Carved and Polished with Rigor and Determination
Hailing from a small town named Kasganj in Uttar Pradesh, India with a business background family, Anuj Kumar suffered the setback of losing his father at the age of 9. He was encouraged by his mother and elder brother to pursue Chartered Accountancy (CA) from Delhi and subsequently, it took him time to settle into the Metropolitan cities and faced early transition issues and multi-occasional thought of going back to family business. In this time he received positive encouragement and inspiration from his family and mentors. A much-needed boost in confidence was gained when he cleared his C.A. (Inter) in the first attempt and then completed the C.A. while working his 1st assignment with Airtel. Anuj’s father dreamt of his elder son to become a CA but due to his early demise, his brother had to take over the family’s responsibilities whilst managing the family business. This later inspire Anuj to go for this profession and with the help of his brother-in-law who was a practicing CA and great coach, Anuj took up the challenge happily.
A business enabler who always believes that there must be a solution to every challenge is what Anuj Kumar defines himself as. “I connect well with people and leverage personal relations to drive the outcome in such a way that it is win-win for both.” The immense support from family has been pivotal to his professional success even during challenging times as he makes sure to align their needs beforehand. The balance in this relationship is maintained as he makes sure to never disappoint his family on key personal matters. He sighted many occasions where his wife encouraged him to take new challenges and adopt solution oriented approach.
His appetite for business is to steer several complex businesses’ critical projects, scale up and plan for IPO in future, and bounce back of business projects which were on back lines, trying to bring them back into action. Anuj has always been fond of studying and it helps him sharpen his skill set. “I have recently completed a Specialty program from Cambridge Business School “Steering Complex Projects”. I am also passionate about connecting to the Startup eco-system and various relevant forums.”
While in 2020 Covid triggered in the market and all brand offline stores were shut, it was a super challenging situation for Anuj having to activate a Business continuity plan (BCP) which as Finance professionals people always read in academics but dealing with uncertainty was not easy. “I wear multiple hats as CFO supporting business teams and acting closely with founders with various scenarios and decision making. We found a silver lining in the pandemic and promoted social commerce and Digital trade significantly. Our Digital and social commerce trade mix in pandemic moved upto 6 times at peak and still consistent at under 3 times before covid level. Within this challenging time we launched new Global Retail Brands in Indonesia and readjust the cost base for the Group. I feel privileged to work with organization which is people focused organization and its founders and all leaders live this value even in this tough time ”
In the year 2021, he observed many crossovers in business from offline to online and he supported online journey leveraging Marketplace channel and revamp of Brand.com and mobile application lauch. From Commercial Finance perspective he collaborated with Business teams to develop sustainable operating model, negotiate terms and set up a detailed control process for omnichannel business streams. He also worked on defining 5 year roadmap for organization growth and priorities and made progress on key strategic projects. As a key member of Executive Committee he lead several transformation projects resulted immediate as well as transitional benefits to organization.
When asked about his contribution to the economy, Anuj exclaimed “I am part of Niti Aaayog Atal Innovation mission so whenever I get the opportunity to support I try to contribute my learnings and time to spend with young entrepreneurs.
In my personal capacity, I mentor and angel investor for purpose-driven Indian start-ups in health, hygiene, mental wellness and fin-tech space to help them grow stronger and contribute to economic growth.”
Seeking knowledge, hunger to explore, risk planning, reading by purpose, understanding of modern technological advancements etc. are some of his personal strengths. Amongst numerous accolades and achievements, some are enabler of ecosystem resulting 4X growth in car sales and 3X growth in dealer network at Cars24 in 2018-19, Business modelling to support successfully launch 10 new OYO Townhouse properties at Oravel Stays in 2016-17, implementing Digital Transformation Project ‘The Darwin’ at Oravel Stays (OYO) in 2017 for daily visibility of Property profitability which help to achieve ~1% margin improvement, spearheading key business acquisitions of ‘Myntra’ and ‘Jeeves’ at Flipkart in 2015-16 etc.
Anuj was also recognized CFO of the Year 2021-22 by Indian Achievers’ Award in recognition of his outstanding professional achievement and contribution in Nation building.
“Focus CTC (Cost to Company) to VTC (Value to Company or Country), be a full bundle package as a knowledge powerhouse, commendable executor with a high standard of values such as integrity and at last but not least a people person. Since I came from humble family background, I inherited values which helped me as I grew up the ladder and that is, taking people along with you and staying connected as one family.” Lastly, he parts with the words that there are no losses in life, it is only lessons learnt, so one must keep learning from the shortcomings and accepting new challenges, never settling down in the comfort zone is the key.