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CFO Spotlight

Jayashree Venkatakrishnan | MDRF

Founded in 1996, MDRF is a world-class research facility.

The nonprofit organisation provides diabetes prevention and treatment, helping everyday people fight the condition and its complications. Read more about the Madras Diabetes Research Foundation story.

Jayashree Venkatakrishnan, ERP & Finance Lead at MDRF shared her thoughts and insights.


In short:

  • Automation will continue at pace.
  • Blockchain has the potential to be a game changer for finance teams.
  • Finance leaders must become more analytical.
  • Sustainability must be a focus for everyone.
Jayashree Venkatakrishnan, CFO, Madras Diabetes Research Foundation
“I am waiting with anticipation to see how blockchain will unfold. The continuous thread that it promises seems to be an accountant’s delight and it could save thousands of hours for small organisations.” Jayashree Venkatakrishnan ERP & Finance Lead, MDRF
Madras Diabetes Research Foundation research

Q&A

What are the key challenges you're facing?

Jayashree Venkatakrishnan: Some of the challenges are traditional: Accurate bookkeeping and reporting, financial analysis and reporting, improved compliance. Others are strategic: increasing process automation, creating value by reducing costs.

What are your top priorities in the next few years?

Venkatakrishnan: Data analytics by team members, increased cost efficiency in programs and sustainability.

MDRF using NetSuite technology

What are your expectations from technology?

Venkatakrishnan: As a nonprofit, cost factors determine the extent of new technologies that we can deploy. We do, however, hope that we can save the accounting team time by deploying a chatbot that is accessible to our researchers and vendors 24/7. Initially the goal will be to automate expense and claim management.

What technology do you think will become commonplace in the next 10 years?

Venkatakrishnan: I am waiting with anticipation to see how blockchain will unfold. The continuous thread that it promises seems to be an accountant’s delight and it could save thousands of hours for small organisations.

What do you think are the most important strategic considerations for finance leaders?

Venkatakrishnan: Being cost effective, spending on human resources, identifying manageable cost levers, optimising cash flows etc. If we look at this, we will find technology is an absolute requirement for decision making.

What skills will the CFO of 2030 need?

Venkatakrishnan: The CFO and their team have traditionally accumulated data, but the need of the future would be ability to analyse data.

The Future of Finance is in the CFO’s Hands

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