Treasury Today Asia’s Top Treasury Team Highly Commended: Amway India Enterprises Private Limited

Published: Jan 2020


Photo of Bikash Mukherjee, Jeyanthi Vadivilu and Praveen Juyal, Amway India Enterprises Private Limited.

Bikash Mukherjee

AVP – Head of Treasury

Gurgaon/Gurugram Haryana, India

Established in 1995, Amway India is a wholly owned subsidiary of Amway Corporation with headquarters located in Ada, Michigan, USA. Amway Corporation is one of the largest direct selling companies in the world with presence in over 100 countries and territories. Amway India commenced commercial operations in May 1998 and has emerged as the largest direct selling FMCG company.

Globally, Amway is over 56 years old, with a global turnover of US$11bn, manufacturer and direct seller of high-quality consumer goods. Amway’s innovation and industry-leading R&D has seen more than 1,150 patents granted and another 500 patents pending. Amway has more than 950 scientists across 75 research and development and quality assurance laboratories worldwide.

Amway treasury transformed – a great example of a dynamic treasury team which learns and delivers under the direction of its Head of Treasury

Amway India treasury team

The Amway India treasury team is based at its Head Office in Gurugram Haryana with nine dedicated resources to support the day-to-day business. It has 136 physical shops which include 600-plus cashiers. Amway’s treasury team focuses on projects and new innovations and liaises with cross-functional teams including its manufacturing unit in Madurai. It maintains its banking relationships and collection costs, designs new solutions for placing orders online and offline via ABOs (Amway Business Owner) and delivers working capital and cost optimisation initiatives.

By catering for all of the above and innovating to provide Amway India with the tools to move forward, this treasury team has proven its worth time and time again. “We have also blazed a trail for other treasury departments in India, keep raising the bar of treasury excellence and support ‘Digital India’,” explains Bikash Mukherjee, AVP – Head of Treasury.

Treasury’s top ten challenges

Over the past 12-18 months, Amway India management has tasked the treasury team with a number of challenges to ensure treasury is aligned with the company’s growth strategy.

Ten challenges were identified as follows:

  1. Project ATLAS – Mukherjee was assigned responsibility to implement a new Oracle ERP. This was a crucial project as it provides the means of transforming the company’s technology for the future. This went live in April 2018.
  2. Reduce bank charges – a target of a 20% reduction was identified across the many collection and payment methods used. The team re-negotiated its collection charges with its banking partners. New collection channels were also introduced such as UPI and Paytm which helped to save more than US$1.3m in charges this year.
  3. Cash back offer – Amway’s distributors require cash back offers to be available via their website as well as in the shops.
  4. Cash management solution in Oracle – Amway Universal Collator (AUC) is cutting-edge middleware that interfaces with multiple financial platforms including 15 banks and Amway’s ERP system Oracle. Amway’s AUC augments the reconciliation process, automating the complicated process of collection and transformation of data sourced from various banks. India was the first market where this cash management tool was implemented, along with the ERP. The India treasury team did a fantastic job to automate the reconciliation, improve time efficiency and scalability and it is now being replicated in Europe and North America.
  5. Financing solution on durables products – though the products were great and distributors were willing to sell, there were some challenges seen among the ABO’s for further re-selling to the end consumer:
    1. ABO needs to arrange high value funds to buy the product from Amway.
    2. Major working capital block until product is sold to the end consumer.
    3. Paying interest to the bank through credit card transaction.
    4. There are a few locations where credit card issuance is restricted to avoid delinquency by the bank.
  6. Pay to customer within 24 hours – Amway has a 100% refund policy and the average refund period in its current process was 20-25 working days which it wanted to drastically reduce.
  7. Real-time bank account validation.
  8. Cost optimisation.
  9. Reduce bank accounts – Amway India had 281 bank accounts in 2009/10. This total has been reduced by 87%.
  10. ABOs support – earlier payments – the India treasury team has recently integrated Kyriba and its payment banks (Standard Chartered and Citi) for all domestic and international payments along with the manufacturing unit, which has been integrated with JDE software.

“By catering for all of the above and innovating to provide Amway India with the tools to move forward, this treasury team has proven its worth time and time again. We have also blazed a trail for other treasury departments in India, keep raising the bar of treasury excellence and support ‘Digital India’.”

Bikash Mukherjee, AVP – Head of Treasury

Top five deliverables

The treasury team projects which have had the most impact on Amway’s business are:

  • The Oracle ERP implementation (ATLAS) project was one of the key achievements in 2018.
  • ABO’s bank account real-time verification project implementation is a real innovation to secure a correct database in DMS.
  • Treasury team joined up with Citi to set-up credit cards for employees with an exclusive Amway logo.
  • Cash management tools delivered during the ATLAS project in India and the AUC implementation.
  • Post successful implementation in India, the cash management tools are being rolled out in Europe and ANA markets which include the US, Canada, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

Training and education in practice

Amway have 136 physical stores across India with more than 600 cashiers who are employed to run all the offices, supervised by the treasury team, and manage all the end-of-day reconciliation and reporting. All these 600 cashiers are being trained on a regular basis along with an online recruitment process and assessment. The team has developed an online training module to capture more than 250 business-related questions which help their customers. Cashiers are the backbone of the company as they are managing the front line. The campaign ‘Cashier of the Month’ by location has been implemented by the treasury team as a means of motivating the cashiers and also to identify the right talent for the future. Amway India also launched a new front-end system called Hybris in October 2018 and decommissioned its front-end legacy systems. The treasury team has had an input in designing these new systems. Training and education are a top priority of the India treasury team to strengthen the knowledge and scale up the cashier skill-set to manage the cash counters.

Continuous innovation

In line with Amway India’s philosophy to continuously innovate in order to improve productivity and efficiency across all areas of business, treasury is fully engaged.

“We are pleased to provide multiple innovative solutions to our business partners and help them grow their business in the fastest and most efficient way. Today 95% of sales transactions are being processed electronically which is a testiment to our efforts in this direction,” explains Mukherjee.

The Amway treasury team has a good mix of talent, strengths, capability, confidence and a sound understanding of the business and are now more mature and committed to delivering. They have delivered many innovative solutions over several years to support the company’s business and customers. The India treasury team is leading from the front and team members are very much seasoned to take on challenges despite others’ dependency on legacy systems. The team has delivered much in the last 15-18 months, partnering with banks and fintech companies to customise solutions to support the company’s business needs. The team is consistently learning and delivering and is developing considerable knowledge in the corporate treasury domain.

“As leader and mentor to my team, I am incredibly proud of them – let your dreams be bigger than your fears and your actions be louder than your success,” concludes Mukherjee. Amway India’s achievements make it a worthy recipient of the Highly Commended Winner of Treasury Today Asia’s Top Treasury Team award.

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