Sanjay Kumar: Leading The Organization Towards A Profitable Future | CEOInsights Vendor
Sanjay Kumar: Leading The Organization Towards A Profitable Future

Sanjay Kumar: Leading The Organization Towards A Profitable Future

 Sanjay Kumar,    Director Finance

Sanjay Kumar

Director Finance

An accomplished Finance Leader and a proficient Business Strategist, Sanjay Kumar (Director Finance, Haier Appliances India) has over 15 years of unmatched experience in leading, controlling, and managing the entire gamut of the finance function for various organizations. He began his journey in the finance industry with Tata Motors and after that worked with multiple leading names including LG Electronics, Bacardi, and Bureau Veritas. These stints gave him a rich experience in Financial Planning, Budgeting, Auditing, Taxation, Internal Control, Costing, Mergers & Acquisitions. He is also adept in Strategic Mid & Long Term Planning and Risk Management with a strong capability to build an Internal Control System, and Work Flow Automation.

"We are the fourth largest brand in India in consumer durable goods and had 3X industry growth percent CAGR in the last five years"

Sanjay joined Haier Appliances India with an aspiration to move one step ahead in his career he is helping the company grow four times in the top line including a multifold increase in the network of logistics, service, sales and platform in the last five years. Though the journey was quite challenging, he received some exceptional opportunities to learn and move to a different level in his career in a short period. He is appreciated for working together with his team for the 360-degree preparation for the expansion of Haier's new plant in Noida, creating a road map for even more expansions, and supporting the business unit in decision-making to develop new brands.

Sanjay is an extraordinary leader with expertise in managing people, handling highscale projects, and meeting timelines. Let's hear it from him.

How would you define Haier Appliances India as an organization and its position in the market?
Haier is an employee-friendly company with an amazing work culture. Here we have different groups that solely work for the benefit of the employees every month some activities are conducted by these groups to boost the employees' confidence and motivation. Each employee from top to bottom contributes to the objective of the company and is evaluated by the HQ model. Secondly, from the market front, we are the fourth largest brand in India in consumer durable goods and have 3X Industry CAGR in the last five years. This is achieved due to continuous improvement in across 4Ps(Product, Price, Place and
Promotion) of marketing supported by strong leadership and highly motivated team.

Tell us about the policies and procedures you have designed in your company to promote successful financial planning & budgeting and prevent accounting errors and fraud.
We focus more on pre-control and process control. Good financial planning and budgeting need the appropriate target for the top line seeing the market situation, the penetration, and the reach of customers followed by a detailed roadmap along with the need for resources to get that target. To make it happen, we marked all the key processes of the business cycle and assessed the control level risk for each process. We developed the policies, procedures, and special authorization which set the tone of the management. We spent much time in converting our manual control over financial reporting to automize control by the system. This is necessary to be prepared for all uncertainty in business considering the economy, governmental policies, and current & future advanced technology to set the thing at the right place and at right time in advance.

Finance is now the core function of every organization that understands not only its finance but also its culture and support in Business decision

As the finance head, what are the strategies you have made to improve the cash flow of the company?
We are working every day to understand how Working Capital can be a well proven innovation that can help us to sail successfully through tough times. For that, we are more focused on our cash conversion cycle, which I believe is the best strategy to manage cash flows in an organization. This strategy is giving an edge to our cash management because we receive good patrons from our customers based on our brand and payment terms; we offer the best credit days to our debtors. However, the most important parameter of the cash conversion cycle is to maintain an ideal inventory level to support ourselves so that there is no scope for a shortage of production and sales. Apart from that, we are also working on Supplier Finance and Channel Finance schemes this will help not only Haier but also its business partners to manage their working capital.

How do you keep your team updated with changes in financial sector trends?
In the current era of automation, every body needs to upgrade themselves in technology and operation. Therefore, at Haier, we provide our team with inhouse training for all new law changes specific to their profile and encourage them to complete their dedicated training from the online platform on a monthly basis.
Reflect on some of the toughest challenges you have encountered working in Haier Appliances India so far. How did you overcome them?
The toughest challenge that we faced was during the pandemic as the Head of Finance, my prime responsibility remained to maintain liquidityand ensure growth without impacting our bottom line and also support management in taking strategic decisions. Like a lot of players in the industry, the pandemic brought concerning challenges to the company which included cash flow, supply chain disruption, impact on trade confidence, and even motivation to the employees. But we were able to come out of that situation as a team we built strategies, and confidence in the employees and offered better credit days to our debtors. Another situation was the rising price of the commodity which gave an upfront challenge to the profit of the company, but, we were able to get targeted revenues from the market. The situations during the pandemic pushed digitization in every spectrum which helped us to introduce our D2C site which have now become very crucial for the business and further strengthen trade partners business.

In your opinion, how has the role of a Director of Finance evolved with the changing market scenario?
The Director Finance role is not only limited to the book keeping or managing the team or tax compliance now organizations expect us to contribute to strategic decisions. Our role is to look after the cost optimizations to increase the profit scale, producing analysis & records for top management to assist them in taking significant decisions related to sales, productions, inventory, and many more. Finance is now the core function of every organization that understands not only its finance but also its culture, and if they work together with the sales team in the right direction and with the right data, I believe together they can give a competitive edge to the organization.

Based on your professional experiences, what would be your advice to budding leaders in finance?
I believe leaders must have a good sense of awareness about the work they are doing and must be self-observant, proactive, self-disciplined, and good learners. They must be competent enough to set the standard of excellence for the team. If they build all these in their character, then they can become the person of honor and opportunities will appear around them.

Sanjay Kumar, Director Finance, Haier Appliances India
A qualified CA obtaining the 15th rank all over India, Sanjay is the Director of Finance of Haier Appliances India and is leveraging his exceptional experiences to take the organization and its people to the next level.

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