Business Today

The elusive Corner Room

Why CFOs rarely become CEOs and how they can
Print Edition: Oct 12, 2014
Rajesh Kumar Mohta, cfo, Specialty Restaurants.
Rajesh Kumar Mohta, cfo, Specialty Restaurants.

"CFOs typically tend to be functional experts driven by the need for accurate financial accounting and being effective cost and asset guardians. However, CEOs need to be entrepreneurial, understand all the nuances of business, be able toconnect the dots, and provide leadership to the whole team"

Saumen Chakraborty, CFO, Dr Reddy's Laboratories

"If one is ambitious enough and is ready to understand the company's business, is smart and diligent enough, and has a certain entrepreneurial spirit, one can definitely become the CEO of a company?. What one needs to do is learn the other parts and traits of the business, get more involved in the decision-making process in the company and put in a lot of hard work. If you have ambition, you can surely do it"

Raj Kumar Baheti, Director and President (Finance), Alembic Pharma

"It's due to the reluctance of CFOs to come out of their comfort zones. CFOs are not used to deal with ambiguities. As a CEO, you are required to take important decisions without waiting for that last piece of information.

So, making timely decisions is more important and this is one area in which CFOs are generally weak"

Sandeep Batra, Director (Finance), Pidilite

"A budding CFO should have a 360-degree approach and look at marketing and the people management function above and beyond the finance function. He is best geared for the position of the CEO. The benefit is that the CFO is the best person for return calculation. If the CFO calculates returns based on marketing and people management, he is a successful person"

Rajesh Kumar Mohta, CFO, Specialty Restaurants

"CFOs have a weakness on the technology side and they have a habit of getting into the postmortem mode"

Adesh Gupta, Whole-Time Director and CFO, Grasim Industries

"When you are CEO, you need a much more holistic approach. You've got to look at every aspect of the business. To the extent the CFO can think on those lines, he is as good a CEO material as possible. But if the CFO starts thinking more departmentally, more in isolation, he can never be a good CFO in the first place, let alone a CEO"

Kevin P. D'Sa, CFO and ED, Bajaj Auto

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