Rajiv Sharma : Steering The Financial Operations Of Amrita Hospitals Towards Success | CEOInsights Vendor
Rajiv Sharma : Steering The Financial Operations Of Amrita Hospitals Towards Success

Rajiv Sharma : Steering The Financial Operations Of Amrita Hospitals Towards Success

 Rajiv Sharma ,   CFO

Rajiv Sharma


Imagine a business as a complex machine, with the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) as its master mechanic. This role is the guardian of the company's financial health, managing cash flow, analyzing strengths and weaknesses, and charting a course for financial success. A CFO doesn't just crunch numbers; they're the architect of the company's financial strategy, ensuring profitability and regulatory compliance. Collaborating with other executives, they steer the business towards its goals, navigating risks and seizing opportunities. A CFO isn't just a bean counter; they're the strategic brain behind the operation, ensuring the business stays on track and thrives in the long run. Rajiv Sharma, the current CFO of Amrita Hospitals, exemplifies the quint essential qualities and vast experience required for this demanding role.

His career began in Faridabad with a local media company, managing accounts, and television programs, which laid the foundation for his robust understanding of financial and operational management. He then transitioned to Thomson Press India, the largest print house in the country at that time. Here, he was quickly recognized for his talents and was selected as a core member of a Special Task Force to design and implement an Automated Production Planning Scheduling, and Monitoring System, part of an indigenous ERP package. This early experience with ERP systems and process automation was a significant milestone in his career.

Despite his initial background in science, with a top rank in his graduation and a University gold medal, Rajiv shifted his focus to finance and accounting. He pursued professional qualifications in Cost & Management Accounting, an MBA in finance, and a PGDFM. His entry into the healthcare industry began with Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre in 2005, where he successfully applied his combined knowledge of biology, costing, and ERP systems to enhance cardiac care services.

His career progressed through significant roles at Fortis Healthcare, Medanta The Medicity, Medeor Hospitals, and Paras Healthcare. At Medanta, Rajiv was instrumental in implementing Hospital Information Systems, SAP, and various financial processes, playing a key role in strategic financial management and due diligence during equity divestments.

Rajiv's move to Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences & Research Centre was driven by his desire to leverage his extensive experience in setting up processes and systems to balance the enormous costs of running a multi-specialty super-specialty tertiary care facility. Amrita Hospitals, under the divine guidance of Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, aims to provide top-tier healthcare with compassion, and Rajiv's expertise is crucial in achieving this mission. His commitment to the organization's vision and his strategic acumen continue to drive the hospital's growth and success in providing high-quality medical care.

Amrita Hospitals boasts of a great legacy in healthcare and multidimensional facets of activities. Can you briefly elaborate about the group?

Amrita Hospital, Faridabad carries forward the legacy of our iconic 1400-bed institution in Kochi, Kerala, established in 1998 by the Mata Amritanandamayi Math. We've been a beacon of hope and compassion for those seeking medical care. With a team of 800 dedicated doctors and healthcare professionals, we cater to patients' physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Our hospital boasts 2,600 beds and 81 specialties, offering cutting-edge treatments in areas like radiation
oncology, cardiac sciences, neurosciences, and gastro sciences. We believe healthcare is a fundamental right, and our commitment to accessible and equitable healthcare reflects this belief.

The Amrita Group's interests span education, healthcare, technology, women’s empowerment, and sustainable practices. Guided by compassion and service, we innovate and excel while remaining rooted in ethical principles. Beyond healthcare, we engage in spiritual teachings, retreats, and workshops to foster personal growth and social harmony.

Understanding the ope-rational processes, combined with your financial acumen, helps turn resource opti-mization into financial gains for the company. This is the key to the fasttrack success of the organization as well as your-self

As the Chief Financial Officer of Amrita Hospitals, how do you plan to leverage your extensive professional experience to enhance the organization's profile?

As CFO, my primary focus will be ensuring the hospital’s operations remain sustainable while aligning with our philanthropic mission and vision. To maintain the affordability of high-quality tertiary care amid rising treatment costs, I will utilize my expertise in optimizing resource allocation and operational processes. Effective cost control isn’t about cutting expenses indiscriminately; it’s about optimizing costs, setting target benchmarks, and using KPIs and ratios to measure performance against these benchmarks. This approach will help maintain the hospital’s financial health and support our long-term strategic goals.

In your professional journey so far, which are the milestones that bestowed you with the utmost satisfaction - both personally and professionally?

From the outset of my career, I've embraced challenging roles, achieving significant milestones in each organi-zation I’ve been part of. One of the most notable early achievements was in August 2001, when I was selected as a core team member for a Special Task Force at Thomson Press (India), (India Today Group) to design and implement an Automated Production Planning Scheduling and Monitoring System. This experience was foundational in my professional growth.

In August 2008, I was the key person for setting up financial processes and ERP systems as part of the pre-operative team at Medanta The Medicity. My contributions were recognized with a Young Leaders award for my role in training staff on finance and accounting principles as part of the Medanta Young Leaders’ Foundation Program in 2015. Additionally, leading the Business Intelligence team at Medanta was another significant milestone.

I gained comprehensive exposure to all aspects of Finance & Accounts through my involvement in due diligence activities, and coordination with bankers and investors, which has given me an edge over my counterparts. Within nine months of joining Paras Healthcare, I was appointed as Director on the Board of its subsidiary, Paras Healthcare Ranchi, in March 2021.

In my professional community, I served as Secretary of the Faridabad Chapter of Cost Accountants of India from 2013 to 2014, revitalizing the chapter and earning the 'Best Upcoming Chapter of the Year' award. The following year, as Vice Chairman, we achieved the 'Best Chapter of the Year' award.
Academically, I have excelled in IQ tests and ranked first nationally in my science graduation, earning a University Gold Medal. I’ve co-authored a book on entrepreneurial learning and strategic decision-making, '51 Children Stories for Startups,' and written novels, poetry, and a theory on dreams. As a Mind Healer, Counselor, and certified Happiness Coach, I also advise on health and happiness through my wife’s company, Rejoice ‘n’ Relive Health.

Tell us about your plans ahead.

Amrita’s future goals are focused on several key areas. We are committed to continuous innovation, whether it’s in developing cutting-edge technology solutions, advancing medical treatments, or pioneering new educational methodo-logies. Investing in research and development is crucial for us to stay at the forefront of advancements that benefit both businesses and society.

We aim to make a significant social impact through initiatives such as affordable healthcare solutions, educational outreach programs, and sustainable development projects. Expanding our global services is also a priority, as we seek to offer treatments to international patients and healthcare services in key regions around the world.

Sustainability is a core focus, and we strive to embrace sustainable practices across all operations to minimize our environmental footprint and contribute to a greener future. Additionally, we prioritize the development and well-being of our employees, fostering a culture of continuous learning, diversity, and inclusion.

What advice would you give to the upcoming financial leaders in the industry?

My advice to upcoming financial leaders is to think like the owner of the business. Every action you take can either bring gains or lead to losses. Gains add to your success incrementally, but losses can pull you down exponentially. To stay on the positive side of this equation, immerse yourself in the operational processes of your industry. While your expertise in finance has brought you to a leadership position, relying solely on this will stagnate your growth and limit your contribution to the organization's overall health. Understanding the operational processes, combined with your financial acumen, helps turn resource optimization into financial gains for the company. This is the key to the fast-track success of the organization as well as yourself.

Automation is another critical aspect. Automate repetitive financial tasks to free up valuable time for strategic thinking. Identify the key drivers of each financial function, create KPIs around those drivers, benchmark them, and continually work to improve those benchmarks. This approach enhances risk control and time management, which are essential for any financial deliverable.

Staying updated on industry norms and policies and understanding their relevance to your organization is crucial. Additionally, focus on building strong teams by nurturing talent and motivating them to contribute positively. Remember, a good team makes a good leader, and a good leader thrives with a good team.

Rajiv Sharma, CFO, Amrita Hospitals

Rajiv Sharma is a seasoned finance leader with over 27 years of experience, primarily in the healthcare industry. Beginning his career in media, he transitioned to healthcare with notable roles at Escorts Heart Institute, Fortis Healthcare, Medanta The Medicity, Medeor Hospitals, Paras Healthcare, and Amrita Hospitals. His expertise includes financial accounting, controls, internal audit, costing methods, and ERP systems. Beyond finance, he's a multifaceted individual with interests in psychology, writing, art, yoga, and spiritualism. Rajiv is an author, with published books on startups, fiction, poetry, and his theory on dreams. He's a thinker, emotion-driven, and a practitioner of mind healing and happiness coaching.

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