Santosh Abbimane: A Modern-Day CFO Fostering Organizational Values & Business Growth | CEOInsights Vendor
Santosh Abbimane: A Modern-Day CFO Fostering Organizational Values & Business Growth

Santosh Abbimane: A Modern-Day CFO Fostering Organizational Values & Business Growth

  Santosh Abbimane,     Chief Financial Officer

Santosh Abbimane

Chief Financial Officer

Problems or interruptions in the supply chain may result in significant financial losses for businesses. In these circumstances, chief financial officers play an essential part in managing supply chains, determining and mitigating risks to maintain stability and generate long term business value, and supervising their companies' budgets. By monitoring the company's financial operations, a CFO is a vital link between the company's present and future.

Adding to this, a CFO is responsible for managing the company's budget, forecasts, vendor relationships, tax strategy, compliance challenges, and succession planning. This is an outward facing function. However, a CFO can use data and industry knowledge to help the CEO through the company's several financial phases. For these factors, no one else in the organization is in a better position than a CFO to generate scalable and sustainable revenue growth, producing value for the company's owners and stakeholders.

Santosh Abbimane, the Chief Financial Officer of the DTDC Express Limited, is an excellent example of such a financial leader, having worked in the finance
sector for more than two decades. He has a proven track record of success in various financial leadership positions across multiple businesses, countries, and sectors.

During his extensive professional journey, Santosh has successfully implemented financial restructuring, tax optimization, and cash flow creation. In addition, he has one-of-a-kind expertise in establishing, incubating, and driving new growth initiatives for enterprises. Santosh is committed to leading digital transformation and developing information technology into a competitive advantage, putting customers' needs first, focusing on mobility and maintaining a maneuverable tech-savvy.

Owing to his extensive knowledge of financial operations and procedures, the Board of Directors at DTDC has placed their faith in Santosh to play a leading role in the company's transformation. He has enabled new methods of providing service to consumers and increasing market share as the CFO of DTDC. Today, Santosh is a finance thought leader. This is attributable to the fact that he excels at strategy planning and performance management at both
the entity and the division level, as well as at leading transformation initiatives in partnership with C-level executives in the finance and business sectors. Below is an excerpt of Santosh’s interview with CEO Insights.

The most evident step in putting up a team is defining the structure and regulations based on the project's deliverables

How would you define DTDC Express as an organization in the digital era? What’s the unique aspect of managing the company’s finance department?
DTDC has achieved a lot of successes, notably in the technology realm. One example is the DTDC digital wallet, which is a first for a franchisee and has been recognized with many accolades. The number of Indian entrepreneurs engendered by DTDC is remarkable; we are working together with more than 13,000 franchises nation wide. Moreover, because of our extensive knowledge and experience in various processes and technologies, we tailor our solutions to meet the specific requirements of each of our franchisees. To put the cherry on top, DTDC was recognized for its digital wallet development work with the US Bank.

Furthermore, we now have a massive stack of data from SAP to BPC available for consolidation. And for our direct clients and franchisees, we have deployed several unique RPA solutions. In addition, speaking from a CFO perspective, I'm not sure how many companies’ financial departments offer a helpdesk for external partners as we do for our franchisees. Franchisees can now submit tickets for customer service, which an automated help desk system may track. At DTDC, we've always endeavored to be a company of the future that works for the present.

Tell us about your leadership approach. What are the principles that you are guided by? What is your success mantra?
It is crucial to have a consistent mindset because you cannot say one thing today and then do another the next day; you must walk the talk. Besides that, a leader should clearly articulate what they're doing and why they're doing it. Even more important than this is that you must be fair and treat your employees equally, which will enhance their relationship with you and help them achieve the objectives you set together.
Also, have individuals who can handle difficulties in the right way and empower them; there is little use in micromanaging since everything is just not achievable at scale. These are a few guiding principles that have been instrumental to my leadership and conflict resolution.

What are the traits that you look for in a potential member of your team?
The most obvious step in developing a team is defining the structure and regulations based on the project's deliverables. Take a close look at fitting as the second and most critical consideration. In addition, when it comes to finding a good match, we need to remember that only some individuals might have the exact attributes you're seeking. Those who don't have them can be trained depending on the amount of functional skill. Above all else, the team members should be motivated to go above and beyond to fulfill the organization's objectives.

For me, the key to forming a team is to assemble a group of individuals, empower them, and then work to ensure that everyone is a suitable candidate.

What are your future plans as a CFO? Do you plan to adopt any new technology?
As CFO, I've made significant strides in areas like standard accounting, vendor payments, and so on. Regarding reporting, punctuality, and other aspects of the business, we've already achieved progress in improving the company's overall worth. Therefore, our goal is now to raise the bar in terms of the business partner and leadership value.

Moreover, in logistics services, matrices play a crucial role. We're trying to figure out how to link the matrix to additional functions like customer experience and include data on cost and revenue with other qualitative aspects. To that end, we are keeping an eye out for changes in customer satisfaction that can impact the organization's bottom line. To conclude, all of these factors mentioned above have led us to devise measures to improve our company and financial management.

Santosh Abbimane, CFO, DTDC Express Limited
In 1996, Santosh graduated from Mumbai University with a Master of Management Studies in Finance. He kick-started his career as the Finance Manager at The Arvind Mills. Throughout his two-decade-strong career, Santosh has worked for several prestigious organizations, including Patni- now iGATE Global Solutions, Accenture, Vodafone, and Dell. He presently serves as the Chief Financial Officer of DTDC Express.

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