Ashish Maheshwari: Leveraging Two Decades Of Expertise To Steer Through Business Challenges | CEOInsights Vendor
Ashish Maheshwari: Leveraging Two Decades Of Expertise To Steer Through Business Challenges

Ashish Maheshwari: Leveraging Two Decades Of Expertise To Steer Through Business Challenges

  Ashish Maheshwari,     CFO

Ashish Maheshwari


In today's dynamic business landscape, the role of a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) has undergone significant transformation. No longer limited to financial matters alone, a CFO has become a strategic partner to the CEO, providing valuable insights and playing a crucial role in driving critical decision-making and implementing tactical approaches within the organization. This shift is particularly relevant for Indian businesses as they prepare for international competition with a futuristic outlook. In this context, the role of CFOs becomes even more critical.

One exceptional individual who embodies the multifaceted role of a CFO is Ashish Maheshwari. With an impressive career spanning nearly two decades, Ashish has established himself as a renowned global business leader. He has held prominent positions in reputable organizations across India, UAE, and Qatar, contributing to their growth and transformation. Currently serving as the Country CFO at Apollo Health and Lifestyle, Ashish assumes the responsibility of stewarding governance and ensuring financial integrity within the organization. However, Ashish's aspirations go beyond being a finance professional and CFO. He envisions building a personal brand that combines his functional and business expertise with his distinct attributes. Recognizing the evolving demands of the industry, Ashish is determined to leverage his extensive experience and skills to make a lasting impact.

With his proven track record and diverse background, Ashish brings a wealth of knowledge and insights to the table. His expertise extends beyond financial acumen, encompassing a deep understanding of business dynamics and a strategic mindset. This holistic approach enables him to effectively collaborate with key stakeholders, contribute to the overall growth strategy, and drive the organization toward success. Ashish Maheshwari's commitment to excellence, coupled with his relentless pursuit of learning and growth, sets him apart as a multifaceted CFO and business leader. By combining his financial expertise with a broader business perspective, he not only fulfills his professional responsibilities but also aims to create a personal brand that stands out in the industry.

Ashish Maheshwari engages in an exclusive interaction with CEOInsights and elucidates more about his professional traits.

Could you give a brief account of your educational background and professional experiences?
I have spent a good deal of time in academics, focused on pursuing a C.A., C.S, C.M.A., and an MBA, which is something I have always taken pride in because it puts me ahead of the curve. On the professional front, I have almost two decades of
experience working across various geographies, starting in India and then progressing to the Middle East, with assignments in Switzerland, and the United States.

I began my career as a qualified Chartered Accountant, working for a CA firm for nearly four years. Following that, I moved to corporate and began working for the Swiss multinational ABB from 2008 to 2013. My journey started in India before moving on to the Middle East. Over the course of my tenure, I worked my way up to receive four promotions, where in I started as a project/ finance controller and my last role was a Unit CFO role. I had diverse experience and moved across various segments in ABB rather than being function segment specific.

I really take pride in & work toward leaving a lasting legacy in that field, regardless of where I am or the organization I work for

Thereafter,I moved to Aetna, an American multinational, as a regional Finance Director. One fascinating aspect during my tenure at Aetna that prompted a change was I got involved in commercial tendering, which gave me a huge business flavor. Alongside my unit CEO, I was actively involved in securing business orders for the company. This was something missing during my previous stint. I spent nearly a decade at Aetna, and my last position was country CFO for Aetna India, where I led the company to a 10x profit, transforming a loss-making business in India into a profitable one. Following that, in 2021, I joined Apollo Health and Lifestyle as a country CFO.

How would you define Apollo Health & Lifestyle as an organization and its current position in the healthcare industry?
Apollo Health & Lifestyle (AHLL), a subsidiary of Apollo Hospitals Enterprise (AHEL), is the market leader and one of the largest players in the retail healthcare segment in India. Today, the company operates the largest chain of standardized primary healthcare models multispecialty clinics under the brand 'Apollo Clinics' in India and the Middle East, Diabetes management clinics Apollo Sugar - and Diagnostic Centers Apollo Diagnostics. The company also has specialty formats, such as the Apollo Cradle for Women & Children and the Apollo Spectra for planned surgery. It also operates in the Dialysis space by the name of Apollo Dialysis.

Tell us about your leadership approach. What are the guidelines or methodologies you follow to lead your team?
I usually employ a combination of approaches. I am a taskmaster who is assertive, but I am also extremely empathetic to my team. My leadership style is to empower my team and make sure they take full accountability for the areas they work on. While doing so, I just want to be at the top of my game. I never demotivate them if they make mistakes and attempt to evolve/improve them to not repeat the same one in the future. Also, I never intervened them from making mistakes. I always tell them that success isn't final, and failure isn't fatal it's the courage to continue
that count. I've never taken on a CFO role solely for the sake of fiduciary control, but I do want to have a business finance side, which is something I constantly remind myself of.

I really take pride in and work toward leaving a lasting legacy in that field, regardless of where I am or the organization I work for. I believe in cultivating my personal brand, which should be cherished and nourished. While I'm doing that, all of my other leadership traits come into play, and that's the overall approach I take while advancing.

As the CFO, what are the factors you look at when determining the profitability of an investment?
When evaluating the profitability of an investment, I consider a range of factors, both financial and non-financial. Financially, I focus on aspects such as revenue, order backlog, revenue turnover, internal rate of return, and cash flow management. These factors help me gauge the financial viability of the investment. However, I don't restrict myself solely to financial considerations. I also delve into the strategic aspects of the investment, considering its alignment with the overall vision of the company and its positioning in the market. Additionally, I examine the growth potential and longterm sustain ability of the investment. Lastly, I assess the strength and cohesion of the team involved, as their collaboration and capabilities significantly impact the success of the investment.

In light of your strong experience within the industry, what advice would you give to budding industry leaders?
My advice to all aspiring industry leaders would be a combination of professional and personal virtues. When I speak of professional virtues, there are a few critical things: build a strong foundation and technical expertise, work hard before you're joining any industry, and be a good communicator (both verbal and written), and once you join the industry, ensures that you are extremely loyal to your organization, finally, make sure you don't burn out from un-balanced or unsmart working. When it comes to personal attributes, this may seem trivial to many people in the industry, but I firmly believe in it. Always respect people irrespective of their designation, whether they are your superiors or subordinates. Also, I believe that a strong value system and belief in God help go beyond the normal strength that you may perceive yourself to have.

Ashish Maheshwari, CFO, Apollo Health And Lifestyle
Ashish is an innovative and dynamic CFO and business leader with almost two decades of experience. He strives to learn new things that are outside his comfort zone and thrives in challenging situations. He is an involved and informed business partner who works hand in hand with the CEO to make a successful business. In times of need, he also rolls up his sleeve to get the work done.

Favorite Cuisine: Indian, Burmese, and Thai
Favorite Hobbies: Fitness regimen, Music, Driving
Favorite Book: The One Minute Manager & The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Favorite Travel Destination: India (spiritual destinations), Dubai, Paris, and Europe (for leisure)

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