#HerWorldHerStory: How Radhika Radhakrishnan went from soccer mum to CFO of a football academy

by Cara Van Miriah; Hayley Tai; Cheong Wen Xuan  /   April 12, 2020

She had NO formal background in the sport but this soccer mum went from being an accountant to the CFO of a football academy

#HerWorldHerStory is a collection of 60 women sharing their successes, passions, challenges, inspirations, hopes and dreams. Together, they give a snapshot of what it is to be a woman today.

Every month from March till August, we present 10 women navigating their lives now – and in their own words. Here’s Radhika Radhakrishnan story…

I’ve always been a hardcore soccer mum but I had no formal sports background other than learning about the sport from two of my three teenage sons (aged 14, 13 and 6), and showing up at all their training at F-17 Football Academy since 2014. F-17 provides professional football coaching to about 500 children aged two to 16 at three locations, and it was founded in 2013.

I got to know the then and current management of F-17, who initially sought my advice in accounting during a buyover. Last April, they offered me a full-time position as F-17’s chief financial officer (CFO). I couldn’t say no. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity where I could play a part to further develop the academy with my professional skills, and shape the children’s learning experience. I also love working in an environment surrounded with kids.

So I left my accounting job at a commodities trading firm to join the football academy.

I’m quite different from many CFOs . I wear three hats in two locations: the office and on the field. In the day, I’m in my office gear, dealing with the corporate and administrative stuff with the team.

But if you see me on the field in my shorts and T-shirt cheering loudly for the kids and teams, I’m Radhika, the hardcore soccer mum! When you spot me in a F-17 jersey, that’s Radhika, the CFO on duty!

One of my proudest moments was when we secured a partnership last year with the well-known Wolverhampton Wanderers football club that is part of the English Premier League. The club now conducts food and nutrition and fitness programmes for children at F-17.

The kids at F-17 are like my family. Though not all will become professional footballers, but that’s fine! So long at the end of their journey they’re able to take with them the lessons, skills and mindsets to their everyday lives, I feel happy that we have done our job.

This article was first published in Her World’s April issue. Grab a copy today!