Bringing the CEOs Perspective to the Boardroom: Evaluating Acquisitions — Ravila Gupta

Ravila Gupta — a strategist at the intersection of executive leadership, engineering, law, and executive coaching, is budgeting expertise as well. She approaches each business problem with a multifaceted approach and is able to combine her broad expertise to develop creative and innovative solutions for complex problems. In the following video, Ravila shares her experiences as a CEO during acquisitions and how those could be applied in a boardroom.

“The perspective that I bring to the boardroom is that of a CEO who has been involved in acquisitions. I have seen where things go wrong and what areas should be paid more attention to. I focus on areas that get lost since people want the acquisition to work so desperately. I like management to be clear to me regarding the details of the acquisition - what is the story of the acquisition? Once the papers are signed the story often changes at that point. Clarity on why we are acquiring the company, what it brings to us, what the current company has to gain from this company, and so on has to be extremely clear.

“Doing an entire analysis regarding what the risks are and focusing on running those filters to make sure we are approaching them objectively is key. Just because everyone may have fallen in love with the company, any possible shortcomings shouldn’t be overlooked. I have been on the divesture side of things and it is an extremely painful experience. Hence, what I really bring to the boardroom is a CEO who has had experience with acquisitions.

“Questions I like to ask or focus on are what is the integration plan? What are some issues that need to be focused on right away? Things like financial assistance, I.T. systems, HR, etc. need to be integrated immediately. Another question I like to focus on is what type of due diligence was conducted on the acquisition process? It is in the due diligence that you are going to come across the risks you are assuming — so it’s an important step. What are those risks and how did we handle them? There are risks involved in acquisitions, especially on the environmental side. Focusing on these is key, and they can be easy to look over if one really likes the acquired company. Another important thing I like to focus on is how long is the management staying on after the acquisition and what is incentivizing them to stay on?

“From my experience as a CEO, all the aforementioned areas are ones that need to be focused on, and I would bring that focus and experience to a board.”

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