Receiving recognition would force many leaders into complacency, but Globe Fintech Innovations Inc. (Mynt) Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Ray Berja is not one of them.
Having received the award for Best Fintech CFO of the Year from the Global CFO Excellence Awards, Berja claims that the title only shows how Mynt, which operates GCash, is affecting the industry of finance and its role in propelling the Philippines into the cashless economy.
“This award says a lot about credibility and trust. The market having been able to see that there’s a very resilient, strong, and internationally-recognized function, it means a lot for the organization, as it tells them that the back-end is not run by a typical group — that it's run by a world-class organization,” Berja said.
As a sanctioned international search by British global digibase Acquisition International Magazine, the awardee is chosen from a large pool of candidates in the global fintech industry, based on commitment to excellence, innovation, and customer focus.
Innovation in finance
At the core of Berja’s values as CFO is innovation. Since fintech is a very agile industry, he had to come up with ways of putting a fresh spin on maximizing technology to benefit Mynt’s business process. Berja’s background in accountancy, business management, and financial technology provide strong pillars to his virtuosity in the field.
Aside from being a certified public accountant, Berja is also an International Capital Market Association Australia-certified management accountant. He is likewise a certified financial accountant.
Berja has a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the Ateneo de Manila University Graduate Business School and Regis University in the United States, as well as his Diploma in Financial Technology from Said Business School, University of Oxford.
His sense of innovation also includes the adoption of a good leader’s mindset. He has always strived to introduce innovative ways of organizing the company so that it works more efficiently. A fast-paced industry calls for equally agile support, he explained.
“We were able to reorganize the finance function in a way that it makes it very agile to address the needs of the organization,” he said. “Governance that will make the ‘agility’ stronger in terms of issues and compliance with government regulations, and in terms of being more efficient in how we spend our resources.”
To Berja, international recognition only pushes him to reach greater heights than that which he has already achieved. His commitment to the value of hard work and ambition make him see such awards as further challenges, not as signs that he has reached the peak of his career.
“I think excellence is a way of life. It has to be a lifestyle. It gives us more inspiration and empowerment to do more in the profession of finance,” he said.
An indispensable step to achieving such excellence is understanding the business very well -- that one has to immerse in the commercial aspect of the industry. Berja said this had been his mantra even before he rose up to the role of CFO.
Berja also recognizes that nothing would be possible if you take away the support of the people you work with.
“I’m glad that we have a very supportive leadership and also colleagues in Mynt who acknowledge that we can bring in value to the organization,” he said.