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Business News/ Companies / News/  Edtech unicorn upGrad appoints Venkatesh Tarakkad as CFO
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Edtech unicorn upGrad appoints Venkatesh Tarakkad as CFO

In his new role, Tarakkad will be responsible for overseeing upGrad’s domestic and global financial strategies, encompassing a broader spectrum of areas such as investor relations, business finance, and corporate finance

Venkatesh Tarakkad will be the first CFO of upGrad. Premium
Venkatesh Tarakkad will be the first CFO of upGrad.

Bengaluru: Edtech unicorn upGrad has appointed former DealShare executive Venkatesh Tarakkad as its chief financial officer, the company said in a statement on Friday.

In his new role, Tarakkad will be responsible for overseeing upGrad’s domestic and global financial strategies, encompassing a broader spectrum of areas such as investor relations, business finance, corporate finance, financial planning and analysis, and risk management.

Since its inception in 2015, upGrad has appointed a chief financial officer for the first time. “As an organization evolves and expands, we need to bring in a different level of leadership as the complexity of running the business also increases," Mayank Kumar told Mint in an exclusive interview.

Before Tarakkad, Rohit Agarwal was overseeing upGrad's financial operations as the head of corporate finance. Agarwal will now report to Tarakkad, Kumar added. He explained that Venkatesh will have a broader mandate and will be in charge of 4-5 crucial elements of the business, including automation and compliance.

The appointment is crucial for upGrad, which has long-term plans to tap the public markets. Investors and regulatory authorities have increasingly mandated companies beyond a certain scale of growth to appoint a finance chief to ensure orderly business governance, compliance, and related decisions.

With over 30 years of experience, Tarakkad has helped companies build and scale their financial operations, managed acquisitions, and led funding rounds besides taking a company public. He has held numerous leadership positions across brands including Ecom Express, TCNS Clothing, Siam Makro Thailand, Metro Cash & Carry and Coca-Cola India after starting his career with Ernst & Young in the early 90s, the statement said.

"Venkatesh is a seasoned enterprise leader, and his appointment marks a strategic leap forward in our growth journey, both in India and globally. We’ve laid a rock-solid business foundation so far, built and scaled our offerings, and as we strive for global leadership, his operational excellence will ensure a robust credit profile, end-to-end compliance, and transparent corporate and financial governance within the upGrad ecosystem," upGrad's co-founder Mayank Kumar said in the statement.

UpGrad aims for a revenue of around $750 million, boasting a 70% gross margin and a 15% net margin, before considering its IPO plans, Kumar had said at an edtech conference in Gurugram earlier this month.

Founded by Ronnie Screwvala, Kumar, Phalgun Kompalli and Ravijot Chugh, upGrad has two divisions—business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B). With 31 offices across India, the US, the UK, the Middle East, Singapore, and Vietnam, UpGrad derives 75-80% of its revenue from its B2C segment, with the remaining 20-22% sourced from B2B.

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Published: 01 Mar 2024, 08:00 AM IST
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