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Meet Siva Vadivelu, Convex Chief Financial Officer
We are thrilled that Siva Vadivelu has joined the Convex leadership team as our new Chief Financial Officer. Siva joins us from Shield AI, where he led a 20+ person team with oversight of all finance and accounting functions. As a career financial executive, he has experience in scaling pre-IPO hypergrowth organizations for IPO/ Exit. We sat down with Siva to ask about what brought him to Convex, his leadership philosophy, and his plans as our new CFO.
Siva, what is it about your background that makes you a good fit for Convex?
Throughout my experience, I’ve seen the potential of technology to help organizations embrace digital transformation in industries where there tend to be only one-size-fits-all solutions or legacy solutions for growth. Convex makes solutions purpose-built for the commercial services industry, and its mission of being a digital transformation partner for services customers was very attractive to me.
In addition, the opportunity to make a difference in customers’ lives through this technology transformation while helping Convex scale to becoming a major player in the commercial services industry was very interesting to me. My experience and passion for scaling pre-IPO hypergrowth companies to IPO/exit will allow me to help Convex. Lastly, the amazing investors, board members, and leadership team currently being assembled are all positive indicators to me of Convex’s amazing potential to build on the success that’s already been achieved and to continue to grow.
How do you see your transition from the SaaS industry to a finance function in the commercial services industry?
I have created value for shareholders over my 10 years in horizontal and vertical SaaS/software sectors. While Convex’s industry and customer focus are different, the common denominators are the three A’s of finance (Acquisition of capital, Allocation of capital, and Analysis of ROI); working with the founders, the board, and the organization to help ensure the company’s continued growth; and making a positive difference in our customers’ success. So I feel quite at home and am looking forward to it.
Although we’ve had a finance function at Convex, you’re our first official Chief Financial Officer. What does this opportunity mean for you personally and professionally?
As a career finance professional, my passion is scaling pre-IPO hypergrowth companies, and Convex gives me the opportunity to lead the F&A function on this fast journey. I plan to scale Convex through a four-step focused approach (Foundational, Transactional, Strategic, and Public company) in partnership with our founders, functional leaders, and my team. As we go through the journey, the challenge will be how to align the priorities of the organization by allocating existing resources and then “speed match” that to help the organization leverage those resources to scale. I enjoy figuring out this challenge with the team.
In my previous role as CFO, in less than two years we raised two rounds of equity funding, raised venture debt, completed two acquisitions, and increased valuation by 6X to Unicorn valuation. I thrive in such rapid change situations and it was exhilarating doing it with my team. I am hoping to accomplish similar things at Convex with my team.
Most importantly, I get to help Convex achieve the vision of becoming the most important partner to digital-first commercial services businesses and we get to make a difference in our customers’ lives. This is personally very satisfying for me.
As someone who will be building out this new function at Convex, what are your thoughts on leadership?
I have been fortunate to observe my former CFO mentors and a variety of leadership approaches, which has helped me forge my principles on leadership. The four pillars of my leadership principles can be summarized as leading with accountability, consistency, and credibility, along with empathy for my team members, the organization, and customers. F&A function partners with every other function in the organization internally and also externally with investors and BOD members. So it’s important to build relationships along the four pillars with internal and external stakeholders to become trusted advisors.
What do you like to do when you are not working as a CFO?
I love the CFO role and the impact that I get to make, but when I find time outside of work, I like to sharpen the saw on physical, social/emotional, spiritual, and mental dimensions.
I feel it’s essential for me to not only be in alignment with leadership but also for all employees to know I am their liaison and their partner in all things people — from career development to compensation to culture. And that can come only from solid relationship-building. At this stage of the company, it should be relatively easier to build that foundation and grow from there. Being open to feedback and using that feedback to make People processes and policies better will hopefully help build that trust over time.
Ellin McHarg is Principal Copywriter at Convex.
Originally published on March 15, 2022 Updated on March 17, 2022