Sankar Bharadwaj: Empowering The Agriculture Innovation Industry Through Fertis' Cutting-Edge Solutions | CEOInsights Vendor
Sankar Bharadwaj: Empowering The Agriculture Innovation Industry Through Fertis' Cutting-Edge Solutions

Sankar Bharadwaj: Empowering The Agriculture Innovation Industry Through Fertis' Cutting-Edge Solutions

  Sankar Bharadwaj,     CFO

Sankar Bharadwaj


The agriculture innovation industry plays a crucial role in revolutionizing and advancing agricultural practices to meet the evolving demands of the global population. This sector is dedicated to developing cutting-edge solutions and technologies that optimize crop production, enhance sustainability, and ensure food security. Amidst this landscape, Sankar Bharadwaj, the CFO of Fertis, emerges as a prominent leader in empowering the agriculture innovation sector. With his visionary approach and expertise, Sankar Bharadwaj has been instrumental in building Fertis, an agri innovation company that provides comprehensive crop solutions. Through Fertis, he aims to revolutionize the industry by leveraging novel crop nutrients, bio-stimulants, and microbial, and plant protectants. By spearheading financial strategies and fostering a culture of innovation, Sankar Bharadwaj is driving Fertis towards sustainable growth and making a significant impact in the agriculture innovation industry. Let’s hear more from him on below interview snippets.

Please provide a concise summary of your professional history and expertise. Additionally, explain what drives you daily.
I have acquired over 14 years of extensive knowledge and proficiency as a Chartered and Cost Accountant, overseeing financial operations in various industries such as Manufacturing, FMCG, Healthcare, Automotive, and Agri-Chemicals. My motivation stems from the goals and objectives I set for myself, which not only give me guidance and purpose but also a deep sense of satisfaction. Through my experience, I successfully led the implementation of SAP S/4 HANA at Fertis India by ensuring a seamless transition from the Legacy ERP to SAP. Additionally, I revamped the company's management information systems across all business functions by integrating analytics and dashboards using Power BI in conjunction with realtime SAP S/4 HANA data. This internal drive influences my daily routines, both in my personal life and in the work place.

How would you define Fertis as an organization and its current position in the market? What is the unique proposition that your
organization offers to clients?
Fertis is an innovative agri company that offers comprehensive crop solutions, covering all stages from seed to harvest. With over 20 years of research, Fertis provides unique, patented products in the areas of crop nutrients, bio-stimulants, and microbial, and plant protectants. Our ProRise program is an integrated solution designed to maximize yields, reduce crop losses, and produce nutritionally rich and pesticide residue-free products.

Recognized with prestigious awards such as 'Best Novel Nutrient Company 2023' and 'Best Crop Nutrition Company,' Fertis has quickly gained market traction, surpassing industry leaders in the market within just three years. Currently, 60 percent of our sales come from customized solutions, and this segment continues to expand.

I believe open & transparent communication is a cornerstone of my leadership style

As the CFO, what are the factors you look at when determining the profitability of an investment?
As the CFO, my evaluation of investment profitability extends beyond financial returns. I prioritize the alignment of investments with the company's strategic goals, considering factors such as long term strategy, vision, and mission.

Additionally, I recognize the importance of nonfinancial impacts. Investments that align with our sustainability goals or promote social responsibility may not yield the highest financial returns, but they contribute to our values and purpose, enhancing our reputation and fostering customer loyalty. Furthermore, I acknowledge the influence of investments on employee morale and engagement. Investments that offer opportunities for growth, development, and improved working conditions can result in higher levels of employee engagement and productivity.

By considering the broader impact of investments on strategic goals, reputation, and employee engagement, we can gain a more comprehensive understanding of their profitability, moving beyond mere financial metrics.

Tell us about your leadership approach. What are the guidelines or methodologies you follow to lead your team?
My leadership approach involves challenging the status quo and seeking innovative ways to enhance financial processes and systems. As a CFO, I believe it is crucial to go beyond the traditional role of a bean
counter and become a business partner and challenger within the executive committees. While it may not always be easy, it is an integral part of the modern CFO role.

I believe open and transparent communication is a cornerstone of my leadership style. I ensure that my team is consistently updated and aligned by regularly sharing information and communicating changes. Constructive feedback is provided to team members to support their professional growth. I foster an environment where team members feel comfortable sharing ideas, seeking input, and collaborating effectively. Additionally, I emphasize the importance of thinking beyond day-to-day tasks and having the long-term success of the organization in mind. Ethical practices and decision-making are strongly encouraged within the team, ensuring that everyone follows ethical guidelines in their financial responsibilities.

By following these guidelines and methodologies, I strive to lead my team toward continuous improvement and the achievement of our organizational goals.

Given your extensive industry experience, what advice would you offer to emerging industry leaders?
As a CFO, my advice to budding industry leaders is to prioritize the following key aspects developing a comprehensive understanding of their industry and business model, cultivating strong relationships with colleagues and stakeholders, fostering innovation and continuous improvement, promoting a culture of accountability and transparency, and placing importance on financial management. Successful leaders should possess transcendent qualities that utilize their financial expertise to drive organizational success, while also embodying visionary, empowering, collaborative, communicative, and ethical leadership attributes.

What is your envisioned future trajectory?
At present, I aim to secure higher executive positions that provide fresh challenges and opportunities to leverage my financial expertise on a broader scale. However, in the long run, I envision myself leading the operations of a large corporate entity.

Sankar Bharadwaj, CFO, Fertis
I was born and brought up in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh. My father had worked in the pharmaceutical industry as a Divisional sales manager. As part of his job, he had to travel all over the country, while our mother took good care of our family. The first big independent decision I had taken was to choose commerce and economics over physics and chemistry after 10th standard despite scoring 90 percent in state board exams.

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