Ramesh Kannah: A Visionary Legal Luminary Shaping Future Legal Landscapes With Strategic Excellence | CEOInsights Vendor
Ramesh Kannah: A Visionary Legal Luminary Shaping Future Legal Landscapes With Strategic Excellence

Ramesh Kannah: A Visionary Legal Luminary Shaping Future Legal Landscapes With Strategic Excellence

Ramesh Kannah,   Chief Legal Officer

Ramesh Kannah

Chief Legal Officer

Legal officers play a pivotal role in organizations, requiring a holistic skill set that blends legal expertise, strategic thinking, and management proficiency. A continuous learning mindset is essential to navigate evolving legal landscapes effectively. A collaborative leadership style fosters teamwork, innovation, and streamlined legal processes. Moreover, having a strategic vision that harmonizes legal actions with organizational growth goals is vital. This ensures that legal officers, exemplified by professionals like Ramesh Kannah, actively propel the company toward overall success and progress.

Ramesh Kannah is a seasoned legal professional with a wealth of experience and a distinguished career spanning over 24 years. Ramesh's journey in various renowned organizations includes stints at ESERVE International (Citigroup), ICICI Bank, Chola-mandalam Finance, HDFC Bank, and Piramal Capital and Home Finance (formerly DHFL). Since April 2022, he has held the position of Chief Legal Officer at Five Star Business Finance, where he oversees the Legal Function of the company.

Below is an excerpt of Ramesh Kannah’s exclusive interaction with CEO Insights magazine.

Could you give a brief account of your professional journey and what inspired you to take a career path in the legal services domain?

My venture into the legal domain was an unintended detour from familial expectations of medicine or bureaucracy. Initially driven by circumstances, I pursued law to facilitate a future in civil services. However, the competitive landscape and waning interest led me to pivot during my final law year. Instead of dedicating more years to UPSC, I opted for a full-time MBA, blending legal and management expertise. Embracing the unconventional fusion, I strategically positioned myself as a legal specialist within the corporate (BFSI) realm. Through-out my career, I have aligned with growing organizations, contributing to ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank's
ascent. Presently, I steer a company toward listing and substantial growth, epitomizing my commitment to personal and organizational triumphs.

What are the unique strategies Five-Star Business Finance follows to maintain its decades-old reputation?

Five-Star Business Finance, with its inception in 1984, has meticulously crafted a legacy by uniquely catering to the financial needs of the Economically Weaker Sections. Our distinctive strategy revolves around reaching the heart of Bharath, focusing on Tier 2 to 6 cities and towns where access to organized lending is limited. The company adheres to the 3C principle – Character, Cash Flow, and Collateral – during credit assessments, prioritizing the character of the customer. We differentiate ourselves by targeting the unbanked, offering MSME loans to those who struggle to access organized borrowing. Our credit evaluation process emphasizes understanding customer behaviour firsthand, ensuring a personal touch that sets us apart in the financial services landscape. Additionally, we secure loans with immovable property, aligning the customer's livelihood as collateral and fostering a commitment to timely repay-ments. This commitment to inclusivity and personalized risk assessment has been pivotal in maintaining our decades-old reputation.

I view the Legal Department not just as a support function but as a 'Catalyst,' actively contri-buting to both the Top Line & Bottom Line of the Balance Sheet

As the Chief Legal Officer, how do you recommend changes to the company’s policies and what are the ways you bring value to the business?

Our company places a paramount emphasis on adhering strictly to the country's regulations and laws during business expansion. In my role as Chief Legal Officer, my contribution lies in ensuring that any changes in company policy align with the prescribed legal framework. Inspired by the wisdom of the Late His Excellency Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam, I often recall his quote, 'Opportunities don't happen, you create them.' Despite the Legal Department traditionally being viewed as a support or advisory
function in many organizations, my 21+ years in the financial industry have shaped my perspective. I view the Legal Department not just as a support function but as a 'Catalyst', actively contributing to both the Top Line and Bottom Line of the Balance Sheet.

What is the future destination you are headed towards?

I envision my future aligned with the dynamic growth of our company, an organization on the ascent. Age holds no constraints in the legal profession, and I am committed to contri-buting to society even postretirement. In the next five years, I foresee not just the company's growth, but my evolution within it. Given the pivotal role of the legal department in scrutinizing collateral security, my focus is on ensuring the company's top and bottom lines thrive. With a unique emphasis on managing NPA accounts, I anticipate maintaining the company's growth trajectory. Also, my aspirations extend to a core role, envisioning myself as the CEO, steering the company's success.

Ramesh Kannah, Chief Legal Officer, Five-Star Business Finance

Ramesh Kannah, the Chief Legal Officer at Five-Star Business Finance, is a distin-guished legal professional with 24+ years of expertise. Holding a Bachelor of Law and an MBA, he excels in legal leadership within the BFSI sector. His strategic vision and holistic skill set contribute significantly to the legal and organi-zational success at Five-Star Business Finance.

•Awards & Recognition:

•Was selected for the prestigious Leadership Mentoring Program at ICICI Bank in 2007

•Certified Collection Trainer in ICICI Bank and also awarded with Best Trainer of the Year for 2008 – 2009

•Instrumental in building/implemen-ting the technology platform viz Legal Module in HDFC Bank during 2013

•Instrumental in the development of the Learning & Development Module for Retail Legal in HDFC Bank

•In HDFC Bank awarded with Silver Star & Best All-Round Performer of the Year in Legal Unit for 2013-2014

•In PCFHL formerly known as DHFL when it underwent a difficult time under In solvency & Bankruptcy Code from November 2019 to July 2021 has been considered a 'Very Critical Employee/Key Employee' until it’s resolution

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