A Rising Star Winner: Adnan Bora Baykal, Arçelik Hitachi

Published: Jan 2024
Photo of Adnan Bora Baykal, Arçelik Hitachi.

Photo of Adnan Bora Baykal, Arçelik Hitachi.

Adnan Bora Baykal

APAC Lead, Corporate Finance and Treasury
Arçelik Hitachi, Bangkok
Arçelik Hitachi logo
Arçelik Hitachi Home Appliances was established on July 1st, 2021, as a joint venture between Arçelik and Hitachi Global Life Solutions, Inc. to manufacture, sell and provide after-sales services of Hitachi branded home appliances.

An all-round professional and true rising star

Bank and PwC internships set-up career in corporate treasury

Adnan Bora Baykal had an association with finance and treasury since before his graduation, when he interned with two banks in Turkey and with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). He learned the basics of accounting, financial control, audit and compliance in accordance with the internationally recognised account principles.

Post-graduation he joined PwC and soon after was promoted as a team leader in the assurance department.

Adnan joins Arçelik Hitachi

At the beginning of 2022, a dream became reality when Adnan received an offer from Arçelik Hitachi which had recently extended its Asia Pacific (APAC) footprint with a 60:40 joint venture with Hitachi Global Life Solutions. Initially, Adnan joined the internal audit team and was soon promoted to the corporate finance department, taking on responsibilities in treasury and cash management. This period coincided with Arçelik Hitachi’s new regional treasury set up in Thailand and transition to a new banking partner across APAC.

The merger came with increased challenges: legacy systems that included more than 200 disparate bank accounts, paper-intensive transactions including cheques and cash, multiple legacy ERP systems which posed massive reconciliation challenges and a turnaround time to establish a new cash management structure under just six months. Adnan has shown immense patience, sharp learning skills to not only comprehend the issues at hand, but also envisage the benefits of the proposed solution and execute the most flawless implementation within six months of starting the role.

Transition to new banking partner

Adnan helped Arçelik Hitachi’s treasury through a complex document negotiation process for the liquidity structure which after implementation increased cash visibility and freed US$150m for further working capital and debt management. The banking transition included 23 KYC’s across seven different jurisdictions, a legal and tax process revamp and up to 70% reduction in bank accounts.

This also involved liaising with the newly created subsidiaries which had out-dated processes. Adnan was the only other team member apart from the regional treasurer. This implementation was flawlessly completed by Adnan in partnership with the company’s bank.

I am deeply honoured to be one of the recipients of the Adam Smith Award Asia, as it stands as a testament to hard work and dedication. The acknowledgment from such a respected institution fuels my motivation to continue pushing the boundaries and striving for perfection in all that I do.

For my company, this recognition holds immense meaning. We are grateful for the opportunity to be showcased among the best in Asia. This award not only elevates our company’s human capital but also strengthens the confidence that our partners place in us. Eager to leverage this momentum, we are committed to exploring new horizons, innovating relentlessly, and continuously striving for perfection.

A desire to learn and a positive work/life balance

Much of Adnan’s success and collaborative skills stem from his innate liking to learn and adapt to new cultures. He has lived in four countries, speaks three different languages and is learning Thai since he is based in the country. Adnan has tried to pick a sport which is inherent to the countries he has lived in and his love for cycling comes from his stay in the Netherlands.

As an avid nature lover, Adnan takes part in several conservation activities. After joining Arçelik Hitachi, he participated in a mangrove planting activity in the Samutprakarn region of Thailand, aimed at preventing land erosion and preserving aquatic habitats.

Recognising the environment

During the transition to a new banking partner, he was able to align his passion for environment with his responsibilities, thanks to the tools offered by the bank. With automated digitised payments, Arçelik Hitachi reduced paper transactions by 50% in the first three months of implementation. Additionally, the company adopted the bank’s state-of-the-art mobile tokens which meant further reduction in the company’s carbon footprint.

However, whilst Adnan is the focus of this award, it is not just for him. This is also an opportunity to recognise the overall treasury team of Arçelik Hitachi who came together to execute a difficult project and turned it into a successful endeavour. Adnan has been an integral part of the newly formed treasury team and has grown into a truly versatile professional.

Delivering results

Throughout his time in the treasury space, Adnan has projected an unparalleled skill to navigate complex financial landscapes, strategically manage risks and optimise cash flow operations. He led the yield transformation project for Arçelik Hitachi which resulted in the decrease of hedging costs with the help of traditional FX tools, as well as by introducing average synthetic forwards to the company’s portfolio.

Additionally, he helped optimise interest yields with swap deposits. With all these tools, the treasury team was able to increase Arçelik Hitachi’s profit before tax by 7%. Adnan also engages with all Arçelik Hitachi’s subsidiaries in the region and ensures the company has full banking and financial support.

The Adam Smith Awards Asia is the industry benchmark for best practice and innovation in corporate treasury. The 2023 awards attracted 450 nominations. To find out more please visit treasurytoday.com/adam-smith-awards-asia

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