Dr. Avnish Kshatriya : A Seasoned Digital Leader Accelerating Businesses' Digital Journey | CEOInsights Vendor
Dr. Avnish Kshatriya : A Seasoned Digital Leader Accelerating Businesses' Digital Journey

Dr. Avnish Kshatriya : A Seasoned Digital Leader Accelerating Businesses' Digital Journey

Avnish Kshatriya,  Chief Digital Officer

Avnish Kshatriya

Chief Digital Officer

In an era of constant change, leading a digital workforce to drive enterprise-wide transformation has become increasingly challenging. However, transformational leader- ship is a learned skills and the leaders who rise to its challenges have proved it. Dr. Avnish Kshatriya, currently the Chief Digital Officer at Trilegal, embodying the qualities of an adept CDO is a true testament to it.

Dr. Avnish is not only forward-thinking, innovative, audacious, and agile, but also capable of harnessing digital technologies to unlock non-linear value for organizations. On personal front, coming from an armed forces background, where his father served the Indian Air Force as an officer, it instilled a strong cross-cultural foundation that kept him self-motivated and purpose-driven always. Professionally, he possesses 27+ years of rich & diverse global experience (across India, US, UK, Europe) in digital transformation, having worked with several Fortune 500 clients & organizations across industry verticals (Hi-Tech, Oil & Gas, Retail, CPG, Manufacturing, Auto, Banking & Financial Services, Healthcare, Pharma). Let’s get to know him a bit more!

Could you give a brief account of your educational and professional background and experiences?
I’ve completed my B.E. from DTU - Delhi Technological University (formerly Delhi College of Engineering (DCE), Executive MBA from IIM Bangalore, and Ph.D. from Indian Institute of Science (IISC) Bangalore, and thus identify myself as a hardcore engineer & technologist with a business acumen and a quest for lifelong learning & problem-solving.

My professional career began in 1996 with Reliance Industries as a Production & Industrial engineer. Soon, I was fascinated by the IT revolution and took a plunge by showcasing my expertise & potential through volunteering work in software development – which helped me in moving into their IT Function. In 1998, I moved to Jamnagar where the world’s largest grassroots refinery was being built. There, I contributed towards the building of several business-critical IT systems, a few of which were later rolled out across the entire Reliance group. In 2002, Wipro appointed me as a Module Lead for their productized workflow automa- tion. The diverse career opportu- nities available at Wipro through job
enrichment & rotations helped me in curating an exciting & fruitful stint of 20+ years – comprising of both specialist and leadership roles across technologies, domains, and geographies. I was fortunate to play prominent roles in the IT industry (Developer, Architect, Consultant, Project/ Delivery/ Practice/ Product Manager, Strategy/ Competency/ Alliances/ GTM Head, Evangelist, Advisor, CTO, Business CIO) – and even non-conventional ones such as M&A.

Currently, I am the Chief Digital Officer (CDO) at Trilegal – a leading, innovative, and full-service law firm in the Indian legal services industry – a sector poised for disruption and value-unlocking by the advent of new-age digital technologies (esp. Generative AI) and the regulated opening of domestic markets by the Bar Council of India (BCI).

Undoubtedly, digital is at the heart of driving business outcomes; and the real magic happens by attaining synergies across the four dimensions of digital – technology, process, people, and ecosystem

What is the motivation that fuels your daily routines?
An audacious vision of the future really ignites my passion. Importantly, it gives meaning and navigation to the daily routines. While one’s mission is an eternal pursuit, I think a 3-to-5-year vision is both aspirational and tangible enough to fuel one’s motivation. A quote that resonates with me is – ‘If it cannot be done, then it must be done’.

As the CDO, what are the latest strategic plans you have adopted to drive organizational growth in the current Digital age?
Undoubtedly, digital is at the heart of driving business outcomes; and the real magic happens by attaining synergies across the four dimensions of digital – technology, process, people, and ecosystem. Data needs to fuel the objectivity, efficiency, and navigation of digital initiatives through Analytics, AI & Automation. Business–IT alignment and customer-centricity is foundational to its success. Also, the curation of internal stakeholders and that of external ecosystem (e.g., vendors, startups, academia) creates a huge leverage. An often-neglected factor, organizational change management (OCM), is a force multiplier in the adoption and value-realization of such initiatives.

Tell us about your leadership approach. What are the guidelines or methodologies you follow as a leader?
I try to keep things simple with the desired end in mind. Through brainstorming & reimagination, I carve out a solution roadmap,
breaking it into smaller tasks and then executing them with rigor. However, it’s the vision that acts as the guiding light across daily working challenges. I focus on building a sub-culture where people can find meaning, expression and adventure in their work - and in the process realize their true potential. Mentoring & coaching are great tools that’ve kept me empathetic and authentic – while also helping me gain insights & perspectives for my own questions. My approach is centered on institution building – which allows me to outgrow roles over time, also creating headroom for others to grow, and helping me propel towards my next destination in the journey.

What is the future destination you are heading towards?
I’ve never shaped my career or even lived my life as a predefined script. My only endeavor has been to manifest the spectrum of skills and experiences I’ve assimilated to solve various real-world problems, make a bigger impact, leave a legacy behind in whatever I do – and in the process explore, develop and unlock my own potential both as a professional and a person. And this has really been the essence of my journey. So, there’s no future destination as a specific goal or target. In the end, I just hope to have blossomed and manifested myself in every dimension that life presented – boundary less.

Any advice for budding industry leaders?
Be authentic & entrepreneurial with a growth mindset. Be driven to serving others, making a difference, cherishing your value-system and constantly evolving & applying yourself; all the goodies (e.g., reputation, accolades, wealth) are really a byproduct of this pursuit. Don’t over-identify with what you’ve already learned and achieved, this will make space for flowering more facets to your persona. Make every day count, improve & improvise (Kaizen) – it will infuse both novelty and learning in even the most mundane of tasks.

Dr. Avnish Kshatriya, Chief Digital Officer, Trilegal
Having 27+ years of rich & diverse global experience in digital transformation with 30+ Fortune 500 clients & organizations across diverse industry verticals, Dr. Avnish is a proficient enabler of businesses through incubation & scaling up of enterprise-wide digital capabilities & solutions.

•Awards & Recognition: Best People Manager(BPM) award by Azim Premji(Wipro)

•Favorite Book:Man's Search for Meaning, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

•Special Moment:Inaugurated a book at IIM Bangalore, official travels in chartered airplane

•Other Interests:Public speaking, mentoring, music, philosophy, documentaries

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