AN EMPOWERING JOURNEY OF A WOMAN DRIVEN BY DETERMINATION – DIRECTOR FINANCE AT JAT HOLDINGS PLC, RIZNA DILSHARD (FCMA/CGMA)

An established member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, Rizna Dilshard (FCMA/CGMA), Director Finance at JAT Holdings PLC has excelled in the corporate world by doing what she loves to do best – Finance.

Rizna pursued her education at St. Lawrence Convent and then continued at Holy Family Convent – Colombo 4, for the latter part of her schooling life. She is currently an active member of the CIMA who adds value to the organization. Being a working mum right from the very beginning, Rizna now stands back with pride, looking at the two children at university. Further completing her family, Rizna’s husband, a banker, stands along her side, assisting her journey.

Passion has always been the cornerstone to the success which has embodied Rizna, “I discovered my passion to be an accountant at the age of 7. From the point of my academic studies, I pursued this passion, soon after the A/L examinations I started CIMA, and was able to complete it in 2 years, obtaining the best results in the final year examination.” She started as a Management Trainee at a blue-chip conglomerate, and gradually stepped up the ladder to be an Accountant. After facing the challenges that arose over time, she was promoted up to Finance Manager and Finance Controller before she was appointed as Finance Director. “I have been involved initially in accounting-related areas and later involved in company strategy and decision-making Processes,” said Rizna. Portraying the hurdles that she had to cross and her determination to never give in to the pressure that came along with it, she says, “Throughout my career, I continued to encounter all kinds of challenges around the typical accounting activities, amidst my anxiousness to complete the tasks before the deadlines. I believe this mentality was a sound foundation for me to time manage the demanding task in this field and provide more strategic insight for the betterment of the organizations I worked for.”

JAT has flourished through the year and grown financially stable over the years of being in operation within the market. Rizna believes that the company has taken proactive steps to improve both the top and bottom lines of the company. “Proactive measures were taken in terms of debt management, stepping foot in the international markets, and active involvement of the businesses’ supplier scope of activity to maximize customer value and gain a competitive advantage in the market,” said Rizna. JAT concluded its IPO in July 2021, raising Rs 2.2 billion and being oversubscribed. The Company also had a great Q1 of the financial year, “The company has poised increased shareholder value during the 1st quarter of FY 22/23, which is a reflection of the company’s steady performance as done during FY 21/22 as well.”

The company has grown exponentially as a brand and expanded its operations overseas whilst also expanding its product and research diversity, “JAT expanded its operations in terms of brand building on the company’s new flagship brand WHITE By JAT, commissioned a manufacturing plant in Bangladesh to increase the footprint of JAT products in the South Asian region, and worked on expanding the existing R&D facility to engage in strengthening the product innovation and new product development activities of JAT products.” They established a new manufacturing plant in Bangladesh which commenced operations during the 1st quarter of 22/23, this being the 1st milestone on the expansion of manufacturing plants in the Asian and African region, the 2nd expected to commence in 2023.

As a well-performing company, JAT has faced all odds and thrived. Despite the impact the company faces on the current economic crisis, Quarter 1 of the financial year 22/23 has been a success with a recording the highest ever Quarter 1 profit and increase over 40% in revenue. “The company whilst achieving this, has been able to commission a manufacturing plant in Bangladesh which will increase the export revenue composition in the group resulting in foreign exchange earnings, a benefit to the company and the economy as a whole,” adds Rizna when focusing on the progress of the organization. As a conglomerate with strong financials, there are some key pieces of advice that JAT has for the upcoming organizations; “Ensure clear concise direction on the companies’ strategies in the medium and long term whilst staying flexible to respond to changing macro needs. Maintain a strong control and governance framework, this goes hand in hand with financial success. Practice proactive planning, and accurate forecasting so that the company can survive in uncertain environments, whilst evaluating and taking calculated risks on untapped opportunities in the market,” Rizna stated.

On a concluding note, Rizna had some words of advice to the upcoming leaders in the market, “Have a clear vision and objective of the operation, by following the rules and managing your time. No matter how passionate one is about the business ideas, you must remain objective about its viability, and focus on the realities of running the business.”

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