Co-piloting Through the Pandemic: How AirAsia's CFO Steered Asia's Leading Low-Cost Airline to a 212% YoY Revenue Growth

Written by
Content Team
Last Modified on
December 19, 2023

In our third episode of the #CFOTalks Podcast, we sit down with Jared Valarao, former CFO of AirAsia Philippines to deep dive into how a modern CFO thinks. 

In this blog, we delve into the invaluable lessons he's learned from navigating the pandemic, managing capital resource allocation in a volatile industry and transitioning from a commercial role at a FMCG company to CFO of a Asia's leading low-cost airline.

Jared’s perspective on the role of the modern CFO 

“As a CFO, you are the primary steward of the resources of the company. It is your job to ensure that all the resources are safeguard and ensure that as we use the resources, it is being used productively. Most CFOs are not just guardians of the assets of the company, they are also mindful of how the assets are being grown. “

On how CFOs should guide the CEO and the future of the business 

“CFOs have the responsibility to guide the CEO, inform him on how a certain decision impacts not just the business's finances, but also the future. He should be able to articulate the timelines, what would be the best possible financial results amongst those timelines and what are the operating assumptions involved. In order for him to understand the kind of forecasting and predictive qualities, he has to be inside the operations of the business, talking to his peers and the team, and understanding what is driving the business forward.”

How Jared needed to get creative when it comes to fundraising after the pandemic

“Coming from the pandemic, it's not an easy task to raise funds. At least conventionally, because more likely than not, especially for an airline such as ours, we have already maximised collateralizable assets.” 

“So we have to think outside the box (1) Which customers would like to invest in us, (2) Which vendors would like to strike a strategic partnership with us, (3) Which lessors would be able to extend us a lifeline, in exchange for what. And that's the balance that we have to strike as we go and negotiate and ask for those items.”

Listen to the podcast here:

For more episodes of CFO Talks, check us out on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or add our RSS feed to your favorite podcast player!

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