Hemant Kumar Ruia brings to the table over 23 years of experience in various financial domains including budgeting, taxation, insurance, investor relations, accounts and treasury. He started his career with Larsen & Toubro in 1992, later moving to ICI India, where he worked for 10 years in the finance and procurement division. He joined Reckitt Benckiser in 2006 as financial controller and a year later, took over as chief financial officer (CFO) of Agro Tech Foods. In 2015, he joined Reliance Retail as CFO. During this tenure, he served as a business partner for various brands of the company, including Reliance Fresh, Digital, Jewellery, Trends, Footwear and Markets.
Currently, as CFO, Indus Towers, he is responsible for handling financial planning and analysis, treasury, taxation and budgeting. He also deals with matters related to the company’s board and shareholders. His immediate target is to make the finance division a co-pilot in the company’s drive towards profitable growth. According to Ruia, the culture in the company is very conducive for people to think creatively and implement changes. This is by far the most important and exciting aspect of his job, he says.
Ruia is of the view that the telecom sector will continue to witness long-term growth as there is still huge potential in this market. In the short term, however, it may face pricing challenges, especially in the data segment, which will lead to consolidation amongst players.
Ruia has won the Top 100 CFO Award for four consecutive years from 2013 to 2016 as well as the CIO and Leader Business Impact Award for 2015. His key strength, he says, is his ability to drive his team to deliver results. Describing his management style, he says, “My style is akin to that of an eagle. I can soar above the clouds and take a helicopter view of things. However, if required, I swoop down and dirty my hands as well.”
Ruia is a chartered accountant, cost accountant and chartered financial analyst by training. He did his graduation from St Xavier’s College, Kolkata, and his articleship from S.R. Batliboi & Co., a member of the EY Group.
In his spare time, he likes to read and practise yoga. He also likes spending time with his family, which includes his wife, a homemaker; a daughter, who is studying law at the Symbiosis Law School; and a son, who will soon be joining pre-nursery.