Mr Subash Chandra, Chief Operating Officer - Asset and Structured Finance (ASF), IL&FS Financial Services Ltd, talks about the challenges and scope of funding, and offering customised solutions to clients. He believes in absolute devotion towards hard work and conscientious work ethics

How has your journey in IL&FS Financial Services been so far?

I have completed a decade at IFIN, and the journey has been fascinating and challenging. Personally and professionally, the experience and knowledge gained here has been tremendous, in terms of the diversity and complexity of assignments. What is great about this organisation is the degree of empowerment and freedom that one receives. The organisation’s belief, culture and leadership support, facilitates innovative thinking

According to you, what are the most important characteristics of a leader?

It is important for a leader to develop a culture of engagement and empowerment. These act as huge motivational factors for the team. You will often be faced with limitations at work, but a leader should have a good understanding of the task at hand and create workarounds. It is essential to recognise and reward the efforts of the team, while at the same time, nurture a culture with defined and measurable accountabilities

How would you describe your leadership style?

I believe in leading by example. As a leader of the team, you are accountable for not just the achievements but failures as well. I like to work through issues in a disciplined and equitable manner, avoid focussing my energies in a blame-game, and accept complete responsibility by defending and supporting my team

What values do you think a leader should possess in order to succeed?

Honesty and transparency; avoid doing anything that can cause harm to the organisation. Personal grudges will not take you far, especially in environmentally stressed situations that we work in. Furthermore, command respect, not demand it

What is your success mantra?

Success to me is a very relative term. Whatever I have achieved is due to sheer hard work, ingenious thinking, dedication and commitment to the organisation, as well as to the work at hand. Luck has always been a contributing factor. I have constantly had the benefit of great leaders and high degree of commitment from team members

How do you envisage your journey towards growing the business even further?

I see huge scope for business. We have the benefit of sponsor or IL&FS brand, rating, skilled manpower, and a very strong leadership team. With this massive relationship base, we can easily raise requisite capital

Are we able to see any new product developing in the field of Asset Structured Finance?

ASF itself is an all-inclusive nomenclature. Rather than naming a product, we need to focus more on the transaction and all its components - sponsor and their USP, risk issues, cash flow visibility/certainty under sensitised scenario, access to the cash flow, security and its liquidity, legal structure and ability to enforce legal remedy, in a time bound manner
However, I do see good scope for transactions, addressing the problem of stressed portfolio, as long as lenders are ready to accept the challenge of below par recovery and attaching importance to Time Value of Money (TVM)

With the proposed bankruptcy laws, what changes do you expect in the field?

The Bankruptcy and Insolvency Code, 2016, is a long-awaited and most welcome development. It has the potential of changing the way corporate world and lenders operate. The code is an important legislative reform and will provide an effective legal framework for timely resolution of insolvency and bankruptcy (180-270 days). This will improve ease of doing business in India and facilitate more foreign investments
Some of the most important features are in the engagement of qualified professionals, greater availability of information, and that bank dues rank above government dues, including IT
However, one needs to be cautious here that although the code will resolve the problem of endless delays in litigation, this in no way, addresses the problem of lack of quality appraisal, which is the most important reason for the stressed portfolio of all the lenders


As shared with IFIN Panorama Editorial Team

Subash Chandra


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