Giri Giridhar, EVP, and CFO, Indian Hotels Company Ltd (Taj Group of Hotels)

Giri Giridhar, EVP, and CFO, Indian Hotels Company Ltd (Taj Group of Hotels)

Giri Giridhar, EVP, and CFO, Indian Hotels Company Ltd (Taj Group of Hotels) talks to us about the key responsibilities of the CFO and shares his experience with us.

 

Podcast

Overview

Reporting relationships: The CEO generally reports to the company’s board of directors, while the CFO reports to the CEO. As the chief financial officer, the CFO puts together the annual budgets of the company, analyzes financial data, and tracks expenses and revenues. Giri Giridhar, EVP, and CFO, Indian Hotels Company Ltd (Taj Group of Hotels) talks to us about the key responsibilities of the CFO and shares his experience with us.

Episode Highlights:

[00:35] About Giri Giridhar, EVP, and CFO, Indian Hotels Company Ltd (Taj Group of Hotels)

Giri Giridhar is the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Indian Hotels Company Ltd. With an international career across India, Dubai, Singapore, and London, have built expertise in different sectors.

  • Chairman of the Audit Committee at Ginger, Taj SATS (a JV between Taj and SATS of Singapore). Member of the audit committee at Piem Hotels, Orient Hotels
  • Chairman of the NRC at Ginger.
  • Chairman of the Board at Taj Lanka Hotels. Was also briefly Chairman of the Board at Orient Hotels in 2017.
  • Was a member of the Board across all the three Merck entities in India.

[01:30] Experience as CFO

  • The path to the CFO really begins with extremely strong foundations.
  • The investment banking stint gave me a strategic mindset.
  • In Shoppers Stop, since I joined after the investors had come in, I suddenly find myself being the most trusted person. I also became the spokesperson for the company.

[10:34] The increasing dependence of CEOs on CFOs

  • Next to the CEO, CFO has the full picture, so it is very important that the two people collaborate.
  • CFO is not just keeping scores, but also scoring goals.
  • The functional requirements or business requirements as well as personalities of both individuals matter.

[12:46] How technology is changing finance function?

  • Business models are definitely changing.
  • Ultimately, everything starts with what our customers are doing and behaving. You can not have a situation where your customer is thinking digitally, and you are still at a different age.
  • Digital has become hygiene.
  • Digital is trying to do disrupt the business models but is also a big enabler in reducing costs.

[16:32] Perspective on Governance

  • It comes from the group leadership with trust.  When you say LEADERSHIP, you TRUST!
  • TATA Group is good in terms of putting people on board, who bring in a wealth of experience.
  • People with multiple backgrounds can bring a perspective that is very different from the management team.

[18:52] What is your leadership style?

  • Company first mindset
  • Being Candor
  • People

Resource:

You can connect with Giri Giridhar- LinkedIn

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Profile

He has been a Trustee at the iconic Taj Public Service Welfare Trust. He has also been a member of the Board of Governors at the Institute of Hotel Management, Aurangabad ( a JV between IHCL and the Zakaria Foundation).

Member of a unique CFO Board – which consists of the senior-most CFOs in the country (TCS, L&T, SBI, GE, Pepsico, et al), acting as a thinktank for providing non-partisan points of view on key policy issues to the Government, the Ministry of Finance in particular.

Significant experience in business and financial transformation. At Wockhardt, such transformation efforts led to a very visible 18x jump in share price.

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