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Kavita Shirvaikar: The Unassuming Finance Wiz

Kavita Shirvaikar: The Unassuming Finance Wiz

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Kavita Shirvaikar ,Executive Director & CFO

Kavita Shirvaikar

Executive Director & CFO

Finance is arguably the most critical component required to keep an organization afloat in the market, which in turn puts the spotlight on CFOs. With market structures changing drastically, the challenges facing a CFO are a plenty; thus, the role requires an individual who can bring to the table years of industry experience and a wide area of expertise. Living up to these expectations with élan is Kavita Shirvaikar, Executive Director & CFO of Patel Engineering.

An industry veteran with over 20 years of experience in the fields of accountancy, tax, audit, banking, finance and fund management, Kavita has worked for various leading listed organizations. Known for her prowess at successfully completing complex debt restructuring and fund raising proposals in varied capacity across companies, Kavita has been felicitated with CFO Awards in 2016, 2017 and 2018. The bona fide finance wiz was alsoamong the top 100 finance professional in India according to an annual CFO100 Program organized by CFO India. In an in depth conversation with Kavita, CEO Insights gets a peek into the professional and personal facets of her life.

Take us through your formative years as a finance professional and what role did you play at your previous stints in the industry?
I completed my Chartered Accountant and graduated from the Institute of Cost & Works Accountants of India in 1997. Post this, I began my career as the Accounts Officer with Hindustan Construction Company. Having handled responsibilities such as finalization & consolidation of accounts, evaluation of project budgets, working capital management, fund raising-short term/long term from banks, FIIS, mutual fund, commercial papers, cash flow management, Forex risk management, review of risk management policy, working with rating agencies, responsible for RBI matters with respect to foreign projects, GDR and FCCB issues, I
sharpened my arsenal as a finance professional. I spent over 14 years with the organization, completed various assignments successfully and was thus instated as the Head Finance.

I have worked with stringent timelines for mobilizing funds and have dealt with pressing requirements of bankers, which taught me how to deal with people at different levels efficiently


I also spent a short span of time at Suzlon Energy where I was responsible for handling banking relations, cash flow planning, working capital management bank guarantees/letter of credit/buyers credit/supplier credit, CMA preparation, documentation for working capital, fund raising short term/long term from banks, FIIS, mutual fund and foreign currency loan for foreign projects.

You have risen among the ranks at Patel Engineering within a very short span of time. Take us through your journey with the company and the various responsibilities that your job currently entails.
I came on board Patel Engineering as the Vice President, Finance in 2014 and was later promoted as Joint Chief Financial Officer and eventually as the CFO. Within a short span of nearly three years, I was also elevated to the Board of Management in 2017.

Over these years, my core responsibilities have gone beyond managing accounts & finance and have expanded to include risk management, investor relations, implementation of debt realignment plans of Patel Group and review & implement of operational best practices. I have also been a helping hand to the Board members in terms of formulating the company’s future direction and implementation of a strategic business plan.

Recently I was bestowed with the additional responsibility to spearhead project operations for certain projects under the execution of PEL. The task involves project reviews, budgeting, cash flow management, equipment planning, liasioning with project authorities and pushing for construction schedule to achieve set milestones.

You have an illustrious career that
spans over two decades. Apart from technical expertise, what has the journey taught you? Also, how have you stayed on top of your game over these years?
Over the years, I have worked with stringent timelines for mobilizing funds and have dealt with pressing requirements of bankers which has in turn taught me how to deal with people at different levels efficiently. My vast experience in the industry has also imparted me with the skill to achieve the required goals within specified time limits.

I believe that keeping up with market trends is necessary in order to stay relevant. Therefore, I make it a point to attend seminars and dedicate a stipulated time for myself to keep up with the developments/ amendments in guidelines and others. I also lay emphasis on exchanging views and idea with senior bank officials and consultants in order to gain perspective in the market.

Could you also give us a glimpse into a few personal facets of your life? Also, how do you maintain a status quo between work and personal life?
Given the demanding nature of my work, my personal life sometimes does get affected but I ensure to unwind on Sundays. Also, I take week long breaks during holidays and spend ample time with my family in order to recharge my batteries.

I have been fairly lucky to have a supportive family, which has always been with me during every phase of my professional progress. My husband has also been understanding, has always encouraged & supported me to take additional responsibilities, thus guiding me to excel in my professional life.

Apart from my love for finance, I am fond of reading, music, watching TV shows on iPad while travelling, and spending time with friends and relatives. Although I am not a gadget-savvy person, but I do utilize various apps to increases my efficiency.

KEY MANAGEMENT
Kavita Shirvaikar, Executive Director & CFO
A finance wiz, Kavita has spent over 20 years working for various leading listed companies where she successfully completed complex debt restructuring and fund raising proposals across varied capacity. Having joined Patel Engineering as Vice President (Finance), she rose to the position of CFO within a span of three years.

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