In recent times, the role of a CFO in an organization has undergone vast changes. A CFO is not only just a financial authority but a strategic partner to the CEO, supporting in the crucial decision-making and application of strategic methods in the company. Besides making responsible decisions about investment, CFOs today are expected to remain updated with the latest technologies. At present, Indian companies are gearing up for global competition and their outlook is extremely futuristic. With this outlook in hand, the role of CFOs is even more significant. India is one of the best countries in Asia in terms of its Geography, culture, and heritage. In the business sector, it has improved significantly over time. Listed down are the top 30 CFOs in India based on their performance, credibility, and talent.
21. Aparna Iyer
Aparna Iyer is a distinguished finance leader with over two decades of experience, currently serving as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at Wipro Limited. With a strong background in finance and accountancy, she has consistently demonstrated exceptional expertise and leadership across various domains within the finance function.
Aparna’s journey at Wipro spans nearly 21 years, during which she has held pivotal roles and made significant contributions to the organization’s financial management and strategic direction. As the CFO, she is entrusted with overseeing the financial operations of a global company with revenues exceeding $8 billion, operating across 54 countries. Her responsibilities include managing forex risk, overseeing investments exceeding $3 billion, shaping capital structure decisions, leading investor relations, and defining capital allocation policies.
Prior to her current role, Aparna served as the Senior Vice President of Finance at Wipro, where she played a crucial role in steering the financial strategy and operations of the company. She also held the position of Corporate Treasurer and Vice President of Investor Relations, where she managed investment portfolios, engaged with investors and analysts, and formulated capital allocation strategies.
Aparna’s leadership journey at Wipro began with roles in finance planning and analysis, where she led the FP&A function, driving performance measurement frameworks, management reporting, and business advocacy. She subsequently progressed to become the Business Finance Head for Infrastructure Services, where she was instrumental in structuring deals, managing profitability, and forecasting business performance.
Aparna’s academic achievements include being ranked first in the final examinations of Chartered Accountancy held in November 2002 by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. She also secured the 29th rank in the merit list of intermediate and foundation examinations of Chartered Accountancy. Her academic prowess and professional accomplishments underscore her exceptional aptitude and dedication to the field of finance.
With her wealth of experience, strategic vision, and steadfast leadership, Aparna Iyer continues to drive financial excellence and contribute to the success of Wipro Limited, playing a key role in shaping its future growth and sustainability.
22. Niraj Shah
Niraj Shah is a seasoned finance professional with extensive experience in the insurance sector, currently serving as the Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer at HDFC Life Insurance Company Limited. With a career spanning over two decades, Niraj has played pivotal roles in shaping the financial strategies and operations of leading insurance companies in India.
At HDFC Life, Niraj holds the dual responsibilities of Executive Director and CFO, overseeing the financial management and strategic direction of the company. His tenure at HDFC Life has been marked by significant contributions to enhancing financial performance, driving growth initiatives, and ensuring regulatory compliance.
Prior to joining HDFC Life, Niraj served as the Chief Financial Officer at PNB MetLife India Insurance Co. Ltd, where he played a key role in managing the company’s financial functions and contributing to its overall business objectives. Before his tenure at PNB MetLife, Niraj held leadership positions at ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company Limited, where he served as Senior Vice President and Head of Products, and at other notable organizations in the finance sector.
Niraj’s expertise extends beyond the insurance industry, as evidenced by his previous roles in corporate finance, M&A advisory, and investment banking. He has gained valuable experience in areas such as mergers and acquisitions, valuation, transaction structuring, and corporate strategy, having worked at renowned firms like EY Corporate Finance and BNP Paribas Investment Banking.
Niraj’s academic background is equally impressive, with a PGDBM from the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB) and a Chartered Accountancy qualification from The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). He also holds a Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) degree from H.R. College of Commerce and Economics.
With his rich professional experience, strategic acumen, and strong financial expertise, Niraj Shah continues to play a significant role in driving the success and growth of HDFC Life Insurance Company Limited, contributing to its position as a leading player in the Indian insurance industry.
23. Sandeep Batra
Sandeep Batra is a highly experienced Chief Financial Officer (CFO) with a robust background in the consumer goods industry. With a career spanning several decades, he has demonstrated expertise in various financial domains including business planning, corporate finance, accounting, forecasting, and working capital management. Sandeep is a graduate of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, which further underscores his strong financial acumen.
Currently serving as the Chief Financial Officer at Pidilite Industries Limited, Sandeep has been instrumental in driving the financial strategy and operations of the company since June 2022. Pidilite Industries Limited is a renowned consumer goods company based in Mumbai, and Sandeep’s leadership as CFO plays a vital role in shaping its financial performance and strategic direction.
Prior to his role at Pidilite Industries Limited, Sandeep served as the Chief Financial Officer at Crompton Greaves Consumer Electricals for nearly seven years, from September 2015 to June 2022. Before that, he held the position of Director of Finance at Pidilite Industries Limited, where he contributed significantly to the financial management of the organization for over six years, from January 2009 to September 2015.
Sandeep’s extensive tenure in the consumer goods industry also includes a remarkable 21-year stint at ICI India Limited, where he served as the Chief Financial Officer & Executive Director from January 1988 to January 2009. His long-standing experience in various financial leadership roles has equipped him with valuable insights and expertise in navigating the complexities of the industry.
In terms of education, Sandeep holds a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce with a specialization in Accountancy from St. Xavier’s College. He completed his Chartered Accountancy qualification from The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, laying a strong foundation for his illustrious career in finance.
Overall, Sandeep Batra’s track record as a seasoned CFO underscores his ability to drive financial excellence, strategic decision-making, and sustainable growth in the consumer goods sector. His leadership and financial expertise continue to be invaluable assets to the organizations he serves.
24. Prateek Aggarwal
Prateek Aggarwal boasts a distinguished career as a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) within the global IT sector, marked by a remarkable track record of value creation, strategic leadership, and successful mergers and acquisitions (M&A). With over two decades of experience, Prateek has demonstrated his expertise in steering financial functions to optimize performance and drive growth. His tenure at HCL Technologies since October 2018 has been particularly noteworthy, where he has held the position of CFO, overseeing all finance and legal operations. During this time, Prateek orchestrated HCL’s largest-ever acquisition in the Indian IT industry, a landmark $1.8 billion deal with IBM for select software products, propelling HCL into a new realm of profitability and market influence.
In addition to his role as CFO, Prateek has been instrumental in founding and developing the Software Products & Platforms (P&P) business segment within HCL Technologies. Through strategic partnerships and acquisitions, particularly with IBM, Prateek successfully built a highly profitable product revenue stream, further enhancing HCL’s competitive edge and market positioning. As Executive Vice President of the P&P business unit, he led the formulation of a comprehensive strategic plan, ensuring the achievement of revenue and profitability targets while establishing robust systems and processes to support sustainable growth.
Prateek’s multifaceted career also includes pivotal roles such as Executive Vice President of finance, where he drove strategic initiatives to improve productivity and margins across multiple years. His keen financial acumen and leadership prowess were evident in his tenure as CFO of Hexaware Technologies, where he oversaw significant EBITDA growth and represented the company in financial media. Prateek’s comprehensive understanding of financial intricacies and operational dynamics has been honed through diverse experiences, including his tenure at Unilever, where he held roles in commercial management, financial planning, and mergers and acquisitions.
Educationally, Prateek holds an MBA in Finance from the prestigious Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, where he ranked in the top 10 of his batch. Complementing his academic credentials, he completed a certificate course in Mergers & Acquisitions from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. His educational background, coupled with hands-on experience and a proven track record of success, underscores Prateek’s proficiency in navigating complex financial landscapes and driving transformative initiatives within the IT industry.
Prateek Aggarwal’s extensive skill set encompasses treasury management, financial planning and analysis (FP&A), corporate tax optimization, investor relations, strategic planning, and portfolio optimization. His strategic foresight, coupled with a deep understanding of market dynamics and business intricacies, positions him as a visionary leader capable of steering organizations toward sustained growth and profitability in an ever-evolving business landscape.
25. Ajay Goel
Ajay Goel brings over two decades of extensive experience in global finance to his role as Chief Financial Officer at Vedanta. With a background that includes leadership positions at renowned multinational corporations such as Diageo, GE, Coca-Cola, and Nestle, Ajay has honed his skills in strategic finance, mergers and acquisitions, capital restructuring, and funding strategy. As a Chartered Accountant and Company Secretary, Ajay’s academic excellence, coupled with his professional acumen, has positioned him as a trusted financial leader known for building high-performing teams and driving organizational success.
During his tenure at Vedanta, Ajay has played a pivotal role in shaping the financial strategy and performance of the group. As Group CFO, he spearheaded financial planning and analysis, controllership, consolidation and accounting, audit, taxation, and risk management initiatives. Ajay’s focus on driving business performance through benchmarking and analytics has been instrumental in navigating Vedanta’s growth trajectory, particularly within its fast-growing $12 billion group.
Prior to joining Vedanta, Ajay held key leadership positions, including Executive Vice President & Finance Controller at Diageo, where he was responsible for statutory reporting, controllership, risk management, tax, and treasury functions. His experience at GE, where he served in various finance leadership roles, equipped him with a deep understanding of strategic planning, operating rhythm, and business partnerships. Ajay’s contributions to iconic companies like Coca-Cola and Nestle further underscore his expertise in finance leadership and corporate governance.
Ajay’s academic journey, which includes a Bachelor of Commerce degree from St. Xavier’s College, along with professional qualifications as a Chartered Accountant and Company Secretary, reflects his commitment to continuous learning and excellence. His involvement in activities such as debate, elocution contests, and contributions to professional institute magazines highlights his multifaceted approach to personal and professional development. With a strong foundation in finance planning, controls, audit, taxation, corporate governance, and corporate laws, Ajay Goel embodies the qualities of a versatile and accomplished financial leader driving success at Vedanta and beyond.
26. Sushil Agarwal
Sushil Agarwal serves as the Group Chief Financial Officer and Director at Aditya Birla Management Corporation Private Ltd., contributing his expertise to one of India’s largest conglomerates. With a career spanning over three decades within the Aditya Birla Group, Sushil has played a pivotal role in shaping the financial landscape of the organization. His journey began as an Officer at Grasim Industries Limited – Projects Division, where he served as the Executive Assistant to the Late Shri Aditya Vikram Birla and the current Chairman, Mr. Kumar Mangalam Birla. This foundational experience laid the groundwork for his subsequent leadership roles within the group.
Over the years, Sushil has held various key positions, including Chief Operating Officer at Birla Global Finance Co. Ltd. and Chief Financial Officer and Whole Time Director at Aditya Birla Nuvo Ltd. (ABNL) and Grasim Industries Limited | Pulp & Fibre. His tenure as Joint President in the Central Cell of the Aditya Birla Group exemplifies his extensive experience and deep understanding of the organization’s operations and strategic priorities.
As Group Chief Financial Officer, Sushil Agarwal plays a central role in steering the financial strategy and performance of the Aditya Birla Group. His responsibilities encompass financial planning and analysis, corporate governance, risk management, and capital restructuring. With a master’s degree in Commerce with a specialization in Finance from the University of Rajasthan and a Chartered Accountancy qualification from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, Sushil brings a robust academic background to his leadership role.
Throughout his career journey, Sushil has been instrumental in driving financial excellence and contributing to the growth and success of the Aditya Birla Group. His strategic acumen, coupled with his deep-rooted commitment to financial integrity and corporate stewardship, underscores his leadership as a seasoned finance professional. Sushil’s leadership at Aditya Birla Management Corporation Private Ltd. continues to be characterized by a steadfast dedication to delivering value and driving sustainable growth across the organization.
27. Atul Daga
Atul Daga, currently serving as the Executive Director & Chief Financial Officer at UltraTech Cement within the Aditya Birla Group, epitomizes seasoned leadership and financial acumen. With an illustrious career spanning over three decades, Atul has made significant contributions to the corporate landscape, particularly within the Aditya Birla Group, one of India’s leading conglomerates. His journey began in the cement manufacturing division, where he honed his skills in accounts before gradually advancing to management accounting and reporting roles. Notably, he had the privilege of working closely with the esteemed Chairman, Mr. Aditya Birla, which provided him with invaluable insights into diversified business activities.
Throughout his career, Atul has held various key positions, each underscoring his expertise and leadership capabilities. His tenure as the Chief Financial Officer at Aditya Birla Retail Limited showcased his strategic prowess in areas such as business finance, treasury management, legal compliance, and central procurement. Additionally, his role as the Joint President of Finance at Aditya Birla Management Corporation Pvt Ltd involved overseeing the management information system for the entire group, spanning multiple countries and industries, highlighting his proficiency in managing complex financial operations.
At UltraTech Cement, Atul Daga leads as the Executive Director & Chief Financial Officer, spearheading financial strategy and contributing to the company’s growth trajectory. His responsibilities include driving business finance, treasury management, banking operations, and legal compliance, among others. Under his leadership, UltraTech Cement has continued to thrive, leveraging his extensive experience and strategic insights to navigate challenges and capitalize on opportunities in the dynamic cement industry landscape.
Atul’s commitment to excellence extends beyond his professional endeavors, as evidenced by his involvement in mentoring entrepreneurs through Brand Capital’s Scaleup program and his participation in industry committees such as the CFO committee of the Retailers Association of India. Recognized for his outstanding contributions, Atul Daga was accredited with the Chairman’s Award for “Exceptional Contributor” in 2009 at the Aditya Birla Group, underscoring his dedication and impact within the organization.
With a solid educational foundation, including a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Mumbai and a Chartered Accountancy qualification from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, Atul Daga brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his leadership role. Moreover, his participation in leadership programs at renowned institutions like Harvard Business School reflects his commitment to continuous learning and personal development, further enhancing his leadership capabilities and strategic vision.
In summary, Atul Daga’s illustrious career journey exemplifies a steadfast dedication to financial excellence, strategic leadership, and continuous innovation. As a visionary leader within the Aditya Birla Group and the broader corporate landscape, he continues to inspire and drive impactful change, shaping the future of the industries he serves.
Praveen Kumar Maheshwari, currently serving as the Director & Chief Financial Officer at Hindalco Industries Limited within the esteemed Aditya Birla Group, exemplifies a distinguished career marked by financial stewardship and strategic leadership. With over three decades of experience in the corporate realm, Praveen has played instrumental roles in shaping the financial landscape of renowned organizations.
As the Chief Financial Officer at Hindalco Industries Limited, Praveen leads the financial strategy of one of India’s leading aluminum and copper producers. His tenure at Hindalco, spanning over twelve years, underscores his deep-rooted commitment to driving financial excellence and navigating the complexities of the metals industry. In this capacity, he oversees critical financial functions, including financial planning, risk management, treasury operations, and compliance, contributing significantly to Hindalco’s sustained growth and profitability.
Prior to his role at Hindalco, Praveen Kumar Maheshwari served as the Group Chief Financial Officer at Bharat Forge Ltd, a prominent player in the automotive and industrial sector. During his eight-year tenure at Bharat Forge Ltd, Praveen played a pivotal role in optimizing financial performance, implementing robust financial controls, and supporting the company’s expansion initiatives. His strategic foresight and astute financial management contributed to Bharat Forge Ltd’s emergence as a global leader in its industry segment.
Praveen’s academic background reflects a strong foundation in finance and management. He holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from the prestigious Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, complemented by a Chartered Accountancy qualification from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. Additionally, he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce (Honors) from the University of Rajasthan, further enriching his understanding of financial principles and business dynamics.
Throughout his career journey, Praveen Kumar Maheshwari has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to excellence, leveraging his expertise to drive sustainable growth, optimize financial performance, and enhance shareholder value. His leadership acumen, coupled with his strategic vision and financial acumen, has positioned him as a trusted steward of corporate finance within the Aditya Birla Group and beyond.
In conclusion, Praveen Kumar Maheshwari’s illustrious career trajectory underscores a relentless pursuit of financial excellence and strategic leadership. As the Director & Chief Financial Officer at Hindalco Industries Limited, he continues to steer the company toward greater heights of success, epitomizing the values of integrity, innovation, and excellence synonymous with the Aditya Birla Group.
29. Ankush Jain
Ankush Jain, currently serving as the Chief Financial Officer at Dabur India Limited, brings to the table a wealth of experience and expertise garnered over a career spanning two decades in globally renowned multinational corporations. As a Chartered Accountant and Company Secretary, Ankush’s professional journey has been characterized by strategic financial leadership, adept management of complex P&L structures, and instrumental contributions to business turnarounds.
With his rich and varied exposure in organizations like GSK, PriceWaterhouse, Carlsberg, and Dabur, Ankush has honed his skills in strategic financial planning, valuation for M&A transactions, and long-term strategy formulation aligned with organizational objectives. His track record speaks volumes, having played pivotal roles in steering businesses through periods of growth, transformation, and enhanced profitability.
During his tenure at Dabur India Limited, Ankush has been instrumental in driving strategic finance initiatives and fostering collaborative partnerships across diverse functional areas. His responsibilities encompass strategic financial planning and analysis, consolidation of global financials in compliance with regulatory requirements, and leading business initiatives aimed at accelerating growth and improving margins.
Prior to his role at Dabur, Ankush served as the Associate Finance Director at Carlsberg India, where he played a key role in shaping the company’s business strategy, driving sustainable profit growth, and overseeing mergers and acquisitions. His leadership was instrumental in achieving significant market share growth and navigating the complexities of the beverage industry.
Ankush’s professional journey also includes a noteworthy tenure at GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Ltd, where he held various finance leadership roles spanning corporate consolidation, treasury management, budgeting, and planning. His tenure at GSK exemplified a perfect blend of professional growth and personal fulfillment, providing him with invaluable experiences in a structured environment.
Ankush’s academic credentials further underscore his commitment to excellence, with a Chartered Accountancy qualification from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, accompanied by an All India Rank in CA entrance. His educational background, coupled with his extensive professional experience, positions him as a seasoned financial leader capable of navigating the complexities of today’s dynamic business landscape.
In conclusion, Ankush Jain’s illustrious career trajectory reflects a relentless pursuit of excellence, strategic foresight, and a commitment to driving sustainable growth. As the Chief Financial Officer at Dabur India Limited, he continues to leverage his expertise to steer the organization towards greater heights of success, epitomizing the values of integrity, innovation, and leadership.
30. Manoj Bhat
Manoj Bhat, currently serving as the Group Chief Financial Officer at M&M (Mahindra & Mahindra), is a seasoned financial executive with a diverse background and extensive experience in leading multinational corporations. Over the course of his career, Manoj has demonstrated strategic acumen, financial expertise, and strong leadership skills, contributing significantly to the success and growth of the organizations he has been associated with.
With a solid educational foundation, including a PGDM in Finance and Strategy from the prestigious Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, and a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the esteemed Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, Manoj possesses a strong blend of technical and managerial skills.
Manoj’s professional journey began at Perot Systems, where he served in various roles over a span of ten years, culminating in the position of Senior Manager. During his tenure, he gained invaluable experience in financial management, corporate planning, and deal structuring, laying the groundwork for his subsequent career progression.
In 2006, Manoj transitioned to Dell Technologies, where he continued to excel in roles of increasing responsibility, ultimately serving as Vice President in Corporate Planning, Deal Structuring, M&A, and Investor Relations. His contributions were instrumental in driving strategic initiatives and fostering growth within the organization.
Subsequently, Manoj joined Tech Mahindra, a leading provider of digital transformation, consulting, and business reengineering services, where he held key leadership positions, including Head of M&A and Corporate Planning, Deputy CFO, and ultimately, Chief Financial Officer. During his tenure at Tech Mahindra, Manoj played a pivotal role in shaping the company’s financial strategy, driving operational excellence, and overseeing critical financial functions.
In his current role as the Group Chief Financial Officer at M&M, Manoj brings his wealth of experience and expertise to bear in steering the financial strategy and operations of one of India’s leading automotive and manufacturing conglomerates. His responsibilities include overseeing financial planning and analysis, treasury management, investor relations, and driving strategic initiatives to support the company’s growth objectives.
Throughout his career, Manoj has been recognized for his exceptional leadership, strategic vision, and ability to deliver results in dynamic and challenging environments. His educational background, coupled with his extensive professional experience, positions him as a trusted leader and strategic partner, capable of driving sustainable growth and value creation for the organizations he serves.
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