Challenges in Heading the Legal Function of a Diversified Conglomerate
Prasanna, Mysore, Lawyer, Aditya Birla Group, India
Looking back, I can see myself standing at the threshold of what turned out to be a path breaking career. I was happily ensconced as GC of Larsen & Toubro Ltd (L&T), Mumbai and had not contemplated a change in job. However, when Aditya Birla Group (ABG) presented a unique opportunity it was hard to resist.
The Chairman of ABG, Mr.Kumar Mangalam Birla, was keen on a having a group level corporate legal function to spearhead mergers and acquisitions, besides providing advice and guidance on a number of other matters. He had mandated the HR Chief, Dr.Santrupt Misra, to identify the No.1 man who would come in and start building the team for the department. I did feel that this was a great opportunity to create a function from scratch and make it work.
The proposition had to be a hard sell by Santrupt as I was very reluctant to leave L&T. He did that with perseverance, and convinced me that the opportunity of creating a legal function de novo for ABG would be exciting and so, I took on the mantle of Group General Counsel on October 01, 1998. Looking back, it was indeed an exciting phase of my career.
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