Anant Thakrar – Staff Interview

April 29, 2019

This month we interview Anant Thakrar, who joned us as a Director at Bluebox back in January, having over 20 years’ experience as a Finance Director / CFO.

  1. What was your background prior to joining Bluebox?

The majority of my career has been spent in operational management mostly in mid size businesses often in different countries and across a number of sectors ranging from Construction , Manufacturing and over the recent years in Technology. My experience includes being a CFO and FD for a Nasdaq listed IT business and also a Software Solutions business listed in India. Over the last couple of years I have worked with a specialist Technology corporate finance boutique where I focussed on deal origination, execution and strategy development consulting as well CFO support and advice.

  1. What were your motivations behind choosing a career in Corporate Finance?

Over the years I have gained a lot of varied experience in different companies and different industries. Throughout my career, I have been able to support businesses and shareholders on a variety of commercial, financial and strategic matters. Corporate Finance seemed a logical step, utilising skills I had learned and applying them to help individuals and businesses reach and realise their full potential.

  1. What does a typical day look like for you and what are you currently working on?

Bluebox is a small but thriving firm with an entrepreneurial culture where you get genuine exposure to a wide range of corporate finance scenarios.  The variety in the types of businesses you work with, the unique challenges they face and the individuals you work alongside is very stimulating – every day presents a new challenge and I relish working here.

  1. What do you find are the main obstacles to watch out for that can threaten a deal, prior to closing?

Alarmingly a large number of business owners who try to sell their businesses fail. Reasons for this this can include a mismatch in shareholder objectives, issues during due diligence, unrealistic valuation expectations and importantly drops in trading levels which can make buyers reconsider their decisions.

To address some of these issues early on in a process, Bluebox has differentiated itself by developing a unique, structured, market leading pre sale program, called Blue Diamond. We have repeatedly found that early preparation is key and helps to mitigate the risks of a failed exercise and critically also drive an optimum valuation.

  1. What piece of technology couldn’t you personally live without, and why?

Sadly (and please don’t tell my kids !!) and unsurprisingly my iphone, I would simply be lost without it !

  1. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Early on in my career, I worked for a boss who I learnt a great deal from but the one main thing I remember is the advice he gave me to always forge strong and long term relationships with people both in business and socially based on two things, integrity and trust.  This one piece of advice has been essential for me to have a successful and fulfilled career.

  1. Given a chance, who would you like to be for a day?

It would be amazing to be MS Dhoni, the former India cricket team captain for a day. Dhoni came from humble beginnings but developed a reputation for being one of the greatest leaders the game of cricket has ever seen.  In a country of over a billion cricket mad supporters his ability to stay calm, focused and not succumb to huge pressures while continuing to make rational decisions on the field stands him out above all others.

Would be amazing to experience this in the hope some of these leadership qualities rub off !!

And more about you Anant…

  1. Summer or winter? Summer obviously.
  2. Favourite sport? All sports but I if I had to choose it has to be Cricket .. IPL Style !!
  3. If you could win an award, what would it be for? Men’s singles, Wimbledon !
  4. Favourite film? – Back to the Future … (Have you heard of that one !!)
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