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Work experience

Aug 2006Jan 2008

Chief Financial Officer

Elitza J. FZ LLC

Elitza is a young and vibrant event infrastructure company primarily servicing the events, hospitality & destination management clients within the region. I provided a framework for project & strategic development, facilitate cross border investments and evaluate KPI and results of operations. I am also responsible for maintaining financial control on a regional scale through definition of rules for the financial operations of the business, production of statutory and management reports, planning and P&L analysis, budget & forecast process, manage governance through identification of risks, develop and implement control procedures, maintain banking relations with international & domestic banks, provide pro-active advice, support for strategy & planning to the Managing Director and ensure that all compliance requirements are met. Other functions include:

  • Manage monthly close process and prepared monthly financial statements & related analysis of operating results
  • Defend market position despite squeeze on expenditures
  • Develop formal financial policies and procedures, and performance metrics
  • Communicate and enforce policies based on “best practices” designed to ensure that the financial function meets the needs of its many constituencies

Reported to Jitu Panikker, Managing Director

Aug 2002Jul 2006

Managing Publisher*

DIT Group

*Managing Publisher April '04 to Aug '06

Associate Publisher April '03 to Mar '04

Operations Manager Aug '02 to April '03

DIT is part of the privately held Dabbagh Group of companies, comprising of 28 autonomous companies, operating in 30 countries and with revenue in excess of US$ 1.5 Billion. DIT is the publisher of several market leading magazines including PC Magazine and Forbes Arabia. After I joined the company, I pushed through a fundamental redesign of the organisational architecture of the business. I redefined managerial roles and responsibilities, changed the way managers are recruited and compensated and this articulated new values and behaviours for managers, critical in the competitive and fast changing business environment we were in. Other responsibilities included:

  • Ensure group financial targets are embedded in all business unit plans by agreeing financial targets, reviewing quarterly targets & ensuring decisions link with financial plans in order to deliver results
  • Production of effective and relevant financial forecasts and allocation recommendations
  • Analyse and interpret research proposals necessary for entering new markets, financing options, impact on current operations, new products and investments
  • Provide advice of strategic importance relating to company decision making, profitability, direction, expansion & diversification
  • Identification and implementation of strategic financial systems & cost control methodologies
  • Key driver in change management and identification of areas needing improvement
  • Development of financial planning and reporting structures
  • Monitoring of day-to-day operations and monthly financial statements
  • Recruitment, training, orientation and development of new & existing team members

Reported to Bala Menon, Group General Manager

Apr 1996Jul 2002

Finance & Administration Director*

Gray Business Communications

*Director, Finance & Administration June '00 to July '02

Finance & Administration Manager April '97 to June '00

Accounts Manager April '96 to Mar '97

Responsible for overseeing the entire finance activities of this British company by providing necessary financial information and reports. Instituted proper internal controls and directed accounting and treasury functions. Principal duties and responsibilities included negotiating trade finance facilities, managing financial plans and policies and financial analysis. Successfully provided sound financial management including developing and managing the corporate budget and business plan. Other responsibilities include:

  • Negotiated, prepared and executed contracts for the company
  • Coordinated, controlled and administered financial systems including annual resource plans, cash flow forecasting; verified purchasing; established and administered procedures and compiled management reports
  • Analysed and interpreted data and performed cost–benefit analysis and feasibility studies to determine preferred course of action
  • Monitored, controlled, verified, audited and approved expenditure and executed financial payments
  • Prepared budgets and cost estimates for special projects like new magazine launch, events and contract publishing projects

Reported to Barry Gray, Managing Director

May 1994Apr 1996

Financial Controller

Arctic Company LLC

Key responsibilities at this Danish owned company included maintenance of accounting records, inventory control, managing cash flow, provide management accounts to an agreed time scale, implement on-going improvement of systems & practices and successfully assimilate the role of a knowledgeable advisor to the company. My job required me to finalise monthly and annual accounts for statutory and tax purposes for four group companies based in the Middle East and Europe. Other responsibilities include:

  • Finalisation of monthly & annual accounts for four group companies operating in Europe and the Middle East
  • Standardised financial system to support multi-site, multi-contract operations replacing highly decentralised assortment of reporting systems. Was a key member in the computerisation committee involved in implementing a system in all operations of the company and introducing changes in the way things were done to meet the requirements of the new environment
  • Contracts research
  • Management information through periodic & exceptional reporting
  • Liaison with auditors & legal advisors
  • Finalisation of monthly VAT returns for associate companies in Europe
  • Generation of job costing reports
  • Maintain positive relations with designated contacts in the banks to ensure fulfillment of cost, credit and service objectives

Working capital management

Formulation of business plans & functional budgets

Reported to Allan Nielsen, Managing Director

Previous Employment

I have been working since Sept. 1988 in industries like Instrumentation/Engineering (Masoneilan-Dresser), Consulting (for A.F. Ferguson & Co, then the Indian affiliate of KPMG Peat Marwick) and Oil & Gas (employed by Fluor Daniel Inc. and based at the Atlantic Richfield Oil & Gas Company - ARCO).

At Fluor Daniel/ARCO, I was involved with the preparation of weekly cash flow reports, payroll accounting for locally recruited and international staff, preparation of periodic insurance reports, time tracking and accounting for safety man-hours, approval of sub-contractor invoices and computation of incentives/vendor bonuses. I also applied Primavera project management and Fluor Daniel templates for cost control & reporting


Mar 1985Nov 1988

Chartered Accountancy (CA)

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India

Underwent training under CA regulations for three years with a CA firm in public practice

Also passed the examinational requirements of the Management Accountancy course, the post qualification programme of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in 1990


Balagopal Menon

Barry Gray

Matt Ellis

Heather MacKenzie

Jitu Panikker

Dr. Sulaiman Al Hattlan


Opinion Piece


The History Channel



enior management level executive with several years of quantifiable achievement. Extensive experience in management working with board of directors, banks, attorneys and external analysts with an established record of success

Consistently employed an energised, "can-do" style and implemented innovative ideas to produce bottom-line results. Experience in industries as diverse as project management, oil & gas, management consulting, contracting, instrumentation engineering, media & publishing and event infrastructure

Handled new company formations, due diligence studies, valuations, business restructuring, fund raising, management audits, tax and financial reporting, prepared business plans, budget & forecasting and contracts review

I am a Permanent Resident in Australia    Verify

Career Highlights

  • Aggressive expansion of product offering while at a publishing company
  • Initiated contract renegotiations with vendors resulting in substantial cost saving
  • Increased EBITDA by 310 %
  • Managed change from cash based to accrual accounting in the same calendar year
  • Radically slashed inventory holding period from 120 to less than 35 days
  • Rationalised suppliers by 40% in number and 15% in cost
  • Improved accounts receivables aging by collecting over $1.1 Million of delinquent billings
  • Undertook a strategic restructuring expanding subscriber base by 71%, increasing revenue by 212% and decreasing operating cost by 21%


  • Reading books, travelling to new places, collecting numismatic products and warching cricket

Work Related Information

  • Good working knowledge of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and in my career worked on various accounting software including ACCPAC, Sage, Tally, Focus and a range of custom designed, mid-level ERP packages
  • Author of several articles on business and management that have appeared in market leading publications
  • I have been interviewed and my views published in regional business publications
  • Prepared briefing reports on emerging business trends and industry practices. My findings were then included as content in Vision 2006, a Forbes supplement, which dealt with predictions of future trends and business outcomes for different industries in 2006
  • Editor of Alternative Investment, the Official Publication of the Hedge Funds World Conference. This one-off publication contained hedge fund centric features including Industry outlook, Investing strategies, Investor profiles, Franchisee creation, Global dimensions, Islamic funds and Portfolio construction
  • Undertaken financial consulting roles (feasibility, valuation and due diligence) for venture capital companies that serviced clients from industries as diverse as Airlines, Telecommunications, Travel, Software and Online portals