Home Credit India Finance Pvt. Ltd.
Head – Internal Audit
Define yourself as what you are known for?
Fortunately for me, in my company, I am known as a business partner rather than a policeman. Trust me, it helps if the auditees look at your work as something that will add value to their own.
How does your average day look like?
My average day comprises of audit progress reviews, discussions on findings, follow-up on actions, Internal Financial Control Trainings, meetings with the Operational Risk Management Team for the project involving the implementation of the ORM framework and calls / webex sessions with the Group Internal Audit team.
What does your current role mean to you?
I have almost always been in Risk Management. My role thankfully never draws me into monotony. There are always new challenges to face, new process gaps to be fixed, new compliances to be looked at. My current role is fulfilling because it gives me the satisfaction of adding value to the business.
What helped you to achieve your current Position/Role?
I was considered for my current role because of the following reasons: 1) my previous experience with varied kinds of assignments like Operational Risk Management, Risk Analytics, Internal Audits, ERM, SOX readiness and compliance, Business Process re-engineering, ITGC and Business Application Control Audits, etc.; and 2) my previous stint (4 years) in the Banking and Financial Sector.
As a Risk Leader what keeps you awake at night?
Normally, I do not bring work home, so nothing keeps me awake at night. But while at work, my biggest concern area and also my current focus area in the company is the extremely fast pace of growth and the dynamism. I consider it part of my job to ensure that all risks are considered and mitigated/accepted in the current environment.
Your vision for Risk Strategies in future? How are you going to beat Challenges?
We are a very young organization and until now the biggest responsibility of managing risks was on Internal Audit. Now, with the size of the growth, we believe it is the time that the business becomes mature enough to manage its own risks. We are starting with the implementation of the Operational Risk framework group-wide. The largest focus right now is making our entire over 20,000 workforces aware of what kind of risks exist in each process and how the controls are built into the processes to mitigate the same. The idea is to train people to identify risks (new and existing) on their own and call them out. The biggest focus right now is moving from assistance in the implementation of risk management to monitoring for risks and providing guidance.
How do you keep up with the latest Risk/security issues and methods?
The Internal Audit team has subscribed to a few memberships of Internal Audit forums and I personally read as much as possible.
How do you convince or sell Risk Management to other executives?
It took me about a year and a half to gain the footing in my company of a business partner rather than a policeman. Now, when I explain Risk Management to the ExCo, they actually are open to discussing various aspects of Risk Management and how it will help them in their areas.
Advice for the teams that are doing digital innovation
We are a FinTech company if we go by the definition. Most critical of our processes are dependent on Technology and some of it even involves digital innovation. Cyber Security is taken very seriously in our company and there are multiple teams working on IT Security and Fraud Investigations (including Cyber Fraud). Additionally, cyber risk is evaluated even during implementation of any new system or during modification of an existing system.
Which two organizations outside of your own do you know the most people at and why?
The Royal Bank of Scotland and Deloitte because these are my previous organizations.
What inspires you? What are your aspirations?
My parents have been my biggest inspiration. As a young professional facing one of my first few challenges, my father gave me a mantra, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” My aspiration in life is to be a role model for people even beyond my professional area.
How do you keep yourself stress-free from challenges in your current role?
Over the years I have faced many challenges both in my professional and personal life. It has taken a lot of conscious effort to train my mind to not let any stress affect me now. The key is to keep cool and free your mind of all negative thoughts and then re-evaluate all the options you have in front of you. Almost always you find a simple solution to your problem.
If not in Risk Profession, where would you have been?
I would have probably taken over my father’s textile business after him.
Something that People Don’t know about you?
That I write… among other things, I also write a blog which has nothing to do with Risk Management.
You are a new addition to the crayon box, What color would you be and why?
Purple… It’s a complex color made by mixing two opposites (red and blue). In real life too, both negatives and positives exist in each one of us, making us what we are… human.
Advice to students and young aspirants who want to build their career in Risk Management.
Contrary to popular belief, it is a challenging field to be in because this is one field where you constantly need to keep an open mind and an attitude that embraces acceptance of others and their viewpoint. This is one field where one cannot barely survive on theoretical knowledge but this is also the one field which will build up your character and integrity. So, choose wisely and you will never regret your choice.