Prateush Sharma

Most Influential Leaders In India 2024 logo

Turning Legal Mastery into Corporate Milestones

Prateush Sharma

Chief Legal Officer,

Mankind Pharma

As millennials and Gen-Z begin to take over the workforce, leadership is undergoing significant transformation. Today, leadership is more about partnership, providing support, guidance, and opportunities to succeed while aligning with organisational goals and objectives. In contrast, ten or twenty years ago, leadership focused more on providing direction downwards and support upwards, reflecting the hierarchical team structures of the time. This transformation is especially critical in the demanding field of corporate law, where effective leadership is not just valuable— it’s essential. By integrating influence and persuasion into his leadership style, Prateush Sharma, Chief Legal Officer at Mankind Pharma, transcends traditional leadership roles. With two decades of experience and a multi-dimensional approach, Prateush has served in a law firm and a large manufacturing conglomerate, developing strong analytical and problem-solving skills. In our quest to explore the most influential leaders in India, we interviewed Prateush to discuss his unique strategies, strengths and weaknesses, and interests beyond the legal realm.

Can you highlight pivotal moments that led to your role as Chief Legal Officer at Mankind Pharma?

My journey to becoming the Chief Legal Officer at Mankind Pharma has been marked by several pivotal moments. It began with gaining extensive experience and expertise by handling significant cases and regulatory challenges, which sharpened my legal acumen and leadership potential. It helped me learn to navigate high-stakes litigation and crises while honing my problem-solving skills and decisiveness. Furthermore, it contributed strategically to support business objectives and align legal strategies with business goals. Transitioning into managerial roles provided opportunities for people management and making strategic decisions, which is crucial to my current role.

What key factors do you consider when evaluating M&A and investment opportunities?

Ensuring strategic fit involves assessing alignment with the company’s long-term goals and potential synergies in operations or market access. I believe conducting thorough financial due diligence helps determine the fair value and assesses the financial health and stability of the target. Additionally, legal and regulatory due diligence identifies compliance risks and necessary approvals. Effective integration planning through cross-functional teams minimises disruptions, while cultural fit assessments address potential challenges. I try to understand the market and competitive landscape closely, including the target’s position and industry trends.

Can you share your interests beyond the legal world and their impact on your professional life?

Outside the legal world, I have various interests in business and finance. This blend enhances my understanding of corporate law and the intricacies of commercial transactions. My creative side finds joy in music, playing guitar and avenues that stimulate innovative thinking. Being involved in my community offers a window into societal issues that directly influence legal practice, and travelling broadens my cultural awareness. I’m also committed to lifelong learning, diving into disciplines like business management and psychology. This diverse set of interests not only enriches my professional life but also equips me with a holistic approach to legal advice.

What have been the most challenging legal landscapes you've navigated, and what strategies were most effective?

Throughout my career, I have navigated some incredibly challenging legal landscapes that required a blend of expertise, strategic thinking, and effective communication. In complex regulatory environments, I found that developing a deep understanding of specific requirements and engaging proactively with authorities proved essential. For high-stakes litigation, developing strategies involving risk assessment, evidence collection, and expert witness collaboration. I also implemented robust strategies, including the use of AI-based tools for intellectual property protection and swift, transparent actions for crisis management. Handling mergers and acquisitions involved evaluating synergies and planning integration while addressing employment law, which required staying updated on regulations and enforcing strong policies. These approaches have consistently guided me through legal complexities.

What strengths have served you best as a legal leader, and what weaknesses have you worked to overcome?

As a leader in the legal sector, several strengths have significantly contributed to my success. Soft skill is the icing on deep legal expertise and strategic thinking required to align legal strategies with business goals. Clear communication skills help explain complex concepts and influence stakeholders, while problem-solving abilities address legal challenges effectively. Though upholding ethical standards ensures integrity in decision-making, I have worked to overcome weaknesses such as time management and delegation by improving my organisational skills and trusting my team members. Managing stress, being adaptable, networking effectively, and continually learning have also been focus areas to enhance leadership capabilities.

What future goals do you have, and are there any unexplored areas you wish to explore in the legal domain?

Looking to the future, I am excited to explore the transformative potential of legal tech and innovation, particularly AI-driven tools and predictive analytics. Specialising in data privacy and cybersecurity law is another goal, given the growing importance of regulations like GDPR and the rise in cyber threats. I am also interested in climate change and environmental law, focusing on sustainable practices. Addressing the ethical implications of AI, delving into healthcare and biotechnology law, and navigating international trade and investment laws are areas I wish to explore further, contributing to legal advancements and societal impact.







     







       







         







           







             







               







                 







                   







                     







                       







                         







                           







                             







                               







                                 

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