7 Questions with Rajiv Ramani
Name: Rajiv Ramani
Current title: GROUP CFO
Current organisation: LUXASIA PTE LTD
Rajiv Ramani is the CFO of The Luxasia Group (Luxasia) joining them in April 2020 from Coty where he was for 4 years. As CFO, Rajiv has responsibility for all finance activities ranging from budgeting & forecasting to treasury and NWC management. In Coty Rajiv spent a year in Singapore as Regional Controller – APAC & Middle East and 3 years in Dubai, first as Controller and then as CFO for the JV with Chalhoub group.
Prior to Coty Rajiv worked with Astro – a Public Listed Company in Malaysia for 2 years. He also had stints with Unilever (Finance Director – SEA, Food Solutions – 2011 to 2013) and Coca-Cola (positions of increasing responsibility across multiple geographies in Asia, USA & Europe – 1998 to 2011).
Rajiv graduated with a Bachelor of Business (Accountancy) from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) and is an Australian CPA. He is a mentor to fresh graduates and young professionals embarking on their career journey. He was secretary to the Board of Coty Middle East (2016 – 2019) and Board member, HFC Prestige Middle East (2016 to 2019). He was also Deputy Chair – CIMA Industry Advisory Executive Panel, Asia Pacific for a period of time. His interests include the English Premier League & F1.
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
Navigating through the pandemic - crisis management, protecting the P&L, strengthening the BS and ensuring our long term cash flow viability
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
About 20 years ago I set myself a long term goal - CFO of a mid size company or a PLC. Speaking to my mentors and supervisors and observing other CFOs in the industries made me understand what was required to get there. I then put in motion a plan to get me there. That meant at times taking a pay cut or moving laterally across jobs.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I have recently started embracing the mantra of Mind, Body Soul - Mind (to be continuously intellectually challenged), Body (exercise to be healthy and this means watching what I consume both eating & drinking), Soul (spiritual/religious aspects). I try to ensure I touch all aspects during the course of the day. Weekends I tune off - completely allocated to myself, family & friends.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
There is no one book. More like extracts from a few books that I have read. Typically I read autobiographies as opposed to management books.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
In my humble opinion, this is done with the help of HR and a few other functional stakeholders. Afterall - TEAM = Together Everyone Achieves More
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
None that stand out at the moment.