Finance and treasury as a profession was the last thing on Isha Goel’s mind. As part of her MBA program, they were required to complete a two-month internship, which she did in the finance department of Apollo International Limited. But her interest was in International Business.
For two months she pursued job openings in her chosen specialty with no luck. Then, one morning, she received a call from one of her relatives. At the time, he was the Executive Director of the export trading arm of Apollo, and he asked her to report to the office in one hour. Being an export company, Apollo had an independent finance and treasury department.
“That was my introduction to corporate finance and treasury,” said Isha. “And the rest, as they say, is history.”
What happens in Zone India
Today, Isha Goel, CTP, is the General Manager of Finance for Siemens Healthcare Private Limited in Bengaluru, India. In this role, she leads and manages the Trade Finance vertical for Siemens Healthineers group for Zone India, which includes both India and Bangladesh. Isha manages the end-to-end operations related to bank guarantees and letters of credit, as well as control and compliance. She is also responsible for governance topics for India, such as dealing with RBI, in addition to various global topics related to trade finance.
“An understanding of letters of credit and bank guarantees is really important to do justice to the role,” said Isha. “Though I never had formal training on these topics, I picked it up on the job over the years.”
The biggest issue she’s facing right now in her job has to do with the Central Banks. Their increasing vigilance of all organizations creates a challenge in regard to compliance. The rules and regulations are changing all the time, making it difficult for her and her peers to keep up. How does she handle it?
“We hold regular trainings for business stakeholders, remain in close contact with our banks, and are consistently monitoring for new regulatory aspects,” said Isha.
What comes next
In terms of upskilling, Isha plans to gain an understanding of all aspects of the treasury function, which will help prepare her for her career goal of “leading the treasury function for a multinational company in the next few years.” She also wants to raise awareness of the importance of the treasury function in any organization.
“Especially in Indian companies, it’s just a sub-function of accounts and finance,” she said. “What needs to be realized is how important it is that treasury be its own independent function, and how much a successful treasury can contribute to an organization’s growth.”
Focusing on treasury
Isha has been working in various aspects of corporate finance and treasury for 16 years — with no formal treasury qualification. Her desire to learn more about treasury as a function and its various aspects led her to AFP’s Certified Treasury Professional (CTP) program. “Earning a CTP now is perfect, particularly since having moved to a leadership role in the organization that exposes me to the global treasury function,” she said. “I’m not limited to a particular country.”
While she hasn’t had the CTP for very long (Isha certified just 15 days prior to the writing of this profile), Isha feels certain it will have a “significant impact on my future career growth.”
“I would definitely recommend CTP to all treasury professionals, and not just to earn a certification,” said Isha. “With the requirement of recertification every three years, the CTP pushes us to keep abreast of what is new in the function, across the globe and in market trends.”
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