Abhinav Srivastava: A Corporate Lawyer Advising Organizations Expand Globally While Complying With Laws | CEOInsights Vendor
Abhinav Srivastava: A Corporate Lawyer Advising Organizations Expand Globally While Complying With Laws

Abhinav Srivastava: A Corporate Lawyer Advising Organizations Expand Globally While Complying With Laws

Abhinav Srivastava,    (Legal Counsel- Asia), ILC Dover

Abhinav Srivastava

(Legal Counsel- Asia), ILC Dover

It’s the responsibility of a General Counsel to help organizations follow the regulations and stay out of trouble while making sure the organization is moving in the right direction. There is a general conception among organizations that legal can be a real roadblock when it comes to swift expansion. However, there are many General Counsels, who want to change that perception and make people aware of the usability of complying with regulations. Abhinav Srivastava, Legal Counsel Asia, ILC Dover is one of those dynamic leaders, who throughout his career of around 5 years as an in house legal Counsel, has helped organizations achieve milestones and success while making sure that they are doing business in the most compliant way.

"Legal is not a roadblock but a checkpoint which makes you do the business in the most compliant way"

In an exclusive interview with CEO Insights, Abhinav shares about his professional background, nuances of legal system in corporate organizations and much more:

Give us a brief account on your education and professional background. What inspired you to opt for a career in the legal department?
I did my schooling from the prestigious The Doon School, Dehradun, after which, I got selected for National Law University, Jodhpur one of the initial 5 national law schools in the country where I did my BA LLB in Corporate Laws. Post graduating, I worked in the Supreme Court of India for 1 year to get some hands on experience and understand the nuances of law and legal system, after which I went on to pursue my masters in laws at University College London specializing in banking and finance laws. After returning back to India, I joined Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co as part of their corporate team and worked there for 2 years before joining a rather niche and boutique firm Platinum Partners and worked there for around 5years.

After almost 7.5 years of private practice, I decided to go for inhouse counsel profiles to have an understanding about the way companies work and joined OYO as the Assistant Vice President, Legal. Post that I joined ILC Dover as their Legal Counsel for Asia and presently working over there. The responsibility at ILC Dover is more of a decision making profile and has helped me understand the mindset and work ethics of a leader.

Pertaining to your career, what are
the major challenges you have faced till now and the strategies you applied to overcome them?
While in my previous stints there have been various challenges I would particularly like to talk about the challenges that I currently face in the leadership role at ILC Dover. As pharmaceutical requires a lot of governance and then my area of operation has been increased now from only India to throughout Asia, the whole operation seems like a challenge. Another major challenge that I face throughout is the lack of clarity in regulation. Even though our products as prima facie are not regulated but due to the “pharmaceutical product” tag, questions arise whether they are from a regulated space or not. So understanding each of the products from the commercial team and then mapping those with the regulations have been quite a task as the regulations vary from country to country in Asia and we need to make sure that our products are not regulated and we don’t require any license to.

An organization with a very rich legacy behind, it was ILC Dover who designed Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit for his space travel

So to overcome that, we reach out to the respective regulation authority in each of the countries and explain them about our product. But sometimes they don’t understand the product and take it as a regulated one. So we have to explain it to them using their own regulations. Then there is also the language barrier as majority of the people from countries like China, Korea and so on don’t speak English and that also includes the government officials. The strategies to resolve these issues are ever evolving. Even from the corporate side, there are various challenges from legal side to get the company started, setting up entities in various countries to ensure that we are compliant with each and every corporate laws of each of the countries.

Define ILC Dover as an organization and what makes the organization unique?
ILC Dover designs and produces engineered flexible protective solutions as well as provides containment solutions to pharma and biopharma industries. An organization with a very rich legacy behind, it was ILC Dover who designed Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit for his space travel. However, they just started operations in Asia around seven months back. Even big pharmaceutical companies relay on the niche line of products due to the quality assurance. From an organization point of view, it has a small employee base of around 500. However it’s a close knit working
culture where everyone is approachable irrespective of the position and hierarchy, which makes it very unique.

What are the major factors you consider while providing solution regarding private equity funds and multinational companies entering Indian markets?
For that we first need to understand our requirement and our set of action or what we are doing. Once we have that clarity, we try to figure out the best possible way to invest as there are alot of regulations including the(Indian)Companies Act, the regulations prescribed by the Reserve Bank of India and if we are venturing in the listed company space then regulations prescribed by the Securities and Exchange Board of India. For example if we are setting up a company in India then within 60 days, you have to allot the shares after you have received the subscription money and there are regulatory filings that need to be done in a timely manner. Sometimes foreign companies don't mean to have an Indian director, they want to keep both the directors who are their employees and, at most of the times, based outside of India, so we have to advise them that, under the law, and there is a mandatory requirement to have one resident director. So we need to make sure all these regulations are followed properly.

Are there any major milestones both individual and professional, which have given you utmost satisfaction? What are the goals you have set towards your future roadmap?
The first ever milestone would be getting into law as initially I was very confused regarding what to do career wise, but after getting into law, I was quite content to have a direction in life. Then professionally, one of the major milestone was to help Oyo get the Term Loan B which was also first ever for any Indian company and even the 2nd company in Asia to raise a Term loan B.

Regarding the future roadmaps, I would like to continue working in my current role and want to be a business enabler for my company. Usually companies have this mindset, that legal is always a roadblock. I want to make sure that that mindset is changed because legal is not a roadblock but a checkpoint which makes you do the business in the most compliant way.

Abhinav Srivastava,(Legal Counsel- Asia), ILC Dover
With a masters' degree in law from University College London, UK, Abhinav has spent initial years of his professional career in private practice working with leading law firms in India. A team player and willing to take up new challenges, Abhinav is a seasoned corporate and regulatory lawyer having diverse experience of 12+ years in APAC region including sectors such as advertising, hospitality, consumer goods, renewable energy, pharma/bio pharma, healthcare, aviation and so on.

Favorite Cuisine:North Indian Delicacies

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