Nishant Gupta

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The Face of Legal Excellence

Nishant Gupta

Head-Legal & Company Secretary,

Alshaya India

I t was in the ancient city of Varanasi that Nishant Gupta found his calling for the world of law and corporate governance. The pivotal spark igniting his passion came during an engaging course in business law after he completed his B.Com. (Hons.) from the prestigious BHU. The course unravelled the enthralling intersection of law and corporate mechanisms, leaving an indelible mark on his aspirations. Driven by this fervour, Nishant embarked on a journey of academic pursuit, delving deeper into the world of law and specialising in corporate governance while simultaneously undertaking the Company Secretary course.
Having burnt his midnight oils in the libraries, impassioned discussions with mentors, and participation in moot court competitions, he sculpted the foundation of his imminent success. He gained practical experience through internships at notable law firms, Ajay Jaiswal & Co. (Company Secretaries) and S E Investments Ltd., and corporate legal departments, where he learned about contract drafting and participated in board meetings. Mentored by seasoned professional Sachin Agarwal, Nishant secured a role as a legal counsel and company secretary at First Advantage Corp.
In this role, he faced challenges that contributed to his professional growth and solidified his reputation within the organization. With over 16 years of experience in company secretarial and legal functions, Nishant has proficiency in conducting meetings, managing statutory documents, and navigating corporate laws, including specialties like public issues, stock exchange listings, and mergers.
Nishant’s journey reflects resilience, strategic thinking, expertise, a commitment to learning, and problem-solving abilities in the field of corporate law and governance, making him a respected professional in his field. TradeFlock interviewed Nishant to discuss his professional journey, leadership style and more. 

What key challenges did you encounter as a legal counsel and company secretary, and how did you tackle them?

At First Advantage Corp., I navigated a complex legal dispute involving contractual ambiguities, regulatory implications, and Nishant Gupta Head-Legal & Company Secretary, Alshaya India The Face of Legal Excellence 10 Best Chief Legal Officers in India 2023 30 significant financial repercussions with its senior management employees. Addressing this demanded comprehensive legal analysis within the regulatory framework, managing high financial stakes, and conflicting interests among stakeholders. My multifaceted approach involved thorough research, collaboration, and mediation, resulting in a mutually beneficial resolution. This experience fortified my proactive communication and innovative problem-solving skills in challenging legal scenarios, enhancing my legal expertise in corporate governance.

What recent accomplishment are you most proud of, and how did your legal expertise contribute to its success?

At Alshaya Group (India Division), I achieved the renewal of the SEZ Licence for five years and maximised export benefits under the Foreign Trade Policy, totaling approximately 6 crore in duty stipends under SEIS. Supervising a mutually agreed-upon UAPA with CBDT for IT/ITES services was also a significant accomplishment. Leading the legal team through a complex transfer of shares and the issuance of an interim dividend marked a milestone. My legal expertise was pivotal in conducting analysis, identifying risks, and proposing strategic solutions. Encouraging collaboration in the team facilitated the swift and effective resolution of potential legal challenges.

What major legal challenges do businesses face today, and how do you strategize to tackle them?

In today’s ever-evolving business sphere, a multitude of legal hurdles demand a nuanced approach. From safeguarding data privacy and ensuring regulatory compliance to protecting intellectual property and navigating complex employment laws, businesses encounter diverse challenges.
Our strategy encompasses meticulous data protection policies, dynamic compliance roadmaps, regular IP audits, updated employment contracts, and vigilant monitoring of SEZ transitions. These strategic initiatives serve as pillars, ensuring legal adherence, risk mitigation, and positioning businesses for enduring success amidst the intricacies of legal landscapes. 

How do you keep learning about the Companies Act and stay updated on legal and corporate governance changes?

My continuous learning approach involves regular research on platforms like Manu Patra, LexisNexis, AIR Online, and SCC Online for case law and scholarly articles on the Companies Act. I actively engage in legal seminars, maintain subscriptions to key publications for legislative updates, network with legal professionals, and enrol in specialised education programs. This multifaceted strategy ensures I stay updated and equipped to provide informed legal counsel for corporate governance and compliance under the Companies Act.

What were the main hurdles you faced when listing a company on stock exchanges, and how did you overcome them?

During our recent company listing, significant challenges revolved around regulatory compliance, stakeholder management, documentation intricacies, market volatility, and pricing concerns. Regulatory compliance was particularly demanding due to its complexity and alignment requirements with stock exchange regulations. To address this, we engaged legal experts for audits, formed a compliance team, and ensured thorough internal reviews. Clear communication, proactive engagement with regulators, and meticulous planning led to successful approval, emphasising the importance of preparation and adaptability in regulatory navigation. These experiences enhanced my expertise in corporate finance, preparing me for future listing endeavours.

What future challenges and opportunities do you foresee in corporate law and governance?

The future of corporate law and governance holds challenges in navigating complex global regulations and emerging tech-related legal issues. Strategic investment in compliance systems and staying updated on technology are key. Yet, it also offers opportunities for sustainability and legal tech advancement. Guiding businesses towards ethical practices and leveraging legal technology can drive efficiency. Success lies in proactive regulation navigation, embracing technology, and fostering continuous learning in an evolving corporate landscape.