Varun Athi, Finance Expert in Paramus, NJ, United States
Varun Athi

Finance Expert in Paramus, NJ, United States

Member since August 9, 2017
Varun has helped technology startups raise over $50 million in funding and built pricing models to win more than $1 billion in contracted revenue at Cognizant, a Fortune 500 firm. He has worked with management teams to build financial models, create strategic plans and improve their execution of operating margin and cash management. As a freelancer, he enjoys helping companies raise capital and build scale.
Varun is now available for hire

Career Highlights


Case studies

Industry Expertise

  • Accounting Services
  • Venture Capital & Private Equity
  • Financial Modeling
  • Startups
  • Information Technology
  • Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES)

Other Expertise


  • Head of Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A)

    2015 - PRESENT
    Vidyo, Inc.
    • Built the business case and financial model to raise over $50 million in equity and debt capital from existing and new investors.
    • Built the pricing model for SaaS (Software as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service) business offerings that scaled to $10+ million in recurring revenue within two years.
    • Created a framework to create and measure financial and non-financial KPIs across the organization; resulted in a decision to pivot into platform model and move away from plain vanilla conferencing solutions.
    • Created a new sales incentive framework, and implemented a sales incentive tool (Xactly) to execute the plan, which increased sales to strategic customer base by ~60% and reduced the commission payout time lag by more than 30 days.
    • Implemented Salesforce CPQ (Configure Price Quote) module and FinancialForce to transform the billing and financial operations and to enable real-time visibility of key metrics.
    Focus areas: Debt Raises, Fundraising, Cost Management, Sales Compensation Structuring, Reasonable Compensation Calculation, Analytics, Sales, Sales Operations, M&A Modeling, Revenue Modeling, Cash Flow Modeling, Business Planning, Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A)
  • Finance Business Partner

    2013 - 2015
    Cognizant Technology Solutions
    • Built the 3-year plan for the business unit to scale from ~$100 million to over $250 million in revenues.
    • Reduced quarterly days sales outstanding (DSO) by 22 days by re-engineering the accounts receivable process.
    • Negotiated contract language and pricing for multi-million dollar engagements and played a key role in winning over $40 million in contracted revenue.
    • Delivered $1.1 million in savings and improved margins by ~1% through optimization initiatives.
    • Set up budgeting, forecasting and margin review processes and cadence; drove financial acumen in the Business Unit.
    Focus areas: Cost Reduction & Optimization, Profitability Optimization, Financial Modeling, Monthly Close Process, Accounting, Controller, Pricing Strategy, Zero-based Budgeting, Budget Controls, Operational Finance, Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A)
  • Corporate FP&A Manager

    2009 - 2012
    Cognizant Technology Solutions
    • Built and maintained the 'Forecast P&L’ Excel model for the CFO; defined and managed key assumptions with cost and revenue centers across the $12 billion firm.
    • Worked with the executive team to develop key discussion points on firm performance for quarterly earnings call and 10-Q/10-K filings.
    • Conceptualized and built a statistical revenue forecast model for the company that had a prediction error of less than 1%; this was used along with bottom-up forecasts as a primary input in the annual planning process.
    • Spearheaded the implementation of SAP BPC. This was among SAP’s largest implementations of the SAP BPC tool and was featured on the SAP website.
    • Analyzed the chargeback costs for infrastructure, vetted takeover targets, and designed processes to push down currency hedging costs into business unit P&L’s.
    • Executed the annual budgeting process and anchored the budget presentation deck for the board of directors.
    Focus areas: Hedging, Forex, Treasury & Liquidity Management, Investor Relations, Corporate Finance, Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A), Financial System Implementation, Budgeting, Business Planning
  • Financial Analyst

    2008 - 2009
    Cognizant Technology Solutions
    • Built a pricing model with scenario analysis and pro forma P&L to bid and win a $700+ million deal; partnered with the business team to obtain management sign-off on the contract terms.
    • Built financial models and participated in the due diligence of a $400 million acquisition target for the business unit.
    • Prepared and presented monthly revenue and profitability analysis package to business unit leadership team.
    Focus areas: Financial Modeling, Price Analysis, Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A)
  • Equity Research Associate

    2007 - 2008
    Credit Suisse
    • Built financial models for companies under coverage, which were utilized as a core part of investment decision-making process.
    • Authored industry-specific research reports for solar photovoltaic (PV) and biofuel companies that were instrumental in informing potential investors about the state of the industry and constructing investment thesis.
    • Created investment theme decks that generated significant interest in alternative energy from existing investor base.
    • Interviewed CEOs and CFOs across semiconductor capital equipment and solar PV industries as well as their supply chains as part of industry research and value chain analysis.
    Focus areas: Investor Presentations, Investment Thesis, Industry Analysis, Equity Research


  • Program for Leadership Development (PLD) in Leadership
    2017 - 2018
    Harvard Business School - Boston
  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) in Investment Analysis
    2009 - 2013
    CFA Institute - United States
  • Certification in Financial Risk Management (FRM)
    2008 - 2008
    Global Association for Risk Professionals (GARP) - New York
  • Certified MBA (CMBA) Degree in Finance and Strategy
    2005 - 2007
    Bharathidasan Institute of Management, Trichy - India
  • Bachelor's Degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering
    2000 - 2004
    Madras University - India

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