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Conservative Strategist

Rostow Ravanan's treasury management is not about maximising profitability. Safety is his main concern because he believes "he is the custodian of someone else's money".

BT-Yes Bank Best CFOs Survey

Consistent Liquidity Management (Mid-size Companies)

WINNER: Rostow Ravanan, co-founder and CFO, Mindtree

After the accounting scandal at Satyam Computer in 2009, mid-tier technology services company Mindtree grew cautious. It started counting every rupee it had in deposits, its liquidity management practices grew more sophisticated, and it became more process-oriented.

"Our deposits are verified quarter after quarter since 2009," says Rostow Ravanan, Chief Financial Officer and Co-founder of Mindtree. "Investors are typically worried whether you have the money you claim to have. The confirmations go directly to the auditors."

Ravanan has implemented many processes for good governance at Mindtree. He also led the company's initial public offering in February 2007. His treasury management is not about maximising profitability. Safety is his main concern because he believes "he is the custodian of someone else's money". Mindtree, a $500 million company now, does not have the luxury of funds that larger rivals such as Infosys and Wipro do. This made the company's investment approach conservative.

In the BT-YES Bank Best CFO Survey, Mindtree has emerged as a winner in the consistent liquidity management category among mid-size companies. "Our primary objectives were to ensure safety and liquidity because, unlike others in the industry, we did not have huge surpluses to manage. So we kept in mind possible events such as mergers and acquisitions or a capital expenditure," says Ravanan. To make sure money is available at all times, the company does not invest much in long-term instruments. It also does not make any investment in equity-oriented mutual funds, which can lose value.