Anand Sampath, who has recently applied to become an ACMA, is the director – finance (ERM) at Dr Reddy’s Laboratories in India. He explains how studying CIMA has assisted his career.
Why did you choose CIMA and how did you hear about it?
I wanted to have the benefit of an MBA (‘case study based’ and ‘contemporary decision making’) syllabus to support me in the areas of ‘decision making’ and ‘controllership’. A good friend of mine recommended I look at the CIMA qualification.
What skills have you gained or developed through studying CIMA?
My decision to specialise in risk management was influenced primarily by the module on management accounting – risk and control strategy). In my current role as a risk manager, thanks to modules on decision management and business strategy, I validate company strategy, business decisions and facilitate development of the necessary governance and de-risking processes.
In my earlier role as head of finance of Dr Reddy’s Laboratories’ NCE and biologics businesses, CIMA equipped me with the right knowledge and tools to effectively partner businesses and to ensure controls and governance processes were in place.
How have you helped add value to your company?
My activity based cost management reporting at Lucas TVS helped management to assess the internal and external costs of activities and help in outsourcing certain functions. The product and brand profitability resulted in the branded formulations (rest of world) SBU, a framework I designed and which helped in rationalising the brand portfolio, by dropping several non profitable brands and directing efforts on the ‘star’ brands.
I also provide critical inputs on project costs and time and resources consumed, to help project and portfolio management plan and allot budgets to projects and review the efforts in projects that need to add value.
At Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, I developed the assessment framework for about 20 of finance’s line and staff functions, providing an easy and transparent manner of identifying gaps relating to training needs, fitment or career progression for our finance colleagues.
This competency model (together with a role based organisation) provides one standard measure to facilitate fitment, evaluate promotions and provide information on how to navigate career paths in Dr Reddy’s finance department.
How do you see CPD as being of value in keeping your qualification relevant?
CPD helps members stay connected and updated, and helps networking over a period of time. I actively support the Hyderabad CPD sessions by taking classes myself and listening to the students/members, and discussing various aspects of their education, career or current calling with them.
What are the most rewarding aspects of your job?
I believe I work for an organisation that is progressive and professional in its outlook and expectations. Further, the organisation’s value systems resonate very well with my personal beliefs.
The CIMA qualification helped me effectively bridge both of these. I have thoroughly enjoyed working in all of my three roles at Dr Reddy’s Laboratories.
Do you actively support your staff to study the CIMA professional qualification?
I explain the benefits of having a qualification like CIMA to my colleagues and prospective students. I am in a position to use the CPD sessions I take to connect with the CIMA students/members to discuss careers using the CIMA qualification.
How have your family and friends benefited from your CIMA skills?
In India, the CIMA qualification has been regarded as a good ‘international’ qualification and it is held in esteem by many, thereby adding an edge from a social standpoint.
In one sentence, please describe how CIMA members add value to your business.
CIMA members are equipped to help increase their business’ capability in taking sustainable decisions and establish the right balance between governance and controllership.