Infosys Global GC Inderpreet Sawhney Talks About Her Glorious Journey In Law

The journey to my current role started in India says Sawhney. She also talks about the values that drive the legal function at Infosys, her love for baking and much more.

As the group general counsel and Chief Compliance Officer for Mphasis Limited, it is my privilege to lead a team of about 100 professionals based all over the world. I am currently based out of Dallas, Texas. The journey to my current role started in India. I'm a graduate of Delhi University, both my bachelor's and law degrees. Additionally, I also have an LLM from Queen's University in Canada. After a brief stint at a law firm, I went to an in- house counsel with ITC limited in Calcutta, where I cut my teeth on issues of trademarks and brand sponsorships and indirect taxes. 

Then I took the journey halfway across the world to California, where I worked as an attorney with a midsize law firm doing cross- border work between India and the US. Before relocating to Dallas in 2017, where I currently work and live, I also had a stint in Bangalore India, working as a general counsel for another IT company. 

As a part of my professional life, I have at various times being active in nonprofit groups serving on the boards for advisory companies, including the South Asian Bar Association of North America, which is the voice of the South Asian legal community in North America. It was my honor to be the President of this group in 2008- 2009. Today, as a general counsel, I have a key role in almost every aspect of the business, and I'm a strategic advisor to our board and management team. On a regular basis, I find myself stepping outside the role of a lawyer and weighing in on business decisions.

At times, I've had the challenge of being the leading voice on market defining moments for the company. I joined Mphasis in 2017 and there could not be a better time to be sitting as at the intersection of law and technology. Infosys is a global leader in the next generation of technology services, operating in 45 plus countries as we work with our customers to navigate the digital transformation journeys. 

Digital operations are more important than ever with many transformative changes accelerating over the past year. The legal team is an integral part of the journey that our customers undertake with us. Sitting at the table as partners with our colleagues from the business teams, the in- house attorney structure and negotiating large and often multi country complex contracts seeking to drive significant value. All of this is being done in an environment where delivery and commercial models are changing and we are doing this while deploying our own suite of technology solutions and platforms, thus placing IP law right in the middle of these transactions. We have also seen heightened M&A activity in cloud, digital engineering, IoT, Salesforce and AI space in industry and the Mphasis legal team has been busy supporting our M&A activity with companies based in US, Europe, Southeast Asia and Australia. 

Our legal team is somewhat unique in that we feature a Government and Public Affairs Group, which is responsible globally for policy advocacy, partnering with governments and others to invest in the communities in which we operate and to negotiate and execute agreements related to participation in economic development programs. 

Our journey on compliance remains at the core of everything we do. At Infosys, the goal of corporate compliance is to ensure fairness for every stakeholder, our customers, investors, vendor partners, the community and the governments of the countries in which we operate. We believe that sound corporate governance is critical in enhancing and retaining trust. 

Accordingly, we seek to ensure that the performance is driven by integrity and demands on the employment law team are constant as they support the ecosystem of nearly 250,000 in potions across the globe, including ensuring that our pivot to a work from home model keeps the safety of our employees front and center without missing a beat on our obligations to our customers. 

In addition to the legal work as a global legal team, we're also focused on automation, adoption of technology to manage our legal function, whether it relates to managing our litigation portfolio, applying AI solution to our contracts management and other legal processes to reduce redundancy and control risks to create a legal team that takes data driven strategic decisions.

As a team, we have truly embraced a culture of learning, offering multiple opportunities for our lawyers to attend curated legal training sessions, training on management and soft skills and technology. Equally, we also encourage our lawyers to offer training sessions to both our lawyers and our internal customers. Prior to the pandemic, I would find myself frequently on a plane making several trips to India in a year in addition to traveling within the US. 

As a part of adapting to the change and the new normal, i have rediscovered my love for baking, and in the last year have experimented with many interesting projects of baking breads from various parts of the world. I'm up to 30 countries and counting. I'm also an avid runner and incorporate fitness as a part of my regular routine.

The automated transcription from BW Legal World GC Conclave 2021 has been lightly edited for better reading experience.

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