Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

HUL FinAce season 07 grand finale: CFO playbook on driving business growth

A quest for strategic business thinking and understanding the implications of decisions proposed

Published: Nov 20, 2023 09:45:00 AM IST
Updated: Nov 20, 2023 10:12:11 AM IST

HUL FinAce season 07 grand finale: CFO playbook on driving business growthHUL and CNBC-TV18 wrapped up Season 7 of the HUL’s flagship B-school case competition “FinAce” on October 25, 2023. FinAce Season 7 brought an exhilarating opportunity for students hailing from esteemed business institutes across India to stretch their imagination and make strategic financial choices that propel sustainable business growth.

The Culmination of HUL FinAce: A Spectacular Finale!

HUL has consistently groomed finance leaders with several CFOs in the industry having their roots at HUL. HUL is known for nurturing finance professionals and equipping them with robust business acumen, adaptability to navigate evolving market dynamics, and a profound commitment to making a tangible impact on both business, and society. A career at HUL Finance offers young talent well-rounded exposure across a wide spectrum of finance roles with high stake P&L responsibilities, opportunity to lead intrapreneurial fintech projects, impactful change management assignments, bespoke international exposure and driving excellence in business operations.

In this context, the theme for the finale presentation was the 'CFO Playbook on Driving Business Growth’ focusing on the different strategic levers to propel business growth. Teams were expected to make business decisions to bridge portfolio gaps organically and inorganically. Further, choices in terms of pricing, marketing and go-to-market sales channels had to made so as deliver growth that is sustainable by design, financially viable and competitive.

The competition was not just about numbers and spreadsheets. It focussed instead on strategic business thinking and understanding the implications of decisions proposed.

The competition saw a massive participation from 3000 of the brightest minds across top B-schools, out of which the top 12 participants made it to the grand finale.

Each team crafted distinctive growth pitches keeping in mind the ever-evolving consumer. Following rigorous evaluations by a panel of experts from HUL, four standout finalists emerged: Money Maestros, Ace of Spades, Underdogs and The Mavericks.

Team Underdogs, the team from the Indian School of Business, included Diwank Kukreja, Srijna Dhaka, and Rajnish Vanigots. Team Ace of Spades, the team hailing from SP Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR), included Aryan Singhal, Gunjan Jain and Abhishek Agarwal. The Mavericks, from the prestigious Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, included Saksham Dewan, Parth Gupta and Rishabh Samdaria. And the fourth finalist team, Money Maestros, hailed from Indian School for Business and included Darshil Mehta, Rohan Divekar and Sharan Bindroo.

The finale event was graced by an esteemed jury panel that constituted Mr. Ritesh Tiwari, Executive Director, Finance & IT and the Chief Financial Officer of Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) and Unilever South Asia, President of the Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Independent Director on the ONDC Board and Chairman of the CFO Council of FICCI , Mr. Nilesh Shah, the Managing Director of Kotak AMC, part-time member of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), and the Board of the Association of Mutual Funds in India and Sairam Subramanian, the Head of the Beauty and Wellbeing India Premium Beauty Business Unit, HUL.

Mr. Ritesh Tiwari emphasized on 3 key components essential to HUL Finance – Finance, Business and Strategy. “The case study focusses on giving a flavor of the kind of work done at HUL Finance. Crating value by integrating business acumen, strategic thinking and financial prudence is the key challenge that the participants face.”

During the final presentations, the jury meticulously assessed the ideas put forth by the finalists, scrutinizing both the presented concepts and the team's aptitude for business acumen and strategic problem-solving. Mr. Ritesh Tiwari said, “I was amazed by the intellect and fresh perspective of young minds. With each passing year, FinAce just keeps getting bigger. The quality of the finalists this year was truly exceptional.”

After rigorous analysis, Team Money Maestros were declared as the winners of the season. Team Ace of Spades were the first runners up and Team Underdogs were the second runners up, followed by Team Mavericks who were the third runners up.

As we bid adieu to the thrilling grand finale of HUL FinAce Season 07, we eagerly await the future chapters of this remarkable competition, where budding students participate to become finance leaders of tomorrow. Until next time, let's keep the spirit of strategic business thinking burning bright!

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