Dilush Perera was instrumental in transforming a shared services operation which initially handled most of the finance work and back-office functions of the Hirdaramani Group into a BPO business with a growing global clientele.
Perera is the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at Hirdaramani Group which specialises in manufacturing clothing for global brands. It has smaller businesses in renewable energy, leisure, retail, IT and financial services, but apparel is its mainstay. The group employs 60,000 people across six countries. Perera is also Finance Director for Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Ethiopia.
“Hirdaramani established the shared services unit to improve customer service and control environments, increase management information accuracy, make transactions transparent and achieve process excellence.”
Perera is the Chief Executive at H-Connect, a company established in 2012 with eight people to provide shared services in finance, commercial, procurement and travel for the Hirdaramani Group. He has since transformed the unit from a cost centre to a profit centre, charging fees even from the parent company. Hirdaramani established the shared services unit to improve customer service and control environments, increase management information accuracy, make transactions transparent and achieve process excellence. The group wanted to do all this without adding to costs.
To grow H-Connect, Perera had to challenge the idea that scaling any business operation required a larger workforce. Perera set about automating finance-related processes beginning with automated bank reconciliation, accounts payable & collections and developed its own document management system for a third of the cost. H-Connect has since expanded to 220 people.
Along the way, it added new back-office functions like stores management, administration, human resources, merchandising and export departments. The unit has transformed into a business process outsourcing company providing services around supply chain management, finance & accounting, Virtual CFO, human resource & administration, project and process control and payroll and tech support.
Its clientele includes third party businesses in Australia, the U.K. and U.S. Perera has created a business transformation team tasked with propelling H-Connect to the next level. This unit wants to help businesses restructure, turnaround and uncover potential to grow at an exponential rate. When a company’s operations are distributed, it is difficult to see things as a whole, but Perera believes H-Connect can help managers understand the big picture.