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Adani Group Sees CFO Churn

The $11-billion-dollar Adani Group, with interests in energy, infrastructure, ports and edible oil, has witnessed the sudden exit of key finance executives. Between August 2017 and May this year its group companies saw four chief financial officers stepping down, according to regulatory filings.

The listed holding company of the Adani Group, Adani Enterprises Ltd., has seen two CFO changes in this period, while Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd. and Adani Power Ltd. each lost a CFO.

Ameet Desai, who served as a CFO and executive director of Adani Enterprises since May 17, 2014, resigned with effect from Aug. 12, 2017, citing reason of ‘preoccupation’, according to the company’s annual report. His resignation was with immediate effect. That was the day Adani Enterprises announced its first quarter earnings for financial year 2017-18.

To be sure, Desai continues to be director in a few unlisted Adani group companies.

Desai was succeeded by Rajiv Nayar, who was appointed as CFO and additional director on Aug. 12, 2017 itself. On May 1, Nayar stepped down as CFO of Adani Enterprises but stayed on as group CFO.

Nayar’s resignation letter said he stepped down from the company “due to prioritisation of wider group related professional responsibilities”.

These specific changes have taken place over a two-year period. While Desai and Nayar are very much a part of the Adani pariwar, they have been assigned wider responsibilities. Nayar continues to be the group CFO, according to an email statement shared by Adani group spokesperson to BloombergQuint.

The current CFO of Adani Enterprises is Rakesh Shah.

Adani Enterprises has undergone a considerable restructuring recently. It demerged the Mundra power plant into a separate subsidiary. It also demerged its transmission and gas businesses into separate listed companies. This helped reduce debt at the holding company. As of June 2018, the company’s total debt, amounted to Rs 31,674 crore versus Rs 99,540 crore three years ago.

Among exiting finance leaders, is Bhamidipaty Ravi, CFO of Adani Ports. Ravi held the position since June 2009. He resigned on Feb. 12, 2018 with immediate effect. He too cited “preoccupation” as the reason, according to the company filing with the Registrar of Companies. Adani Ports has a total debt of Rs 20,629 crore and saw profits decline 5.34 percent in the previous financial year.

B Ravi has been keen to pursue his entrepreneurial journey as we support such passion wholeheartedly, Adani group spokesperson said.

The company didn’t have a CFO till Deepak Maheshwari took charge as the CFO in May.

This year Adani Power, too, saw a change in CFO. Vinod Bhandawat, who served since December 2013, resigned at the end of January. Bhandawat did not cite any reason in his resignation letter filed with the RoC. Bhandawat submitted his resignation to the board on Jan. 17, the same day when the third quarter earnings were declared.

Bhandawat has expressed his desire to pursue other career options, Adani Spokesperson said.

Adani Power has a total debt of Rs 49,120 crore and saw losses decline 65.67 percent in 2017-18 to Rs 2,119.36 crore.

Bhandawat was succeeded by Rajat Kumar Singh in February.

The Adani Group’s culture of mentoring its talent pool has created an environment of seamless transitions within the organisation, a company spokesperson said in an email interaction. “It ensures that the smooth functioning of systems and processes in place. It also enables the organisation to encourage and support employees seeking other interests in life.”