“My focus on technology law, data privacy, cybersecurity, and intellectual property rights as the General Counsel for our organization is driven by the industry’s unique demands and my passion for leveraging legal expertise in a rapidly evolving digital landscape”- Sandeep Dembla, Director – Legal and Compliance at Evalueserve

This Interview has been published by Pragya Chandni and The SuperLawyer Team

Can you share what initially drew you to pursue a career in law, especially considering your diverse educational background that includes both commerce and cyber laws, as well as the influence of your family of lawyers, including your father who practiced law in courts and your brother who is a corporate litigating partner with a law firm?

I chose to pursue a career in law for several reasons. Firstly, my diverse educational background prepared me to handle complex and diverse situations. It also prepared me for a wide variety of challenges given my exposure to various areas, from financial to business environment and to technology. Particularly my exposure to cyber laws helped me understand the intersection of technology, business, and regulations in a fast-paced environment.

My family’s deep roots within the legal profession were a stepping-stone for me to grow in the sphere with dedication and diligence, which was inspired by my father and brother’s commitment and success story. In essence, my journey into law reflects a blend of personal passion, academic rigor, and the enduring legacy of my family’s commitment to the legal profession.

Your journey seems to have transitioned from commerce to law. How did your experience at Delhi College of Arts and Commerce influence your decision to delve into the legal field and what further solidified your interest in pursuing a degree in law?

I had secured admission at the Delhi College of Arts and Commerce (DCAC) in the commerce program through sports quota as a cricketer. Balancing academic pursuits with rigorous cricket practice taught me valuable lessons in discipline, time management, and perseverance, skills that later proved invaluable in my legal studies and career.

During this time, my father’s guidance was particularly influential. He recognized my potential and encouraged me to pursue a Bachelor of Law degree, understanding that while I may not have been inclined towards courtroom practice, my aptitude for analysis, problem-solving, and attention to details made me well-suited for a role as an in-house lawyer within a company.

A pivotal moment that solidified my interest in pursuing a law degree was my interactions at the evening law college. The unique setting provided an opportunity for students, many of whom were already working in various government and private sectors, to pursue their LLB degrees while juggling professional responsibilities. It was through these shared experiences and collective efforts to overcome challenges that I gained a deeper appreciation for the power of legal expertise in driving positive change.

Moving forward to your experience at National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR) University Hyderabad, could you elaborate on how your PG diploma in Cyber Laws has complemented your overall legal expertise?

My experience at National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR) University Hyderabad, where I pursued a PG diploma in Cyber Laws, has been invaluable for upgrading and upskilling myself, particularly in the context of emerging legal challenges in the digital age.

This specialized program has significantly enhanced my overall legal expertise, particularly in the field of cyber law, which is increasingly relevant for all in-house lawyers. The PG diploma curriculum provided me with a comprehensive understanding of the legal complexities surrounding cyberspace, including data privacy, intellectual property rights and cybercrime. It has prepared me to contribute effectively as an in-house lawyer, ensuring that my organization remains compliant with cyber laws, protects sensitive information, and mitigates risks associated with digital operations.

As the General Counsel for Evalueserve, your focus is on technology law, data privacy, cybersecurity, and intellectual property rights. What inspired you to specialize in these areas?

My focus on technology law, data privacy, cybersecurity, and intellectual property rights as the General Counsel for our organization is driven by the industry’s unique demands and my passion for leveraging legal expertise in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.

· Industry Focus: Our work involves managing data, technology platforms, and digital assets, requiring a deep understanding of legal regulations and risks in these areas.

· Regulatory Landscape: Laws governing technology and data are constantly changing, so I stay updated to ensure compliance and mitigate risks.

· Strategic Importance: Our organization’s value depends on technology, data, and intellectual property, so I provide strategic legal guidance to protect our assets and interests.

· Ethical Considerations: I advocate for ethical data practices and responsible innovation to uphold privacy rights and promote trust in our industry.

· Personal Interest: I am genuinely interested in the intersection of law and technology, and I am driven by the opportunity to apply legal principles to solve complex challenges.

Your profile mentions your passion for enhancing legal efficiencies through automation and innovation. Could you share an example of a particularly impactful automation project you have implemented?

Recognizing the manual and time-intensive nature of our day-to-day work, I led several initiatives to evaluate, select, and implement a robust automation solution tailored to our business needs, including contract management software. This involved collaborating closely with cross-functional teams including IT, various corporate functions and stakeholders across business units and CXOs. The complex organization structure and global footprint of my company required end-to-end business process management to define requirements, assess available options, and customize the software to align with our workflows and business objectives.

I had recently implemented the contract management system at Evalueserve, aimed at streamlining the contract lifecycle process and enhancing efficiencies across the organization, with several impactful outcomes:

· Centralized Repository: The system provided a centralized repository for storing all contracts, enabling easy access, retrieval, and tracking of contract data across the organization. This eliminated the need for cumbersome manual filing systems and reduced the risk of misplaced or lost contracts.

· Automated Workflows: We configured the system to automate key contract management workflows, such as contract creation, review, approval, and renewal. By automating routine tasks and standardizing processes, we significantly accelerated the contract lifecycle, reducing turnaround times and improving overall productivity.

· Enhanced Compliance: The system included built-in compliance features, such as contract templates with predefined clauses and compliance checklists.

· Reporting and Analytics: The system offered robust reporting and analytics capabilities, allowing us to gain insights into contract performance, identify trends, and track key metrics such as contract volumes, expiration dates, and renewal rates. This data-driven approach enabled us to make informed decisions and optimize contract management strategies.

Being recognized by Forbes Legal Powerlist as one of the top General Counsels in India reflects your commitment to excellence and innovation. What strategies do you employ to stay at the forefront of legal innovation in such a dynamic field?

Staying ahead in legal innovation means learning continuously, building partnerships, adopting new technologies, collaborating across teams, and staying flexible.

· Continuous Learning: to stay updated on legal changes and trends through conferences, seminars, and ongoing education.

· Strategic Partnerships: working closely with legal tech providers and experts to find innovative solutions.

· Cross-Functional Collaboration: engage closely with leaders from different functions to share knowledge and build innovation pipelines.

· Agile Mindset: stay flexible and adapt quickly to changing needs and market dynamics.

By using these strategies, I steer the legal & compliance function to lead our organization by adding value to the company and staying ahead in a dynamic legal landscape.

Finally, drawing from your extensive experience, what advice would you give to fresh law graduates stepping into the legal profession, particularly in the realm of technology and compliance?

For new law graduates stepping into technology and compliance law-

· Build Strong Foundation: Learn core legal principles and get practical experience through internships.

· Keep Learning: Stay updated on legal trends and tech advancements through seminars and webinars.

· Tech-Savvy: Learn legal tech tools like contract management systems to streamline processes.

· Stay Ethical: Follow ethical standards, especially in areas like data privacy and cybersecurity.

· Network: Build connections in the legal community for mentorship and career opportunities.

By following these tips, you can prepare for success and contribute to the evolving fields of technology and compliance.

Get in touch with Sandeep Dembla-

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