An Academician I Would Be!: Sayamdeb Mukherjee

Sayamdeb Mukherjee, Vice President – Planning & Control, United Breweries Ltd shares his thought on the alternate dream profession and several other issues that will surprise the CFO community.

If I were not a CFO…  
I would be an academician.
 
India of My Dreams  
No citizen should go to bed hungry and all children should have the right to basic education.
 
SUN SIGN
Gemini
 
VISION FOR SELF
To keep pace and adapt to the tectonic transformations taking place in the outside world
 
FIRST JOB
Regional Accountant of ICI Paints Ltd
 
POLITICAL VIEWS 
Liberal
 
PHILOSOPHY 
Count your blessings and be happy
The Leader I Would Like to Be & Why 
A leader who encourages people to try out new things and supports in case of failure . Most people are apprehensive to try out new things for fear of failure. I would like to encourage my team to take risks and support them in case things do not work out as per plan.
 
One costly mistake that I turned into an opportunity 
I had to implement sustainability initiatives with our contract suppliers in Philips. During negotiation, I had to yield to their request to increase the procurement price to comply with the sustainability norms, which was quite high compared to the market rates. As we had to comply, I was not in a position to negotiate with them effectively. However, this gave me insights into their costing structure. A few months later, when the commodity prices went up and they asked for another round of price increase, I could manage to negotiate with them to keep the prices constant by improving their operational efficiencies. 
 
SHORT TAKE
 
PASSION BEYOND NUMBERS Association with NGOs
 
LESSER-KNOWN FACT Interest in photography
 
ONE BIG HIGH Being selected as a Finance Brand Ambassador by Heineken global CFO
 
ONE PROUD POSSESSION Tissot watch presented by my parents after I became a Chartered Accountant
 
A HARD DAY’S NIGHT (HOW I UNWIND AFTER WORK) Meditation
 
CARTOON/FICTIONAL CHARACTER I IDENTIFY WITH Tintin
 
A SONG I CAN’T FORGET We Are the World
 
FAVOURITE BOOK Autobiography of a Yogi by Swami Yogananda
 
FAVOURITE FILM Born Free
 
FAVOURITE POISON Beer
 
ONE GUILTY PLEASURE Chocolates
I as a mentor & mentee 
As a mentee, I was always encouraged to look beyond numbers and understand the core of business. I have imbibed that principle, and now as a mentor, I encourage my team to participate in cross functional groups and look at business in a holistic manner. I believe, as a true business partner, one needs to look at each and every element of business, rather than only do financial analysis.
 
Where I see India in near and long term
In the short term, the road will be bumpy ahead with legislations like GST taking time to settle down. In the long run, I am very optimistic that with the right initiatives (like ease of doing business) we will be able to go back to the high GDP rates of the post liberalisation period.

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