Indian companies lag behind global counterparts in adoption of emerging technologies in treasury function
The inaugural Digital Treasury Index commissioned by DBS Bank revealed that Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and corporate treasurers (36.1%) in India increasingly see themselves as key to implementing their company’s digital agenda. While this is heartening, 34.4% of respondents believed that digital agenda is the responsibility of their technology colleagues.
In terms of digital readiness, the survey also showed that seven in 10 companies in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region risk being left behind by a lack of digital strategy and execution plan.
The survey conducted by East & Partners Asia interviewed 1,304 chief financial officers (CFO) and corporate treasurers from an even mix of middle market companies (USD100m to USD1bn revenue equivalent) and corporations (USD1bn-plus revenue equivalent) in 13 markets – India, Australia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. The survey was conducted in May 2019.
Divyesh Dalal, Head of Global Transaction Services at DBS Bank India, said “CFOs and Treasurers are increasingly evaluating strategies and solutions for digital transformation to enhance efficiencies and support business growth. While there are perceived roadblocks to scalable adoption, the quality of advice and expertise of relevant partners is key to enabling corporates accelerate their digital transformation agenda. Given the evolving digital payments landscape in the country and usage of APIs becoming more prevalent, the timing is right for CFOs & Treasurers to drive digital transformation meaningfully within their verticals and across their organisations at large.”
CFOs and corporate treasurers in India said that the top three risks to digital adoption were (1) execution challenges and delivery of outcomes (87.1%) (2) speed of change and complexity of the enabling technologies (76.2%) and (3) the availability of talent to help execute digital transformation efforts (49.5%).
The top roadblocks for adopting new technologies in India were managing unknown or hidden consequences of these solutions (82.2%), followed by high costs (59.4%) and limited skill set of employees (53.5%).
When addressing the greatest advantages they see from digital transformation, CFOs and corporate treasurers the APAC region, ranked reducing costs and improving efficiencies as a top ROI (1.93) outcome. However, improved customer experience (2.03) and lower market engagement barriers (2.11) followed very closely, illustrating the growing realisation that digital transformation is critical to driving competitive advantage and future revenue generation for their businesses.