4 May 2018 03:18pm

As I see it: Manaswini Goel

Manaswini Goel, general manager, corporate finance, for Indian multinational Mahindra & Mahindra, on embracing the challenge of a global role

Caption: Manaswini Goel. Photography by Sara Hylton

I grew up in a small town with limited exposure to career options. Most academically inclined kids became either doctors or engineers. I used to dream about getting into public life and running for election.

Accountancy was an unconventional choice. In India, toppers were expected to pursue science. I had no love for physics or biology but loved numbers – which led me to commerce and eventually chartered accountancy.

My first job was with National Housing Bank (the regulator for housing finance companies in India). I was fortunate to have become a part of the team that worked on the first mortgage bank securitisation issuance in India. Not only was it an absolutely great learning experience, it changed the course of my career. I became aware of the world beyond accounting.

During my 14 year stint with Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited (HDFC), India’s premier housing finance company, I got to work in myriad functions in Treasury. I covered balance sheet risk management including ALM, foreign exchange and interest rate derivatives, borrowings and mortgage-backed securitisation. I was also instrumental in setting up the dealing room of HDFC. In short, there was never a dull moment.

The 2008 crisis left the world reeling and India was no exception. There were huge challenges and volatility in the financial markets. It was a stressful time but I also learned a lot. You realise there is no substitute for good governance. We were able to ride through the tough times as we had good internal controls and a sound risk management policy.

MAHINDRA GROUP operates in 18 to 20 industries around the world. In my current role handling Treasury and Banking Relationships for M&M, I wear multiple hats catering to niche requirements of each industry. The motivation and freedom we get has led us to start many path-breaking initiatives in the last couple of years.