The Go-To Man

Under Subramanian, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer's net sales have grown at an average of 19 per cent, while net profit has grown at 23 per cent over the past 5 years.
Arpita Mukherjee        Print Edition: Oct 12, 2014
R. Subramanian, VP - Finance, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer.
R. Subramanian, VP - Finance, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer. Photo: Vivan Mehra

BT-Yes Bank Best CFOs Survey

Category: BEST CFO OF AN MNC (LARGE COMPANIES)

WINNER: R. SUBRAMANIAN, VP - Finance, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer

For any consumer products company, it is imperative to maintain and improve operating margins to invest further in innovation and capacity expansion.

But Ramakrishnan Subramanian has not had it easy as VP & Director- Finance at  GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare. A slowing economy with high inflation and interest rates, rising input and labour costs has ensured that the going is tough.

"The challenge therefore is our greatest opportunity," says Zubair Ahmed, Managing Director, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare. And Subramanian, who has been with the company for 8 years now, has managed well.

Under Subramanian, the company's net sales have grown at an average of 19 per cent, while net profit has grown at 23 per cent over the past 5 years. In fiscal 2012/13, sales grew by 15 per cent and profit by 23 per cent to Rs 437 crore, and the company is well set for the future. "We have adequate internal generated accruals to take care of our capacity augmentation or other requirements. We don't foresee any need in the short term to tap capital or money market," says Subramanian.

The company is expanding its rural footprint as well. The company has retail 7, 50,000  distribution outlets and by its expects this number to grow to 10,00,000  by the end of this year. The company is now looking to get 25 per cent of its revenues from the rural market in about five years.

So what are the challenges one faces? "As CFO, one of the challenges is to have a go/no go investment matrix, with strong monitoring mechanisms to measure performance of new products and to take some hard and timely calls if required," he says.

Subramanian says CFOs have always been significant contributors to the success of the organisations. "CFOs are gaining an increased role in strategy," he says. During a period of change and turbulence there is an opportunity for a CFO to prove his mettle, he adds.

FULL COVERAGE:Best CFOs 2014

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