Chief Executive Officer
What is your professional background and how did you become involved in the world of commerce and contracting?
If someone had told me 17 years ago that I would be leading a 500+ employee global organization that would trailblaze in the legal industry, I would not have believed them. My journey to contracting has been an evolution, that’s for sure. After 15 years in marketing and commercial roles at blue-chip corporations such as American Express and Macquarie Bank, I co-founded Exigent, which was then an outsourced legal administration organization providing a single service to law firms in the UK.
Today, Exigent stands as a global leader offering data-driven legal and consulting services to corporate clients and law firms. After acquiring a Bangalore-based technology and legal services provider in 2013, Exigent gained a proprietary contract management solution that was a catalyst to us fulfilling our professional desire and purpose: “To enable our clients to make more informed decisions from the information held within their contract portfolio.”
By diversifying our service offerings and expanding our geographic footprint, I have been able to work with corporations around the world and become immersed in the world of commerce and contracting. For me, contracting isn’t about contracts per se, it’s about organizing, interrogating and analyzing data to achieve commercial insight and prosperity.
What are two personal achievements and contributions through your career.
Defining the new normal
When COVID-19 first hit, I resolved to not just survive but to thrive. I could see how this devastating crisis could be a catalyst for us to grow stronger. I led the formation of our Plan Ahead Teams who would reimagine our client experience and our colleague journey. My colleagues were given the opportunity to pitch for a place in these groups bringing 40 bright minds to the table to reshape our future. As a result, we are pushing boundaries with our client experience, our entire colleague journey has been reimagined and engagement at Exigent has never been higher.
Making a positive difference
I feel very vulnerable saying this out loud, but making a positive difference is my reason for being. This sits at the very heart of me; it is woven through the tapestry of my life. I am blessed and privileged to be in the position I’m in, to be able to touch so many people’s lives and have the opportunity to make a positive difference to them. I strive to lead my colleagues with a mixture of empathy, inclusivity, vibrancy, optimism and encouragement – to be the best version of themselves personally and professionally.
Covid-19 has illustrated the critical importance of helping women to realise their professional aspirations - what role have you played or are you currently playing within your organization to support women in their roles?
With 80% of my colleagues based in locations where gender inequality is still a reality (India and SA), I am proud that 65% of Exigent’s global workforce is female and of our 40 leadership/manager positions, more than half are filled by wonderful women.
The pandemic has not impacted the way Exigent supports women in the workplace. It’s always been critically important to encourage and inspire my female colleagues to realize their professional potential. I made the decision early on that I would lead by example, with an “anything is possible” philosophy. In response, women all over Exigent are realizing that the glass ceiling simply doesn’t exist.
Through these challenging times, male and female employees alike have been empowered and given the flexibility to find a work/life balance that lends itself to their personal circumstances and family responsibilities. My role has been to prioritise my colleagues’ health and safety, protect their jobs and their income, steer with a calm, steady hand, authentically communicate and lead Exigent to emerge stronger.
I do none of this alone; I am encouraged, supported, made stronger and braver by all the amazing people I have around me. For them I am truly grateful.