Transforming Transactional Finance Globally: Roshni's FCTG journey

Roshni Shah, Global Transactional Finance Leader

Roshni’s passion for efficiency, process excellence, automation, cost-effectiveness and excellent customer service makes her the perfect person to lead in this transformational time for Transactional Finance globally. Hear more about Roshni's FCTG career and what experiences have led to her taking on this new challenge.

Roshni’s Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) journey began in the UK in 2007. Roshni quickly demonstrated her value to the wider business by supporting many departments in various Finance roles. Some notable positions early in her FCTG career included Financial Controller and leading a team of management accountants.

In 2010, Roshni stepped away from the business to enjoy maternity leave before returning a year later to a role supporting FCTG's smaller emerging brands. This proved to be a steep learning curve and valuable experience for Roshni as she prepared to move into her next role, leading the UK’s Accounting Operations - what we now know to be Transactional Finance.

“This role really propelled my journey and allowed me to discover my passion for efficiency, automation and cost-savings,” says Roshni.

After a couple of years in the Accounting Operations position, Roshni became Corporate Financial Director before a surprise maternity leave meant another break from FCTG.

After returning in 2019, Roshni became Leader of the Finance Shared Services ‘Experts’ team in the UK - comprised of Tax, Legal, Risk & Audit, Group Reporting, Transactional Finance and Payment Solutions. During this time, Roshni also began managing FCTG’s offshore relationship with Cognizant – working together to streamline transactional workflows and look for opportunities to embed automation in the UK.

“I was lucky enough to visit Cognizant at their offices in Delhi, India in the early days of the transition in 2019, to see first-hand how their service centres operated,” remembers Roshni.

“Trying to stabilise the [Transactional Finance] function involved a significant amount of time and investment spent in training the team and learning how to effectively communicate with the business. Our operations and, in some cases, our clients were impacted by the change. This was an extremely difficult period which, although took time, did improve significantly.”

A year into the project, warning signs about the long-term impacts of the pandemic began to emerge. Alongside the rest of the business, Roshni quickly launched into survival mode and managing the cash position became a daily priority for Roshni and the team. However, despite the tumultuous time for the business, the Transactional Finance function capitalised on the situation and used the low trading period to their advantage.

“The team worked incredibly hard to clear up our ledgers and accounts so we could be confident in our position when trade eventually returned - given that our business had changed drastically,” says Roshni.

“I am very proud of our hard work throughout this period, especially considering the external circumstances and stressors placed on the team.”

Due to the success of the project with Cognizant in the UK, the business looked to replicate the transition globally and decided to appoint someone to effectively drive change, and ensure onshore practices were effective and efficiency and automation goals were achieved. The business soon realised that Roshni was the perfect person to take on this role.

“Given the success of the transition of Transactional Finance in the UK, I am so excited to be leading this journey for other regions globally,” says Roshni

“Sustainability of growth is crucial as we move into this period of recovery and it’s extremely important for me to constantly be questioning if we’re getting the best return on our spend. I am always looking to see if we can improve efficiency and are receiving the best return on investment – no matter if it is for people, systems, anything.”

“Despite all the tragedy that the pandemic brought, one silver lining is that our mentality is one of anti-frivolous spending. We’re a lot more cost-conscious which is accelerating us out of the period of recovery and into a bright and profitable future.”

Roshni’s appointment means that she will be joining Belinda Rafiee as the second female on the Global Finance Executive team. When asked if she has any advice for women in our business she urges females to be true to themselves.

“Although I’ll admit I am still learning confidence, you should always ask what you need from people and don’t accept that things are the way they are if they aren’t working for you. Always ask for feedback and keep communication lines open between you and your leader,” says Roshni.

“Also… have fun! Despite some people’s preconceived ideas about finance, we like to have a lot of fun.”

As Roshni steps into her new role she is most excited about interacting more with the wider business, especially the front end.

“In a lot of other companies, the Finance discipline is siloed. At FCTG you’re not just working with financial institutions and external stakeholders, you’re actually working closely with the brands and are a significant part of the end-to-end workflow,” says Roshni.

“I am extremely passionate about automation and efficiency and this is the area I believe we have the most potential for positive change, considering the volume we work in.”

If you’re interested in joining Flight Centre Travel Group in a Finance role, Roshni encourages you to apply now.

“The great thing about FCTG is you can get as involved as possible and you can create the career you want. You will always be encouraged to learn as much as you can. Even if it is not necessarily in your job description you are given the opportunities to learn and grow with the business,” says Roshni.

“Other companies can be quite stagnant but we are constantly evolving and it is a really exciting time for the business. As a result of COVID, we’ve had to be forward thinking and that has meant that we are always transforming”.

We are extremely excited to see Roshni excel in her new role. Keep an eye out for all of the amazing things happening in our Transactional Finance business globally.