Anil Radhakrishnan

Empowering Teams & Driving Results


Group Chief Financial Officer,

Plant Lipids

I n today’s dynamic business landscape, the CFO plays a pivotal role in driving organisational success. Anil Radhakrishnan, the Group CFO of Plant Lipids, is leading the charge in reshaping the finance department within plant lipids Group. Anil understands that the CFO’s responsibilities extend far beyond financial planning and reporting. He envisions the finance function as a strategic partner in driving overall growth. By actively participating in strategy development with CEO, Managing Director and divisional leaders, Anil ensures business decisions and financial decisions are integrated into the company’s fabric.
Embracing technology, Anil has established a global shared service center equipped with cutting-edge tools. This center streamlines financial operations and empowers data-driven decision-making. By leveraging technology’s potential, Anil fosters innovation and efficiency within the finance department. Recognising the importance of talent, he prioritises creating a collaborative work environment. His strategic approach to talent retention ensures a skilled and motivated team.
Anil’s visionary leadership is revolutionising the role of the CFO at Plant Lipids. His impact is set to reshape the CFO’s role in the corporate world, driving success in the ever-evolving business landscape. TradeFlock interviews Anil to learn more about his way of leading organisational growth from the front. 

How has the role of a CFO changed over the years, and how do you navigate through these changes?

The CFO role has evolved significantly. In addition to traditional responsibilities, CFOs now drive the strategic direction of the organisation. They prioritise cost optimisation, risk management, technology adoption, and data security. To adapt to these changes, I emphasise teamwork and collaboration while ensuring backup support for effective performance.

What are the current demands of the finance function that you prioritise, and how do you approach them?

My top priority is driving the organisation’s strategy. I work closely with divisional CEOs to ensure finance teams engage in value-added activities. Transforming finance operations and aligning them with global requirements are continuous challenges I address.

How do you manage financial risks, and how do you evaluate the effectiveness of your strategies?

I prioritise liquidity risk and compliance risk management, and closely monitoring credit and operational risks. Forex risk, in particular, is a significant challenge, but I have developed clear strategies to manage it through hedging and derivative transactions. I have implemented enterprise risk management guidelines, overseen by risk management committees. Compliance risk is managed through internal audits and stakeholder awareness. Debt risk is also a key focus area for liquidity management.

Can you share some key milestones in your finance career?

With 25 years of experience, I have achieved significant milestones. I have progressed from Finance Controller to CFO of one company to Group CFO position, I have worked for multinational companies at senior leadership levels and was a board of director in my previous stint, collaborating with business leaders and CXOs worldwide. My leadership roles have contributed substantial value to the organisations I served.

Considering the finance industry's current scenario, what challenges do you anticipate in the future, and how do you prepare for them?

CFOs face increasing expectations and dynamic roles aligned with business requirements. They play crucial roles in strategy development, risk management, and aligning financial operations with growth objectives. Staying updated with industry trends and focusing on organisational alignment are key to handling future challenges.

Will CFOs have a more significant role in organisational decisions such as expansion and growth?

Absolutely. CFOs already play vital roles in organisational decision-making. They ensure liquidity, profitability, and support business growth. CFOs contribute to enterprise risk management, balancing growth activities with risk mitigation. They actively participate in boardroom discussions, strategy sessions, and advisory board meetings.

What are your priorities as a CFO, particularly in terms of data security and training future leaders?

Data security is a top priority, and I align finance and IT departments to enhance security measures. Stable ERP systems, policies to prevent breaches, and leveraging technology and automation are key initiatives. Training future leaders to prioritise data security is crucial for maintaining a secure financial environment.

What are your key strengths and weaknesses as a finance expert?

One of my key strengths is my ability to foster teamwork and align individuals towards organisational strategies. I prioritise subject expertise and practical application within the team. My focus on collaboration and creating a cohesive structure has been a major achievement.

How would you describe yourself in your personal life, and how do you empower

In my personal life, I am a go-getter who believes in achieving goals while ensuring the involvement of all stakeholders. I bring structure and drive to the organisations I work with, prioritising the team’s best interests. I aim to transform the ecosystem by breaking down silos and building efficient systems.

How do you balance immediate profitability with investing in future growth, and what growth do you expect for your organisation and yourself?

Ensuring profitability, liquidity and a compliant organisation is my top priority. While focusing on immediate profitability, I understand the importance of investing in future growth. We explore global opportunities and plan for expansion across multiple countries through mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures. Our strategic fund utilisation supports capacity building and acquisitions. I play a crucial role in driving this growth.