Woman on Board: Dr. Apurva Joshi

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Indra Nooyi, Anu Aga and Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw are just a few names of legendary Indian women in the boardroom. Today, more and more women are aspiring to rise in the corporate world and are actually doing so.

Our Women on Board series begins with Dr. Apurva Joshi, a seasoned Regtech professional, currently heading Technology Practice of Riskpro Management Consulting. There are many women independent directors whom we consider influential but this time around we’re talking to Dr. Apurva Joshi.

Advertisement in newspapers used to draw the attention of the customers in the good old days but we observed that social media endorsement from Dr. Apurva Joshi ranks the alternate media in Google. She is a real powerhouse.

An influential power house in the regtech domain, Dr. Joshi is armed with Certifications in Forensic Accounting, and a Certification from IIM Bangalore. She has carved out a very successful career as an influential woman on the board 

students handbook apurva joshi

Dr. Joshi is author of Students Handbook on Forensic Accounting, which is referred to as the bible in most of the certification programs associated with forensic accounting in India. She is also a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Expert (Fun fact: Apurva was founder of financial technology company providing fraud risk assessment services to financial sector which she later sold. Rashmi Bansal wrote a chapter on Apurva Joshi in her book captioned as Arise Awake.)

We were curious to learn more about Apurva – a risk management superstar on a mission to conquer every aspect of Regulatory compliance known to woman – and she graciously agreed to let us pick her brain on a wide range of topics – from the lack of independent women on the board, to how she measures success, to exactly how she found herself on the boards of Quickheal Technologies Limited and Minda Rinder Private Limited.

Apurva is responsible for Regtech Innovation practice at Riskpro and has  transformed her company from risk management to Regulatory Technology (Regtech). Riskpro provides solution to predict heightened risk entities using the various machine learning methods. Riskpro offers various regtech solutions to the financial services industry.

Here are some excerpts from her interview with Regetech Times.

How did you find yourself with such an exciting career in Regtech?

I started my career as a intern with then-Indiaforensic and was recruited onto their research team working with Indian financial institutions. They had me work on their most important research projects of “Early warning signals of Corporate Frauds”. I was instantly hooked. This was my first exposure to the regulatory reporting aspects of the I loved the way our research turned up and invited attention of the Stock Market Regulators. I really enjoyed analysing big data of regulatory requirements and learning those methods of gathering corporate intelligence and wanted to meet other people who worked in our domain. I build lot of Intelligence about Indian companies from financial statements as well as from the sources we built during the process of meetings and conferences.

What is the biggest challenge before the woman on board?

Even if you are the smartest in the industry, in the board room woman directors can be driven by Do as I say attitude. But as a woman on board you have to genuinely believe that you are both, the most informed person and the most ignorant person at the same time.

You must make space within yourself for both sides of that paradox. That way you will speak confidently about what you know and simultaneously learn what you don’t know. My respect for a woman increases when I hear her speak confidently, but it grows even more when I hear her ask those “dumb” questions in board room. 

As woman on board of listed companies, how do you measure success ?

Success isn’t a good goal. Driving the board meeting won’t be fulfilling to you and won’t help society at large. Value is a much better goal. Even though i can not drive the board meets and confront the CXOs over the performance as an independent director my task is to add value, to oversee the governance and check transparency in operations. In order to provide value in the long term, you have to work offline with the companies and resolve operational issues.

What are your immediate future goals ?

There are three exciting projects I’m focused on right now.

  1. I am working with two regtech startups involved in developing a product for real time identification of anomalies in the banking transactions. In the era of tight financial regulation these regtech solutions would help the bankers to reduce the costs and avoid the regulatory fines.
  2. As a regtech company leader i was always fascinated by the new technologies such as cloud computing, robotics automation process etc. Currently, am exploring application of artificial intelligence to combat money laundering.
  3. I’m working with NSE Academy to build a body of knowledge and certification program for the entire regtech industry.