Ashima Ohri

A business economist, lawyer, and writer. Editorial Consultant for BW Legal World.

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In Conversation with Anshul Prakash, Partner, Khaitan & Co

Mr Prakash speaks to Ms Ashima Ohri on his amazing journey in law. He also shares his expert views on labour relations in today's evolving times and much more

Anshul, would you please tell us where did this illustrious journey begin and at what age did you decide to study law. Please walk us through your early years of education and the decision of becoming a lawyer.

I come from a family of civil servants. My father’s job as a senior police officer entailed frequent transfers and these changes led to my school education spread across several cities. The change was constant for me and this, coupled with early interactions with members of the judiciary at my father’s place of posting led me to believe that law is a powerful tool to bring any change as also to influence people around you with knowledge. In my home state law was looked down upon as a profession so with blessings and guidance of my parents, decided to take up law as the career choice while I was pursuing my 9th standard studies. 

Who have been your guiding North Stars the biggest inspiration in this journey?

My parents have been my inspiration and guides as well as mentors all throughout. Taught me well to balance things in life and have my feet on the ground while continuing to push the envelope, never to run in the direction where all go to. Relations and goodwill always come in handy and you need to think people before business. My wife has been a pillar of support all the way. 

Would you please tell us more about the array of work you handle at your firm?

Anything and everything that relates to people issues of the Firm’s clients – right from employee onboarding and documentation, exits, inquiries, communication, indiscipline, policy emphasis, policy breach, representations before the authorities, social security, wages, employee benefits, equity-based incentives, retention strategy, training of staff, managers and board members, senior members to staff redundancies, media management, workplace ethics, whistleblower complaints, grievance redressal issues, workplace harassment and advocacy.  

Would you please summarily tell us the current status of the sectors of the economy your work in, the roadblocks in our path and the way forward?

I deal with a sector agnostic domain. Barring few, all labour laws would apply to almost all sectors. I think roadblocks is the will to bring change, not just lack of political will but lack of our will also to be the change you want to feel and see. We got to respect what we do and do our best instead of cribbing about some problem in this or that corner. If the vision is clear, all roadblocks will begin falling away. 

Other than work, what else keeps you busy? Would you please share your other interests and hobbies with our readers.

Reading up on history, movies and documentaries on war and evolution of polity. As regards hobby, that is for retirement perhaps.

Many Congratulations on joining the BW Legal World Elite 40 Under 40 Club of Achievers 2020. What to your mind has helped you get to where you are and what advice would you have for others who want to set off in a similar direction?

Be focused, do the best in what you choose, be on your guard and never fly when clients praise you, be self-critical and carry the fear that you can fail – that will inspire you to watch out for errors. 

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our lawyers of the future, any golden piece of advice from the treasure trove of your experiences in the industry?

Response: Reputation is built with the courage to say what you have to say with all knowledge and support as opposed to what others would want to hear. Be subtle but firm, members of the industry would tend to understand you and you earn their respect. 

As a final note, would you please recommend to our readers your favourite book or movie/series that left a lasting impression on you?

Art of war (still holds relevance, not just for those in the military but in everyday life too). Movies – And Justice for All, Invictus, Few Good Men. 

Please hold tight! BW Legal World is soon releasing the inaugural edition of its print magazine. It will feature Anshul Prakash's full interview and much more from the world of law. Stay tuned! 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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