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10 questions for HCL Technologies CFO Anil Chanana

Nancy Weil | March 6, 2012
Name: Anil Chanana

Name: Anil Chanana

Age: 53

Time with company: 27 years

Education: Bachelor of Commerce with honors, Chartered Accountant, Institute of Chartered Accountants of India Hans Raj College

Company headquarters: Sunnyvale, California, (U.S. headquarters) and Noida, India, (global headquarters)

Revenue: $3.9 billion

Number of countries: 26

Number of employees total: More than 80,000

Number of employees the CFO oversees: 11 direct reports, with 1,000 total in finance

About the company: HCL Technologies is the information technology and services arm of HCL and provides enterprise and custom applications, infrastructure management, business process outsourcing and engineering services across a range of verticals such as financial services, manufacturing, consumer services, public services and health care.


1. Where did you start in finance and what experiences led you to the job you have today?

I started my career in finance 30 years ago as an accounts officer in Ansaldo Impianti SPA, an Italian company with offices in India. My first stint with HCL was way back in 1985. During my tenure with HCL I held a variety of positions and was involved in almost every aspect of finance function ranging from financial planning, business finance, and fund raising, to secretarial and treasury, investor relations, global taxation, corporate restructuring, legal and negotiations of several multimillion dollar contracts with both customers and partners.

I have either been part of the team or have personally led the negotiations for joint venture with various partners including Hewlett-Packard, Deluxe Corporation, Perot Systems Corporation, Deutsche Bank, and British Telecom.


After spending four years with HCL-America as the head of the Strategic Initiatives Group based out of California, I became an executive vice president of finance for HCL Technologies Ltd. and for the last four years, I have been holding the position of the chief financial officer for the organization.

2. Who was an influential boss for you and what lessons did they teach you about management and leadership?

I was lucky to work under three great individuals who influenced me during the different stages of my career. My first boss was from Italy and he had a terrific philosophy that one should stand firm when they believe that they are right and not be afraid of facing any adversity. I was fortunate enough to learn this early in my professional career and still adhere to it today.

My second boss was Mr. KPG Nair, who was the head of finance in Hindustan Computers Ltd. He provided me the opportunity to work across different areas in finance and taught me to be up-front and firm in my behavior.

The third individual was Mr. Subroto Bhattacharya, who also worked for HCL Technologies and I can still look to him for advice. I admire his knack of looking at finer details and reading between the lines.


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