Chandrashekar Kupperi: A Renowned M&A Expert with Excellent Track Record

With the burgeoning start-ups, there has been a need for consulting companies that can bring fluency to processes by guiding them and the other small and medium enterprises with strategic outlook, financial discipline, ability to raise funds towards growth, and related aspects. Leading with almost two decades of experience in various multinationals with diversified sectors such as FMCG, Life Insurance, Audit & Assurance and Oil & Gas, Chandrashekar Kupperi is a proficient in financial sector and Founder of ANOVA an Investment Banking & Advisory firm that specializes in Fundraise and Mergers & Acquisitions (Buy-Side / Sell-Side).

Chandrashekar’s last stint was as Group Finance Director with Lornamead Group, a UK-based multinational in the FMCG space which owns well-known personal care brands such as Yardley of London, Finesse, etc. His prior experiences included various finance and related positions with MNCs such as Exxon Mobil and KPMG in India.
ANOVA Founder Chandrashekar Kupperi
With a rich experience in the FMCG/Consumer space, he led and have been part of over 11 Acquisitions and 4 Divestments, besides re-structuring and re-financing transactions in North America, Europe, and India.

With his rich experience Chandrashekar decided to plunge to offer support and embarked with ANOVA since mid of 2013. ANOVA predominantly works with mid-size Corporates and early-stage companies. ANOVA works closely with customers, learning their business needs, and future objectives. ANOVA acts as a single and cohesive platform to offer corporate strategy, corporate finance, business valuation, and deal structuring.
Describe ANOVA Corporate Services’ offerings that address the need of your customers.

ANOVA provides Due Diligence (DD) & Vendor Due Diligence (VDD) services with the intent of maximizing value, minimizing disruption, and avoiding late surprises. It also assists with DD Preparedness for Clients, with the aim of providing an end-to-end assistance for M&A / Fundraise Advisory for clients.

ANOVA also offers Business Valuation services to determine the right price to pay or accept for a business. It helps evaluate shareholder value for stakeholders by focusing on relevant comparatives, besides identifying the business synergies.

In Summary, ANOVA offers M&A Advisory and Fundraise services, besides Strategic CFO services to empower Entrepreneurs and Business Owners with financial / commercial acumen and support in strategic areas.
What are the challenges you and your team at ANOVA Corporate Services come across in your day-to-day operations?

To us, getting the Clients to accept that ‘things could be different, and that different can be better’ has been the toughest challenge!

ANOVA’s larger strength has been in ‘structuring’ the requirement for the client. But then this calls for a different approach, and it has not been easy to persuade and convince the client(s) to adopt. To manage this, the team spends significant time and effort with the Entrepreneurs and the Senior Management, working closely without impacting their independence and focus on day-to-day operations. We simulate the end-result, mostly by citing appropriate illustrations, and are audacious enough to agree significant part of fees based on successful outcome. This has resulted in enlargement of trust in ANOVA, as well as building a strong association.
What people, what books, what life factors have influenced and impacted you?

Several books and people have been the reason for my growth and where I am today, and naming some and not all would not do justice. I remain eternally grateful to the authors and my well-wishers.

I am a firm believer of this statement that ‘there is a better way’. I always keep telling myself that ‘things could be different, and that the different can be better’ and this has helped me to evolve constantly. This one strategy pushes me to strive and invest significant time and effort with the Founders/Senior Management of Start-ups and Early-stage businesses and work closely, without impacting their independence and focus on day-to-day operations.
Taking into consideration, the current pandemic, and its impact on global economies, how are you driving your organization to sustain operations and ensuring safety of your employees at the same time?

These are times to demonstrate our resilience as an Entrepreneur. We should remember that we are not the only ones in this situation, but to look around to gather and assimilate the gravity of the situation.

Hence, we did the following:

1. Identify core team members and form a ‘war-room’ team to evaluate the business and financial situation and come up with plans.

2. Re-visit the business model and remodel as required but with a sense of urgency i.e., to come up with scenarios such as good case, worst case, etc.

3. Freeze all discretionary expenses and offer Cash Discount for faster collection

4. Negotiate, negotiate, and negotiate – and not to feel shy!

5. Take the courage to write to Banker(s)/Lender(s) for deferring EMIs, other payments as well as to the Creditors.

On managing contractual obligations including employee emoluments, we have had open conversations with employees on what can be paid and what will get deferred. The current situation is no secret, and everyone is aware of the magnitude of the impact on business, economy, and consumer confidence.

Flexible working hours and embracing the safety measures have continued to remain our premise in current times.
Where do you envision yourself to be in the long run and what are your future goals for ANOVA Corporate Services?

ANOVA’s vision and strive is to become a leading Investment Banker, and a brand well-known globally by 2025, and actively engage on advisory matters with corporates across the globe. It will be largely helping them mature in business process optimization and gain efficiency in financial information management. It aims to get involved in larger transactions as well as with cross-border opportunities.

“To top this all, we believe the day of managing our ‘own’ fund is not far away,”
What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs?

To me, the single most critical element for startup success is ‘Continued Ability to Anticipate Success’. I have seen Entrepreneurs with Scalable Ideas, Amazing Team and Information System, but what truly sustains the success as the business grows is their continued ability to ‘Anticipate Success’. Therefore, my suggestion to aspiring entrepreneurs is to strengthen their self-belief and continue to embark upon the venture with faith, patience and perseverance, the rest will be history.
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