Our Guest Mentors:
Ashish Arora is aAssociate Vice President at Cvent. Having built a globally respected FP&A team from scratch Ashish has demonstrated that he is a dynamic, results-driven executive with extensive experience in fast-paced and high growth environments. With proven expertise in driving efficiency and productivity through evaluation and automation of processes. A strong leader with experience in setting up processes, building and directing highly skilled financial management teams to support achievement of overall corporate goals and objectives.
Ashish holds CGMA and ACMA designations, as well has having an MBA in Marketing & Finance. Ashish is also based out of Dehli, India
Key Quotes From the Episode:
“[On financial planning and analysis] you’ve done your job successfully if someone looks at your analysis and looks the number you have provided and they make the decision in 10 minutes.” [09:12]
“Financial Planning and Analysis is both an art and science because you’re using these numbers then you’re creating analysis and that’s an art as you plot your assumptions and understanding of the business.” [10:08]
“[Qualities of good FPA professionals] 1st they need to have strong critical reasoning ability, the ability to break-down large problem then apply logical reasoning to solve those problems. 2nd, is the ability to adopt technology and systems. 3rd, is business understanding, they should not be an accountant as you can learn this in the process.” [11:08]
“[Building strategic companies] everybody believes that the DNA of the company is the employees’ so you really need to hire the right kind of employees as they will help you build the team.” [11:08]
“[Managing diversity in workplace] communication is vital in a global organization, to be able to articulate points and ideas and being flexible to sync with the teams’ culture”. [18:07]
“[Benefits of travel as a result of good performance] first, part of employees’ motivation for them to be exposed internationally. Second, it’s familiarizing each other’s culture.” [20:14]
“[On business process improvement] although the company improve a lot of its processes in the last 3 years these will not be good enough in the next 3 years so we need to continue to improve.” [21:50]
“[On staying relevant to the business] 2 ways to do it, first you must have enough people and the right kind of people. Second, you need to upgrade the skills of your existing people by providing them training and investing in them as well.” [23:16]
“In whatever you do, do it well and good things will just follow.” [25:44]
“[On the importance of having a good vision] Our role is not to be the centre of attention, our role as Peter Drucker said it best, is to lead with questions, to listen, and then to have a few impactful things to say.” [22:04]
(Other resources and how to connect with Ashish below).
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Key Points From the Episode:
· The three main qualities of modern FP&A professionals that companies are looking for nowadays.
· How to build a team that is strategic in nature and from a low-cost and far away location
· Managing & leading diversity in the global finance workplace while maintaining the profitability of the business.
· The benefits of having flexible and finance team members willing to travel to build cohesive teams.
Time Stamped Show Notes
[02:38] – Ashish shares his career journey in accounting and finance as he worked after his graduation and later joined Cvent that time was a 10M company doing different roles for a star-up company. Doing the finance work, helping other accountants, preparing management report for the CFO and managed team are Ashish’s many responsibilities. In 2013 the company become IPO and he managed financial planning and analysis team from scratch which he later became the head.
[08:49] – How to prepare yourself for taking on due diligence work when taking a company public. In preparing for yourself for big roles it takes a lot of hard work as you get into a lot of details, raw data and a lot of clean-up as you use your business judgement and insights.
[11:03] – The three main qualities of FP&A professionals that Ashish look for nowadays.
· Strong critical reasoning capabilities
· Systems mindset
· Not only accountants
[13:28] – Ashish’s FPA team in the US and India collaborating each other and how to build strategically and work for global companies.
[14:20] – How to build a team that is strategic in nature and from a low-cost and far away location.
[17:55] – Managing diversity in the workplace while maintaining profitability of the business. The importance of communication (e..g employees in India must be able to articulate their ideas especially in dealing with key personnel in the US).
[19:40] – Ashish discusses the importance of culture and how to sync and spread a unified cultureand the benefits of travel as a result of good performance.
[21:29] – What’s exciting most on Ashish’s current work, on how improve their business processes and how they grow in three years’ time.
[22:40] – How Ahsish finds the time to have a proactive mentality in figuring out the best path to support the business with hiring right people for potential and upgrading existing team members’ skillsets.
[24:25] – How Ashish is helping his team free up bandwidth to better support the business.
[25:37] – The best bit of advice Ashish has ever received taken from his boss, make sure you do things well and good things will follow.
[26:13] – Ashish’s recent reads recommend to our audience..
[27:43] – How best to connect with Ashish.
[28:02] – Ashish’s parting thoughts on how to adapt the rapid changes in business and technology of our finance professionals. From people who provide data into professionals who provides value.
· Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Scott o Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Radical-Candor-Kim-Scott/dp/B01KTIEFEE
o Audible.com: https://www.googleadservices.com/pagead/aclk?sa=L&ai=DChcSEwihiKfo89vhAhUdBCoKHRNuA8UYABAAGgJ0bQ&ohost=www.google.com&cid=CAESEeD2tQSLNdHOQycpNawKEPFP&sig=AOD64_1qnI6-CoLfcflTGnEaw3kM6UFaSw&q=&ved=2ahUKEwi8vp_o89vhAhVLFogKHRF_ACgQ0Qx6BAgLEAE&adurl=
· Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
by Amy Wallace and Edwin Catmull o Hardcover: https://www.amazon.com/Creativity-Inc-Overcoming-Unseen-Inspiration/dp/0812993012
Connect with today’s guest: · LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ashish-arora-acma-cgma-00a99a12/
· Twitter: ashisha82