will be created by each group, to be presented back to the wider group to build a series of ‘best practices’ for subsequent individual application.

Sailing Down the Hooghly

3.45 pm

Cocktails and canapés on the MV Riviera

They say any city is best viewed from its rivers, if a city has the luck to have one. The Hooghly, a massive tributary of the Ganga, flows through Kolkata, gently winding its way to the Bay of Bengal and to the Indian Ocean beyond. Its waters hold many memories, of abundant and busy trade, of the arrival of traders and settlers from various parts of Europe, each of whom built their own ports downstream, and of the reverence of Indians for this most holy of all rivers, still tangile in Kolkata’s many Ghats. Sail down the Hooghly on a double-decked barge, as the Calcutta elite have done for centuries, raising a toast to the setting sun, watching the lights come up shimmering from the river’s shores, all the way to Dakshineswar and Belur Math and back.

Note: Coaches will depart for Outram Ghat, a 50-minute ride from the hotel, sharp at 3.45 pm. Comfortable, flat shoes and hats are recommended.


Saturday, February 20, 2016

India’s Consumer Markets: The Growth Lynchpin

9.00 am – 10.15 am

Radha Ahluwalia, Managing Director, IMA India

65% of India’s GDP is driven by domestic consumption. Even as investment driven growth is beginning to make some impact, this fact will not change anytime soon. Understanding the Indian economy then, and prospects for its growth demands an assessment of the ‘where’ and ‘how’ of consumption. That is not easy, because the drivers of consumption, geographically and demographically, and the quality and kind of expenditure that will drive growth are changing. That change is sharp, often counter intuitive, reflective of the opportunity but also the massive complexity of this greatest of all India’s growth drivers. Using IMA’s exhaustive 4-month study of India’s deepest data sources for consumption expenditure – the latest Census of India and the last two rounds of the massive NSSO country surveys (2004-05 and 2011-12) as basis, Radha Ahluwalia will paint a picture of India as a consumer market, identifying the greatest drivers of growth, the strongest geographic opportunities and the demographics that, the world says, will power the India growth story in the next decade.

Change of Hats

10.15 am – 10.30 am

Risk: Finding the New Normal

10.30 am – 11.45 am

Saumen Chakraborty, President, Chief Financial Officer and Global Head of IT & BPE, Dr Reddy’s

The CFO’s ability to manage risk has seldom been more strategic than in the current environment. Massive external volatility has further muddied a business environment that was already in a stage of decadal transformation. There is huge need, therefore, to re-assess both where the greatest risk in the next 18-24 months will stem from and critically, how risk management and mitigation strategies are being moulded in response. Risk stems from quarters old and new today – if business continuity, currency, customer spreads and people are traditional areas; natural disasters and political upheaval on the one hand, and rising personal liability through new regulation on the other, are emergent. Quite frankly, internal preparedness to deal with risks still lacks.

How are liabilities best minimised, and with the ‘unknowns’ in the environment rising with every passing day, how can you best protect yourself and your organisations when risks ultimately materialise, as some will, despite the most robust management mechanisms? What must these robust mechanisms themselves be? Saumen Chakraborty is among India’s most senior CFOs, leads finance in a highly competitive, globalised sector, and is known for his acumen to create a growth paradigm tethered by the most exhaustive risk practices. Engage with Saumen as he shares his approach, both to build common benchmarks and identify future risk management paradigms.

An Afternoon at the Races

11.45 am

At the Royal Calcutta Turf Club

History notes that the Royal Calcutta Turf Club as the fount of organised horse racing in India came into existence around 1769 – 250 years ago - in the Calcutta suburb of Akra. In 1809, the Turf Club shifted to the 150-acre Maidan in the heart of the city, where it still stands today. Among British India’s crowning glories, and the second most important Turf Club in all of the British Empire, the Turf Club rebounds with history, with memories of the charm and splendour of this sport, reflecting the magical partnership between horse and man, flying as one to a common goal. On the occasion of The 20th Annual CFO Roundtable, and in your honour, we thought it fitting to host The IMA Cup on a most special race day organised especially by the Turf Club for our delegates. Experience the true spirit of Kolkata, witnessing horse racing from the special Reserve Stand and followed by a typical Club luncheon. Try your hand at betting too one would say, to live in the moment! Simply soaking in the atmosphere, with the Victoria Memorial rising in the distance, is itself special I daresay, as much for history buffs as for betting men and the rest of us!

Note: Coaches will depart for the Royal Calcutta Turf Club at 12.00 noon sharp, for the 40-minute ride to the city centre. Delegates are requested to assemble on the hotel porch no later than 11.45 am. Collared shirts/T-shirts and full trousers are recommended for gentlemen. Ladies are also encouraged to dress appropriately in accordance with Club attire (shorts/strappy casuals may be avoided)

Collective Wisdom Distilled

6.00 pm – 7.30 pm

CFO Group Discussion Leads in Presentation at Pala, ITC Sonar

Spend an enjoyable session of learning and camaraderie as CFO GD Leads present the key takeouts from each group discussion – each subject is fundamental to how we approach the sustainability of growth and of cultures, and the views of our CFO community, as expressed through these takeouts, a most powerful ‘best practices’ tool kit to guide individual thinking and strategies.

Cocktails and Dinner

7.30 pm

At Sundarbans, ITC Sonar

Sunday, February 21, 2016

M&A: The Complexity of an Undeniable Growth Cornerstone

9.30 am – 10.45 am

Durgashankar S, President – Group M&A, Corporate Accounts and Group Secretarial & Member of the Group Executive Board, Mahindra & Mahindra

Over the course of the next decade, acquisitions will form a key component of the CFO’s arsenal. Consolidation across multiple sectors as competition becomes fiercer and as scale becomes the need of the hour on global planes will be causal, as will the need to acquire new skills and new products to expand business prospects. Equally, Indian industry’s growth in global markets is hallmarked by the need for speed – and inorganic avenues are a natural focus area. CFO ability on this count is demanded on multiple planes - to identify prospects in a volatile world demands foresight, knowledge and intuition, transactions require the highest degree of technical competence, and integration, the softest touch of cultural engagement. S Durgashankar is M&M’s pointman for M&A, having led multiple transactions over the last decade totalling deals worth billions. Durga’s work to conclude the complex acquisition of Satyam, his role in global acquisitions such as Ssangyong, and domestic transactions such as the acquisition of Reva offer the most unique learnings. Join Durga as he talks through the cornerstones of successful M&A strategy, particularly in the context of a rapidly transforming world where both changing regulation and constant volatility will raise the bar of complexity in this already complex arena.

Change of Hats

10.45 am – 11.00 am

Treasury: A Volatility Hot Bed

11.00 am – 12.15 pm

Haresh Desai, AV Rajwade and Co
CFO Panel

Exchange and interest rate volatility is among the greatest risk factors that industry must contend with, with an impact not just on revenues, but now increasingly, on business prospects themselves. That said, treasury management is today a sophisticated process, not just on account of this volatility, but also on account of a financial sector overall that is in the midst of transformation, and continued stress. Engage with a CFO panel led by Haresh Desai, India’s leading commentator on ForEx risk as they talk through best practices in the management of treasury operations, offering views and outlooks for the Rupee as also of how treasuries must function, to manage risk, ensuring nimbleness as well as sustainability.

Luncheon and close

12.30 pm


The Economy: India in the Context of A Changing World 
Adit Jain, Chairman and Editorial Director, IMA India
Thursday, February 18, 2016 | 4.00 pm – 5.45 pm

Geo-politics and National Security: The Overarching Context for Business, and Society 
Jayadeva Ranade, former Additional Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, Government of India, President Centre for China Analysis and Strategy & Pramit Pal Chaudhuri, Foreign Editor, Hindustan Times 
Thursday, February 18, 2016 | 6.15 pm – 7.45 pm

India’s Political Leadership: Assessing a Critical Imperative 
MJ Akbar, Member, Rajya Sabha, Author
Friday, February 19, 2016 | 9.00 am – 10.30 am

The Quest for Internal Excellence: Extracting Hidden Value 
Nitin Suvarna, Vice-President and Center Head, Business Services India, Capgemini
Friday, February 19, 2016 | 10.45 am – 12.00 noon

Funding, Liquidity, Growth and Accountability: The Holy Quadrant 
Rajendra Prasad, President and CFO, SRF & Sanjay Baweja, Chief Financial Officer, 
Friday, February 19, 2016 | 12.30 pm – 1.30 pm

India’s Consumer Markets: The Growth Lynchpin 
Radha Ahluwalia, Managing Director, IMA India
Saturday, February 20, 2016 | 9.00 am – 10.15 am

Risk: Finding the New Normal 
Saumen Chakraborty, President, Chief Financial Officer and Global Head of IT & BPE, Dr Reddy’s
Saturday, February 20, 2016 | 10.30 am – 11. 45 am

Treasury: A Volatility Hot Bed 
Haresh Desai, AV Rajwade and Co
Saturday, February 20, 2016 | 6.00 pm – 7.30 pm

M&A: The Complexity of an Undeniable Growth Cornerstone 
Durgashankar S, President – Group M&A, Corporate Accounts and Group Secretarial & Member of the Group Executive Board, Mahindra & Mahindra
Sunday, February 21, 2016 | 9.30 am – 10.45 am

2016-02-18 13:15:00
2016-02-22 01:30:00