Rahmat Budiardjo

The Owner of Dynamic & Diverse Finance Acumen

Rahmat Budiardjo

Group CFO,

Kopi Kenangan

The complex world of finance has very few CFOs, who stand out for their unique amalgamation of technical prowess, strategic foresight, and exceptional leadership skills. Nowhere are these qualities more vital than in Asia, a region renowned for its dynamic and diverse business landscape, replete with unique market risks. Navigating this complexity demands CFOs to not only possess a profound understanding of financial analysis and accounting principles but also to skillfully identify, assess, and manage these risks, ensuring the company’s operations remain within legal boundaries.
However, their role extends beyond financial acumen. They must strategically align financial goals with broader business objectives, a task complicated by the diverse cultural contexts prevalent in the region. This demands CFOs grasp cultural nuances for effective communication and relationshipbuilding both within and outside the organisation. Striking this balance not only requires astute financial judgement but also a deep understanding of cultural intricacies, making it a multifaceted challenge for CFOs in the Asian business landscape.
Amidst this backdrop, Rahmat Budiardjo, Global CFO, Kopi Kenangan, emerges as a distinguished CFO, embodying each of these indispensable traits. With over 14 years of invaluable experience in management consulting and leading multinational corporations across the globe, from the corporate landscapes of Germany and Singapore to the vibrant markets of Indonesia, China, South Korea, Thailand, and Malaysia, Rahmat possesses a wealth of expertise that transcends borders.
Fluent in Bahasa, English, German, and basic Mandarin, Rahmat’s linguistic fluency mirrors his ability to bridge cultural gaps seamlessly. His educational background, including an MBA from INSEAD and a Master of Science in Biotechnology, showcases a rare blend of financial acumen and technical expertise. Moreover, Rahmat’s proven track record in building and leading high-performing finance teams, fostering a culture of continuous learning and professional development, solidifies his reputation as a leading CFO in the competitive Asian landscape.
TradeFlock interviewed Rahmat to learn more about his interesting journey in the complex work of finance.

How have your diverse roles, from McKinsey management consultant to investment director, influenced your approach as a CFO?

Having transitioned from roles at McKinsey to an investment director, my diverse experiences have been instrumental in my current CFO position. Exposure to varied industries and operational models informs my financial strategies, enabling adaptability to changing market dynamics. My consulting background refined analytical skills crucial for decoding complex financial data and making strategic CFO decisions. Effective communication honed as a consultant is vital for conveying financial information persuasively to stakeholders.
As an investment director, managing financial risk became second nature. This expertise translates directly into my CFO role, aiding in efficient capital allocation, compliance, and navigating financial regulations. My combined consulting and investment background provides a holistic perspective, guiding financial strategy in alignment with broader organisational goals.

How do you handle financial risks like supply chain disruptions and economic downturns in a global coffee shop chain?

Managing financial risks, especially in a global coffee shop chain, requires strategic planning, operational flexibility, and proactive risk mitigation. We assess alternative sourcing, maintain buffer stocks, and explore warehouse and logistics options. Our in-house mobile app facilitates efficient communication between the warehouse and stores, enabling optimal inventory management and forecasting. This approach helps us handle supply chain disruptions and economic downturns effectively.

How did you adapt financial systems for digital payments and mobile ordering in response to changing consumer preferences and technologies?

We pioneered the integration of digital payments and mobile ordering through our in-house app, offering customers a seamless transaction experience. The app supports various digital payment methods, including mobile wallets, and incorporates loyalty programmes and personalised offers. This proactive approach allows us to align with evolving market trends and consumer preferences effectively.

What were the most challenging financial issues you faced as Group CFO, and how did you resolve them successfully?

As the group CFO of a global organisation operating approximately 800 outlets across multiple countries, presenting financial statements with extensive transaction data posed significant challenges. Ensuring accurate and transparent financial reporting and meeting demands for increased transparency from stakeholders, investors, and regulatory bodies was a top priority.
Overcoming operational hurdles that previously delayed timely book closures, we successfully migrated to a new ERP system within six months, a significant achievement for a retail F&B player. This transition allowed us to expedite our book closures accurately.
Navigating the financial aspects of business decisions was another challenge. Balancing opportunities and innovations with potential financial risks requires building strong relationships between the management team and stakeholders. This collaborative approach played a pivotal role in our success, enabling us to become the first F&B unicorn in Southeast Asia today.

How do you manage global currency risks and financial operations? Additionally, what steps are taken to ensure data security and prevent breaches?

To handle currency risk globally, we begin by defining our risk tolerance and establishing planning, forecasts, and longterm goals. Constant monitoring of currency markets and economic indicators guides our short- and long-term strategies, enabling optimal investment allocation and exposure management. Proper accounting techniques and natural hedging align revenues and expenses in the same currency, mitigating currency fluctuation impacts on financial statements.
For efficient financial operations, we implement uniform systems and procedures across all countries, adapting as needed to comply with local regulations. To ensure data security and prevent breaches, we adhere to ISO 27001:2013 standards, implementing robust security controls in our Information Security Management System.