How Asif Masani is Empowering Finance Professionals Master FP&A Skills

Asif Masani

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Key Points:

  • Asif Masani is an author and a financial planning and analysis expert with over 14 years of experience in finance and FP&A across various industries such as banking, pharma, and Edtech.
  • He founded FP&A Professionals in 2023 to share his knowledge and passion for financial planning and analysis, strategy, and leadership with over 1 million students, professionals, and executives who want to master FP&A skills and advance their careers.
  • He provides FP&A-relevant content, career advice, and training programs through his newsletter, LinkedIn, books, and courses, covering topics from basic to advanced FP&A such as budgeting, forecasting, management reporting, business acumen, presentations, data storytelling, finance business partnering, and business strategy.

Financial planning and analysis (FP&A) is a vital skill for finance professionals who want to make better decisions, create value, and advance their careers. However, many lack the proper training and guidance to master FP&A skills and avoid career pitfalls.

Asif Masani, the Co-founder of FP&A Professionals Institute (FPI), provides this opportunity to thousands of learners. Asif is an author of the Amazon bestseller book “All About FP&A,” an FP&A expert, and a regular contributor at FP&A Trends, Finance Alliance, and FP&A Professionals.

He has worked with organizations like EY, Citibank, Pfizer, and Coursera, where he led the FP&A function for India and APAC. He is also a Chartered Accountant and an entrepreneur.

The Business APAC recently interviewed Asif Masani, who said, “The e-learning industry in the APAC region is expected to keep growing, with technology playing a key role in meeting educational needs and closing the skill gap across various industries.”

Business APAC: How did you become an expert in FP&A, and what motivated you to enter the E-learning sector?

Asif: My FP&A journey began in 2014 when I joined Citi as an Analyst. Before that, I was an intern and then an audit executive at EY in 2010, where I qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2012. I worked on audits for many listed companies in India, such as ITD, Bharat Hotels, and Gammon.

At Citi, I gained valuable experience in various FP&A roles, working with the retail bank and credit card teams. I left as an FP&A Manager in 2019 after a 5-year stint.

During the Covid pandemic, I took up some short-term projects as an FP&A consultant with Pfizer. Then, I decided to switch to the Edtech and E-learning industry, which was booming at that time. I also found this industry very exciting and rewarding.

In the last 4 years, I have worked with Great Learning (now BYJU’s Great Learning), and most recently (until Jan 2024), I led the FP&A function for India and APAC at Coursera.

I have also conducted several webinars on FP&A and written an Amazon bestseller book called “All About FP&A.”

Through these activities, I realized that there is a gap in training finance professionals for FP&A skills, and this is something I am deeply passionate about. That’s why I made the shift to E-learning.

Business APAC: Please tell us the story behind FP&A Professionals, and how it begins.

Asif: It started with one of the webinars I conducted during the pandemic. Do you remember when we were all stuck at home, and there was a new webinar every day?

I uploaded a couple of my webinars on YouTube, but they didn’t get much attention at first. However, they gradually gained more views, and I started getting questions and feedback from people on Linkedin. They wanted to know more about how to transition to FP&A roles or how to excel in them.

That prompted me to write short posts and articles on Linkedin, sharing my insights and tips on FP&A. I wrote over 100 articles and thousands of posts, which gave me enough material to write a book. In 2022, I published my first book, “All About FP&A” which became an Amazon bestseller in the Management Accounting category.

The book attracted more professionals who were interested in learning FP&A skills. They enjoyed the book but also wanted to practice with real cases and interact with me live. That’s how I launched (with my partner CA Dhawal Parvatikar who is a seasoned CFO and Career coach) the FP&A Masterclass in 2022. Since then, we have helped thousands of finance professionals master FP&A skills.

At FP&A Professionals, our mission is to help 1 million finance professionals master FP&A skills. We do this through our newsletter, LinkedIn content, YouTube Videos books, and training programs.

Currently, I am working on two more books, one of which is “Accounting to FP&A”, which will be released in April-May 2024.

Business APAC: How does your E-learning platform differ from others, and what are its unique features?

Asif: We believe that learning is only effective when you can apply it in practice.

That’s why we teach with real-life case scenarios instead of the traditional academic textbook style.

Our goal is to help professionals develop a strong understanding and conceptual clarity in subjects such as Budgeting, Forecasting, Management reporting, Data Storytelling, and Finance Business Partnering. These are essential skills for success in FP&A.

We also value networking with other industry leaders for knowledge exchange and mentorship. That’s why we regularly invite guest speakers with diverse experiences to our community of FP&A Professionals.

Business APAC: What are the needs of your target audience, and how do you meet them with your E-learning platform?

Asif: Our target audience consists of three categories of finance professionals:

  • Beginners who are interested in FP&A as a career option.
  • New FP&A Professionals who want to improve their skills and performance.
  • Mid-career professionals who want to transition from accounting and audit to FP&A but don’t know how to start.

FP&A is not taught in college or professional finance degrees. Most freshers lack the necessary background when they enter this field. They usually learn these skills on the job, which can be challenging and time-consuming. Our platform helps them bridge the gap faster by providing them with practical and relevant training.

Business APAC: Being at the helm of the company, what are your prominent roles and responsibilities? Please share with us your notable awards and achievements.

Asif: My work mainly involves three activities:

  • Developing and delivering the curriculum and content for our programs
  • Sharing my expertise through Linkedin, YouTube, and Blogs
  • Managing the day-to-day operations of my team

Some of the awards and achievements that I have received are:

  • Recognition as one of the world’s Top 20 FP&A professionals in 2022, 2023, and 2024
  • Authorship of the Amazon bestseller book “All About FP&A” (#14 in the Management Accounting category)
  • 135K+ Followers on LinkedIn and 80K+ Newsletter Subscribers (monthly newsletter on Linkedin)
  • 100+ Blog articles at FP&A Professionals, FP&A Trends, and Finance Alliance
  • 1M+ Downloads of my Free FP&A Playbook and FP&A Cheatsheet
  • Training of 1K+ Finance Professionals in FP&A (via live and online self-paced courses)

Business APAC: What challenges did you face on your journey as a leader? How did you tackle them?

Asif: One of the challenges I faced as a leader was to maintain a cohesive and focused team that shared our common goals. I tackled this by being clear and transparent in my communication, ensuring that everyone understood their role and contribution to our success.

We also created a culture where we valued and respected everyone’s feedback and ideas.

Another significant challenge was to keep our programs and training relevant and engaging.

To solve this, we used data and interactions with our learners to understand their needs better and customize our programs accordingly.

We also used adaptive learning technologies and gamification to improve engagement and retention. It was essential for us to align our learning initiatives with industry standards and career development goals. We are also launching an in-depth Certificate Program on FP&A (Certified Global FP&A).

Business APAC: How do you achieve a healthy work-life balance? What do you enjoy doing outside work?

Asif: I make sure to take regular breaks and do activities that refresh me outside work. I like writing, watching movies, and spending quality time with family and friends. These activities help me relax and stay balanced, leading to a better work-life balance.

Business APAC: What are some tips for students who want to use e-learning to get ready for the future workforce that changes all the time?

Asif: I recommend that students work on both hard and soft skills.

They should learn about emerging technologies and industry trends from courses that offer them the latest knowledge.

Students should also develop their soft skills like communication, critical thinking, and adaptability, which are very important in the evolving job market. They should keep learning and be curious, as their ability to adapt and learn will help them succeed in the future workforce.

I also recommend applying what you’ve learned through practical tasks or real-life activities. This helps you comprehend and retain more. You can do this by doing exercises, simulations, or projects that require you to use your new skills.


“There is not much benefit to learning if you cannot practically apply it.”

Also Read; The 10 Visionary E-Learning Providers of 2024

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