As a part of the CXO Leadership Lecture Series, TAPMI played host to Mr Venkatesh Bhat- the Chief Financial Officer at Atria Convergence Technologies. In his illustrious career, Mr Bhat has worked with some of the biggest names in the industry like Hindustan Unilever, Whirlpool and General Electric. True to his role as the CFO, he began the session by saying that every decision involved a payoff and hence we had to carefully evaluate options before arriving at any decision. In his highly interactive session, he threw a lot of light on decision metrics like valuations involved in business acquisitions. Describing the industry as a fragmented one, he emphasized upon the need for a continuous review of the strategies that a firm initially planned as the industry demands kept changing. As a veteran in the industry, his advice to the students was to focus a lot on learning and development in any organization. His choice of industry was influenced by the unprecedented opportunities that wired broadband offered as well as the extreme focus on the product, process and capability. Mr Bhat enlightened students on the need for mergers and acquisitions in the industry. Companies which seek to access growth markets, attain economies of scale, pre-empt competition and acquire new skills, technologies and products seek to acquire or merge with other organizations.

Moving ahead, the interaction turned into a case based discussion which involved students putting forth their questions and views to Mr Bhat who patiently answered and evaluated them. As the case was dealing with the video industry, Mr Bhat fondly reminisced the days of Analog TV and the evolution into becoming the smart TVs of today. The case broadly dealt with the finer aspects of valuating an acquisition. By the end of the session, Mr Bhat firmly drove the point home to the students that while the financial aspect played a big role in acquisitions, it was not the only aspect. A host of other factors determined the overall success or failure of an acquisition. The use of a case to highlight all the above points was very well received by the students as they could relate to the concepts learnt in class with real-world information of the case. Overall, it was a really informative session leveraged by the use of a case, which made it a unique experience for the students at TAPMI.