Startup specialist

Sujeet Kini, until recently the chief financial officer at Hootsuite Media Inc., chats about high-energy industries, startups and why he loves social media.

Q: How did you end up in the tech industry?

I initially joined a company called GT Group Telecom in Toronto and was immersed in the wonderful world of fibre optics and telecom, which by association lent itself into the tech space — we did a lot of vendor financing with companies such as Oracle. Back then it was the heyday of the telecom boom, which just as rapidly went to bust. But I enjoyed the fast pace and the fascinating world of revenue recognition in the tech space, and the sheer energy of the tech industry overall. After the telecom bust, I briefly transitioned to the utility sector where I worked with gas and energy, but it didn’t take long for me to realize how much I missed the tech world. I found an opportunity to return by joining OpenText, a company that provides enterprise information management so ware. I stayed there for more than 11 years before landing at Hootsuite, where I spent two years.


Q: What makes finance gigs at startups unique?

At startups, the function of finance tends to lean heavily toward operational issues and metrics-driven results more than most traditional accounting jobs. You also tend to see startup board members consist more of investor personalities than your traditional public companies. It can be challenging at times, but also very rewarding.


Q: How did you use your CPA at Hootsuite?

It certainly helped provide the accounting and financial expertise that is required of a CFO, but it also provided a broad base and platform for me to provide strategic business-related advice to the executive team and board.


Q: What’s your favourite social media platform and why?

Twitter. It’s an excellent platform for communication because of the brevity, the instant news and the large number of people who use the platform.


Vancouver-based Sujeet Kini was at Hootsuite, which provides social media management tools to companies around the world, for two years. Prior to joining Hootsuite, he worked for OpenText, and has also held leadership positions at PricewaterhouseCoopers and GT Group Telecom.