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Sunil Sayal, Chief Financial Officer, India Region, Nokia Solutions and Networks

August 30, 2013
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Moving from Ericsson after a 14-year-long innings to Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN) was not an easy decision for Sunil Sayal. However, the challenge of turning around NSN’s fortunes was compelling and swung the vote in the latter’s favour.

 

“Over a year ago, NSN was going through a challenging period. The possibility of being a part of its success story was the main reason I moved to my current role as chief financial officer (CFO), India region,” he explains. “My decision turned out to be fortuitous, as the company was able to achieve a turnaround last year and emerge as a successful mobile broadband specialist.”

His task doesn’t end here though. As CFO, he is responsible for the company’s finances pertaining to its business, corporate and legal functions. That apart, he oversees matters related to regulatory affairs, taxes, fiscal performance as well as financial control and governance.

Given that the sector is confronted with regulatory and security issues, fiscal uncertainty and dwindling foreign direct investments, he has his work cut out. “At this time, the biggest challenges before a CFO of a vendor company is ensuring sustained profitability, rotating capital faster, implementing ruthless cost control measures and rationalising the company’s workforce,” he comments.

Sayal has over 29 years of work experience, of which 15 years have been in the telecom sector, participating in “its evolution in India, starting from its infancy to the present era”. He has worked with organisations such as Voltas, the HCL Group, the Ranbaxy Group and Ericsson. He has worked in various areas of finance such as taxation, treasury, corporate finance, strategy and planning, as well as in allied areas like commercial and procurement.

Going forward, he has chalked out a plan to ensure that NSN maintains its leadership position in the sector, despite turbulent times. “From a vendor’s perspective, identifying and aligning with long-term players in the telecom space are necessary. I expect data to pick up over the next two years but in the intervening period, we need to brace ourselves for consolidation, as it is now a question of the survival of the fittest,” he says.

So, does he get a breather in the midst of all the “turbulence”? “I spend my spare time with my family, comprising my wife and two children. I find that spending time with children is the best stress-buster. I also enjoy doing yoga and playing lawn tennis,” he says.

 
 
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