Challenges are life’s way of testing a person’s mettle. While a majority of the population is intimidated by challenges, some thrive on them and there are even few who challenge themselves to be better than they are. Bithika Anand falls into the rare category of self-motivated people who continuously challenge themselves and are blessed with the ability to see every challenge as an opportunity. An all-rounder, right from her childhood and always a people’s person, she has enjoyed holding positions of responsibility right from her school days. Her decision to take up Chartered Accountancy (CA), a course considered very difficult and with low pass percentage, as her career reflects her love of being at the forefront of path-breaking initiatives. She decided to be an entrepreneur after having a very rewarding career working for other organizations, and what kept her going was the feeling of taking up something new and unexplored.
A Leader in the Making
Bithika’s professional life started at S.B. Billimoria & Co. and KPMG, leading accountancy firms, where her work primarily covered audit and taxation. She then took up the role of CFO with India’s topmost law firm, erstwhile Amarchand Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co and was soon given the dual responsibility as the COO. She promoted a culture of work delegation, took active charge of hiring smart professionals for strengthening business support teams, and started actively building contacts and developing the corporate law practice of the firm. Her work was very satisfying but not satiating and the dynamics soon took her to a kind-of ‘Intellectual Saturation’. At this point, her increased interaction with management consultants across the globe acquainted her to the concept of management consultants dedicated to the legal industry and was instantly drawn to it. There were no management consultants dedicated to legal fraternity in India at that time and it fell in line with her habit of venturing into the no man’s land. This was the stepping stone of setting up her consultancy in 2010, called ‘White Water Advisors Pvt. Ltd.’, under which, she created the brand ‘Legal League Consulting’ dedicated to transforming managerial & strategic functions of the legal industry.
Finding Firm Grounds
Legal League Consulting is devoted to identifying priorities, driving initiatives and crafting implementation plans for business performance and growth for Indian & International Law firms, LPOs and Legal Departments of large Indian & Multi-national Companies. It provides services across all facets of management for the legal industry, including Strategy and Business Planning, Partnership Structuring, Human Resources Development, Practice Development, Knowledge Management, Brand Enhancement and other related services.
Expanding her horizon to non-legal and other industry sectors, she set up her Global Talent Search Organization, ‘Human Elevation’, that provides comprehensive solutions to legal and corporates across all sectors including Banking & Finance, Energy, Real Estate & Infrastructure, Manufacturing, Media & Entertainment and Power and more. The mission is to meet the client’s recruitment challenges, through talent search and planning.
Taking the Industry by Storm
For Legal League Consulting, the sailing was not smooth initially. The factors surrounding the legal environment, secrecy involved, the hesitancy of law firms to share confidential information added to the issues. Bithika says “I had to convince the decision makers to divulge the details after signing strong Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) with them. Restrictions imposed on advertising, marketing and soliciting of work by Lawyers made it difficult to approach law firms and apprise them of management concepts, who were not too keen to try newer concepts like brand enhancement, online engagement with students, growing practice by way of travelling and speaking at conferences and adopting best HR practices.” All these factors made it extremely difficult to onboard the initial few clients.
Bithika, not the sorts who would leave anything half-baked or who would sit back and relax, took the challenges head-on. Together with her team, she extensively read articles and thought-papers and merged them with her experiences and real-life situations to develop products for the Indian Legal Market. She met both – veterans as well as young achievers, from within and outside the fraternity to develop long-lasting relationships which gave her a different perspective about life, management style of each dignitary, their driving force, their success mantra and many other aspects of their personality.
Her constant efforts led to her biggest achievement, establishing her firm as India’s first management consultancy for the global legal industry. As the Premier Management Consultant, its notable achievements include exploring mergers and acquisitions among law firms in India, experimenting with hybrid partnership structures, promoting new and upcoming niche practice areas, professionalization and outsourcing of business support functions, running legal departments like mini law firms; and growing reliance on automated technology-driven solutions like Cloud Computing and AI. Today, she is reckoned as a “Management Guru” for Law Firms, Managing Partners and Partners, not just because of her exceptional acumen and competence, but also because of her inherent qualities of being a trusted advisor and confidant.
The Mantra for Success
Bithika shares one key mantra – “Have patience” with the budding entrepreneurs and that any venture takes time to give returns. She adds, “Great businesses are never established in a risk-averse environment. So it is important to move with plan and patience, returns will always be achieved if meticulous and thought through steps are taken with foresightedness and strategic plan.”
Miles to Go
Bithika describes her team as dynamic, innovative and proactive, with a vision to continuously evolve and redefine the surroundings, through innovation and an eagerness to venture into the lesser known. Coming years will see Legal League get actively into publications and rankings. It is making in-roads into webinars, podcasts and television production, writing and conducting workshops about management concepts for law firms and legal departments. It will also be engaging more actively with the Senior Counsels, Judges and students section in the legal industry. It may also, in the longer run, expand the scope of the services to other professions and help them with management and professionalization of their business support set-up. Bithika says “The entrepreneurial spirit in me keeps me on my toes. My mind is constantly bubbling with ideas and I see a plethora of opportunities surrounding myself. I will endeavor to set up other businesses to keep me creatively satisfied.”
Source :-The 10 Most Creative CEOs to Watch in 2019
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