Meet our CFO – Aravind Viswanathan
Aravind joined Tanla with nearly two decades’ experience, all at Wipro Limited. He has handled pivotal roles across business finance, treasury, investor relations, financial planning, analysis, and audit and brings in considerable experience in areas around investor relations, client contract negotiation including innovative deal structuring, driving levers for superior operating margin, forecasting and planning, M&A business case preparation and integration, driving better cash flows, setting up strong processes and compliance, and talent management.
We asked him to spend some time with us to get to know him better. Here is an excerpt from our interview with him.
Q: What motivated you to join Tanla?
Aravind: I got a sense that the CPaaS industry is a very fast-paced industry and Tanla is a clear leader. So, it was very exciting for me to join Tanla given the tremendous headroom for growth and differentiation. It really felt like an attractive organization, with a lot of ambition to be a global player. All these factors motivated me to join Tanla.
Question: Since you joined during the lockdown, what were some challenges that you faced in terms of onboarding, transitioning between the last CFO and you and managing the teams?
Aravind: To be honest, the transition was quite seamless. The company stayed in touch with me throughout the joining process. The infrastructure was set up and was available to me before my joining date. So, on the day of my formal joining, I would say by 9:30 am, I was set, and had a kick-off call at maybe 10 am with the team. The process was very seamless. The good thing is that we have all gotten used to working in virtual environments. Most meetings were with ‘video on’, so I started getting familiar with the teams very quickly, even though I had not met people physically. Given a choice, I always prefer to meet people in person, but even with virtual meetings, the transition was smooth.
Question: So, what are some of the agendas you are currently driving at Tanla?
All of us coming in at leadership positions are aligned to ensure that we deliver strategic priorities across all dimensions. Our business is in a very exciting phase and all our efforts are directed towards scaling Tanla to newer heights on the global stage.
As we grow, we are integrating ESG into our business. Governance has always been of utmost importance to us, and we are continually focused on strengthening it. We have formed an ESG council and have a dedicated team to drive the ESG mandate.
The third focus area is in terms of processes. How do we build best in class processes within the company? Because these are very important bedrocks for growth. One of the things that we are focusing on constantly is how to make the organization ready internally to seize the opportunity externally by building best-in-class processes.
Finally, it is about building a high-performance team – we are only as good as our teams. So, there is a lot of focus on building competencies within the organization.
Question: Do you feel leadership styles will evolve as we enter the new normal?
I don't think leadership principles change, whether it's work from home or work from an office or work from anywhere, you know, in whichever form. At the end of the day, I think the objective is to build a high-performance team. So how do you build a high-performance team? How can you empower them? How do you make them successful? All of us are focused on competency building that requires a culture of trust, collaboration, and empowerment.
Question: Any advice for people looking to build up a career in Finance?
I would say, any finance professional carries two mandates. One is to be the custodian of compliance, processes, governance, to ensure that you are driving the right behaviour within the organization. Second is how do you enable the business? It is very important for all finance professionals to balance the two. I would also encourage all finance professions to develop a deep understanding of business - this is very critical to building a career in finance.