CFO Insight: Arun Roy from CHERVON North America Inc.
Arun Roy is the Chief Financial Officer of CHERVON North America Inc. CHERVON is one of the world’s top 10 manufacturers of power tools, outdoor power equipment and related products. Although the company’s Global headquarters is in Nanjing, China, it has locations across USA, Canada, Europe, and Australia too. Here Arun talks to Finance Monthly about the company’s North American branch, his role as a CFO and the current business climate.
Can you tell us a bit more about CHERVON?
The company has always been committed to helping build a better world by building better tools. We focus on hand-held portable power tools, stationary bench tools, laser and electronic equipment and outdoor power equipment. With world-class R&D, testing and manufacturing capabilities; collaborating sales & marketing groups; industrial design professionals and service teams throughout the world, we are able to provide satisfying solutions that meet or surpass our customers’ expectations. Over more than 20 years, CHERVON has earned its reputation for continuous innovation and dedicated pursuit of professionalism. Today, CHERVON-built products are sold by more than 30,000 stores in 65 countries. We pride ourselves on being a TOP 10 player in the global power tool industry.
Tell us a bit about your career path prior to becoming the CFO of CHERVON North America?
I started as a Management Trainee with the German Automotive Parts Manufacturer Robert Bosch in India, 26 years ago. Over the years, I worked in different functional areas, such as Corporate Finance, Internal Audit, Human Resources, Supply Chain and Manufacturing operations in India, China, Europe and USA. My last role was Chief Operating Officer for the SKIL/SKILSAW Brands. My journey at Bosch was an interesting one, as it broadened my perspective and taught me to be a better “people person” through the various teams I led in different parts of the world.
What goals did you arrive with as a CFO of CHERVON North America?
As I joined CHERVON NA through an acquisition, it was important for me to ensure that the acquired brands stabilized themselves within the CHERVON Network and be a key strategic player in redefining the overall organization to support the desired growth, as well as developing the new roles that we were taking on. It was also important for us to invest in people and processes to help us come to terms with the growing needs of our North American Business.
What is your opinion of the current Business climate?
The business climate is currently cautiously optimistic but at the same time, as a Company, we need to ensure we leverage our market position through continuous and cost effective innovation. The sweeping policy changes in the USA are impactful but need to be studied further to determine the interim impact. Currency and Commodities are back on the radar and will impact procurement strategies, especially for companies with supply chains overseas.
In your opinion, what might the future of financial directors look like in the upcoming years?
The world of Finance and the pace at which business decisions are taken are changing rapidly. Finance Directors are seen as strategic partners of the business and play an important role in the overall strategy of the company. The role also requires a proactive approach versus a reactive one to ensure that risk is mitigated before the fact. They need to think of their feet and it is all about speed.
Mid-size companies are becoming global players and forces to reckon with. The expectations of the CFO role are also changing to align with this trend. We need to be strategic and ensure we partner with the CEO to drive a common vision. It is not all about cutting cost, but about being rational and real, while keeping the long-term vision and objectives of the organization in mind.