Nitesh Bakshi

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Shaping Corporate Legal Excellence

Nitesh Bakshi

Senior Director - Legal, Compliance & Quality,

Novo Nordisk

43-19Today we introduce you to one of the ‘not-so-ordinary’ legal luminaries, Nitesh Bakshi, the senior director overseeing legal, ethics, compliance, and quality at Novo Nordisk. With a career rich in diverse experiences and a relentless pursuit of excellence, Nitesh has become a seasoned professional who has orchestrated the legal and compliance functions of esteemed organisations with remarkable finesse.
A result-oriented visionary who has honed his expertise over the years, his professional journey has been a testament to his commitment to steering organisations towards success through meticulous attention to corporate governance, compliance, litigation, mergers and amalgamations, public issues, contracting, automation, business ethics, training, advisory, risk management, and investigation. But what drives a professional of such calibre? What inspires someone like Nitesh to dedicate their life to the complexities of the legal world?
For Nitesh, it all began with a profound belief in the paramount importance of corporate governance. During his formative years as a student, he became captivated by the idea of becoming a responsible and righteous citizen. This early aspiration laid the foundation for a remarkable career that would later see him at the helm of legal, ethics, compliance, and quality functions for a global leader like Novo Nordisk.
Nitesh’s journey to this senior leadership position has been nothing short of remarkable. He embarked on a path of continuous learning and self-improvement. He became a proud member of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India, an achievement that marked the beginning of a transformative career. His relentless pursuit of knowledge led him to delve deeper into the realms of law.
The decision to pursue this path wasn’t just about academic pursuits; it was driven by a burning desire to contribute meaningfully to corporate objectives. Nitesh recognised that his personality and values were perfectly aligned with the demands and responsibilities of the legal profession. Nitesh draws inspiration from the ideals of integrity, ethics, and the relentless pursuit of justice. TradeFlock interviewed Nitesh to understand what can be achieved when one combines unwavering dedication with a profound belief in the power of the law to shape a better world.
We also leverage technology, such as contract management tools and other locally developed systems, to streamline processes and reduce errors. However, I emphasise the importance of a culture of openness and encourage my team to be proactive in solving problems rather than just reporting them. 

What were your key challenges and most significant lessons during your journey?

Challenges test your determination and motivate you to perform better. Things in the early 2000s were very different from today with fewer multinational corporate operations, limited capability centers, lack of legal SAS tools, and more, posing challenge on professional front and these challenges multiplied when on personal front, you did not know anyone in the legal field and neither had a mentor to guide you through this maze.
However, the most significant learning experiences came from continuous updation and adaptation. I realised that the legal landscape is ever evolving, with frequent changes in laws and statutes. Staying updated and continuously learning new things became essential. Also, I understood that there is no substitute to hard work and every corporate respects and needs dedicated, sincere and dependable employees. 

What's your strategy for managing and prioritising tasks within your department to ensure error-free and foolproof work?

Managing and prioritising tasks within our department is crucial to ensuring the quality of our work. We hold daily discussions where appropriate support as needed is provided to each team member working on assigned specific responsibilities. I believe in giving my team members the autonomy to make decisions and learn from their mistakes, with the expectation that they won’t repeat them. We have robust review mechanisms in place for important transactions and agreements.
We also leverage technology, such as contract management tools and other locally developed systems, to streamline processes and reduce errors. However, I emphasise the importance of a culture of openness and encourage my team to be proactive in solving problems rather than just reporting them. 

How do you keep updated on relevant laws and regulations and ensure your team stays informed too?

Staying informed about changes in laws and regulations is crucial, and we employ various strategies for this purpose. We regularly visit government websites, subscribe to legal journals and updates. We receive regular updates from several other forums and groups in addition to our own organisational updates.
To ensure my team remains informed, we discuss the latest changes in relevant laws in our monthly meetings. We also use online resources and technology to track latest regulatory changes, important dates and filings. However, we emphasise that while technology can assist, human intelligence and thorough research are irreplaceable in the legal field. 

What are your strengths and weaknesses as a legal expert, and how do you use them to your advantage?

As a legal expert, my key strengths include staying updated on regulatory changes, understanding business intricacies, and adopting a solution-oriented approach. However, my direct communication style can be a weakness. I leverage my strengths by providing timely solutions and guidance, which enhances others’ confidence in my expertise. Staying informed and offering effective solutions are vital to building trust and credibility in the legal profession.

Who inspires you and why?

My inspiration comes from individuals who overcome challenges to excel in their fields. Whether it’s a dedicated sportsperson achieving greatness despite limited resources or a differently abled person accomplishing feats beyond imagination, these examples serve as a constant reminder that with hard work and determination, anything is possible.

How do you motivate your team and society to pursue careers in law and aim for leadership roles within the field?

I encourage my team members to apply common sense, have an eye for detail, continuously improve themselves, and embrace change. I believe that age should not be a barrier to leadership, and hard work is the key to success. I also stress the importance of being true to oneself, understanding the business and partnering with them to provide solutions and always seeking opportunities for learning. Working in corporate, one needs to be a generalist capable of advising on all applicable laws rather than being a specialist and limiting oneself to a specific few.
I believe that by setting an example and openly communicating about future scope, value that we bring to table, and by sharing success stories, we can inspire others to pursue careers in law and strive for leadership positions within the legal field.