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Beyond finance

Beyond finance

Finance was probably in his genes as his grandfather was one of the first CAs in South India and his uncle was also a CA. A normal middle class boy born in a small town in Andhra Pradesh, Devatha Prasad became the head of finance of Essar Projects Business Group.

After resigning from Andhra Bank, Prasad joined as the CFO of a granite company at Chennai. The company had 30 sites in remote areas in and around the border districts of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. He streamlined the overall financing and accounting system of the company.

Prasad’s stint at Essar has been a growth story. He has been involved in major restructurings, M&As, demergers, consolidation and amalgamations. Between 2008 and 2012, his team restructured working capital, consolidated term loans, raised debts through short-term loans with lower interest rates and improved cash flows.

On personal front, Prasad has been bestowed the honour of "Best CFO in Infrastructure and Construction Sector" in 2011 and also bagged the title of "CA Corporate Leader-Exacct" ranked second by ICAI in 2007. For Prasad, it was a proud moment when he received accolades by then President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam at a ‘Plenary session of Bio-Diesel Conference towards Energy Independence’ at Rashtrapati Nilayam in Secunderabad on 10 June 2006. Today he believes the role of CFO is evolving and is expanding to go beyond finance. Apart from managing day-to-day finance operations, the CFO needs to be an all rounder.

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