Corporate Treasurer of the Year Highly Commended: Nitin Sethi, Bridgestone India Private Limited

Published: Jan 2024
Photo of Nitin Sethi, Bridgestone India Private Limited.

Photo of Nitin Sethi, Bridgestone India Private Limited.

Nitin Sethi

Head Treasury Emerging Markets
Bridgestone logo

Bridgestone India Private Limited manufactures and distributes tyres. The company produces and markets pneumatic casings, inner tubes, solid and cushion tyres for all types of vehicles. Bridgestone India supplies tyres and rubber products to customers worldwide.

Nitin Sethi’s switch from banking to corporate treasury benefits Bridgestone India


Nitin Sethi embarked on his career as an analyst at WNS in 2007, demonstrating his dedication to financial excellence from the outset. Subsequently, he honed his skills further during his tenure at ICICI Bank, where he spent several years before transitioning to a bigger role at Deutsche Bank, where he excelled as Manager of their trade finance operations for six years.

Spearheading change

In 2018, Nitin joined Bridgestone as Corporate Treasurer for India, marking his debut in the corporate treasury domain. Nitin’s transition was met with various challenges, including managing a multiple network of relationship banks, handling manual payments and receipt processes, addressing sales financing for dealers, devising an efficient FX management strategy and risk management through comprehensive insurance coverage.

Nitin spearheaded a series of transformative initiatives at Bridgestone, leaving an indelible mark on the company’s financial landscape.

  1. Streamlining banking relationships: Nitin simplified banking relationships to two house banks (from 14), driving operational efficiency and reducing unnecessary complexities.

  2. Digitising payments and collections: under Nitin’s leadership, Bridgestone automated receivables management and reconciliation, leading to faster days sales outstanding (DSO) and unlocking an impressive €7m within just nine months. Fintech integration to Bridgestone set-up was the key to this success.

  3. Pioneering paperless treasury: Nitin’s vision for a paperless treasury became a reality with the implementation of an Import Data Management System, alleviating the burden of handling 1,800 invoices from overseas suppliers annually, resulting in significant efficiency gains and reduced processing costs.

Winning an Adam Smith Award Asia is a great honour and a testament to the hard work and innovation of our treasury team. It reflects our commitment to excellence and best practices in corporate treasury across Asia Pacific. We are proud to be recognised by Treasury Today Group, the leading voice of the treasury community, for our achievements in managing liquidity, risk, funding, technology and sustainability. This award motivates us to continue striving for excellence and innovation in our treasury operations.

Expanding horizons as Head of Treasury

In 2021, Nitin’s contributions to Bridgestone expanded even further as he assumed the role of Head of Treasury, covering emerging markets such as India, the Middle East, Africa and Russia. This elevated position presented Nitin with a new set of challenges and opportunities, all of which he tackled with unmatched professionalism, enthusiasm and dedication.

In his expanded role, Nitin identified key areas for improvement, which included driving the ESG agenda, leveraging technological advancements to implement relevant new industry leading treasury technologies such as API’s, AI-based cash flow forecasting and improved bank connectivity, streamlining and digitising trade finance portfolios, and enhancing customer relationships through aligned treasury management objectives.

The following were implemented:

  • A long-term, sustained drive towards ESG improvements, aligning with Bridgestone’s core agenda. Nitin is a member of the core ESG committee at Bridgestone and he collaborated with partner banks to introduce ESG linked supplier finance in both South Africa and India.

  • Nitin’s dedication to digitising the trade finance portfolio for Bridgestone’s Middle East operations demonstrated his commitment to efficiency and innovation. In a region where LCs and SBLCs were the preferred mode of collections due to customer profiles and regulatory guidelines, Nitin recognised the challenges posed by managing paper-based instruments and took decisive action.

  • Working closely with trade finance teams, he implemented a state-of-the-art digital trade finance solution. This transformation allowed seamless communication with multiple banks simultaneously, streamlining pricing, risk mitigation and operational processes.

  • Expanded banking network – Bridgestone now reaches a wider banking network simultaneously, fostering inclusivity with banking partners and cost efficiencies for the company.

  • Enhanced visibility and management – the digital solution provides full visibility and efficient management of the complete trade finance portfolio at an enterprise level.

  • Improved credit coverage – Bridgestone can now source credit coverage and funding for risks in North African markets, where a surge in demand for documentary trade necessitated responsive solutions.

  • Strengthened internal governance – the digital platform offers enhanced internal governance, controls, analytics and reporting, enabling greater transparency and accountability.

  • Reduced operational efforts – Bridgestone’s banking relationships benefitted from a certified Swift communications channel, reducing operational efforts and enhancing efficiency.

Nitin’s transformative efforts, remarkable achievements and strategic vision have made him an indispensable asset to Bridgestone. His contributions to digitising trade finance, optimising confirmation processes and enhancing operational efficiency are truly exceptional.

Upskilling internal teams

Nitin’s role as a trainer has been nothing short of transformative for internal teams. Through his meticulously designed training programmes, he has empowered his team members and employees with comprehensive knowledge and insights into various complex treasury and trade finance instruments.

He has invested an impressive 60 man-hours in providing tailor-made training sessions to internal employees at Bridgestone in various geographies.

Empowering Bridgestone’s distributors

Nitin’s impact has extended beyond the internal teams. Going the extra mile, he personally dedicated himself to impart essential training on trade finance instruments to one of Bridgestone’s largest distributors in Egypt. This personalised approach enabled the distributor to gain in-depth understanding of trade finance nuances, enabling them to navigate contractual clauses and wordings adeptly.

His successful transition from the banking sector to corporate treasury speaks volumes about his versatility and willingness to embrace new challenges. Nitin’s strategic vision and hands-on approach have resulted in streamlining banking relationships, adopting cutting-edge technologies and driving efficiency gains that directly impact Bridgestone’s bottom line.

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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