Ankura Consulting Group, LLC, headquartered in the United States, an independent global expert services and consulting firm that provides end-to-end services and solutions to businesses at critical inflection points related to change , risk, litigation, finance, performance, distress and transformation, a foray into India. Amit Jaju, senior MD at Ankura Consulting based in Mumbai, talks to TOI about the company’s plans in India. Excerpts:
Amit Jaju, senior MD at Ankura Consulting based in Mumbai, talks to TOI about the company’s plans in India. Excerpts:
Tell us about Ankura. What is the expansion plan for 2022?
Ankura Consulting is a global management consulting firm, with a range of expertise including transaction advisory, turnaround restructuring, forensic investigations, analytics and digital transformation, cybersecurity, commerce and technology national security; with a presence in 33 sites and on all continents.
We have been assisting Indian clients through our global offices for several years and encouraged by the growing demand for our services, we recently officially launched our practices in the country. India is leading in digitalization with advancements in artificial intelligence and we want to develop it as a center of excellence for data and technology as many innovative solutions and services are being developed in the country.
Also, in areas like digital forensics, e-discovery, cyber crime, some of the cutting edge platforms and service automation were not available in India due to the way the consulting industry in forensic science traditionally operated with a greater emphasis on billable hours.
The consulting segment is quite huge in India, so how does Ankura aim to differentiate itself in the industry?
There aren’t many consulting firms that have an integrated offering, seamless global connectivity, and a standardized way of delivering services. But Ankura yes. We bring our clients globally followed models of the best tools, experts and solutions in all geographies including image recognition, transcription, AI-based data analysis, forensics audio-video, crypto/blockchain forensics. For example, if we talk about eDiscovery, although it has been prevalent for many years in India, few companies provide end-to-end services to their customers.
What potential do you see for forensics and cybersecurity in today’s global and Indian market?
India has the third highest number of cyberattacks in the world, only a fraction are detected, of which 20-30% are dealt with. Most cyber cases are investigated manually, leaving huge potential for automation.
Manual investigation takes time and may not yield the most accurate results. For example, a manual investigation of a fraudulent payment can take up to 3-4 weeks, but we have automated the processes and take up to 50% less time to complete the same tasks.
Besides automation, we see opportunities for machine learning through pre-populated models to review documents, transactions, and data to be reviewed by the machine based on pre-populated models. This optimizes time and brings more accurate and efficient solutions to our customers.
Another opportunity lies in the burgeoning startup ecosystem, where cybersecurity is a business imperative. We have several unicorns and large startups as clients, and we protect their cyber assets and digital assets from threats, as most of them serve foreign clients and require an integrated response to cyber breaches that complies with laws world on data privacy.
Not just India, several global superpowers have started crafting their own data privacy laws. What impact does this have on multinationals as well as small businesses, especially startups?
Currently, it has become important for every country to build a strong foundation of privacy regulations to protect its citizens. Especially for cross-border transactions, strong legal and technological safeguards are needed to ensure data confidentiality.
Taking the example of the GDPR and the UK Data Protection Regulation – after the UK left the European Union, the UK developed its own data protection legislation with an adequacy decision of the EU. This has enabled an easier and more efficient automatic transfer of data between the UK and the EU. Considering that due to unstructured personal data protection regulations in India, Indian companies have to adhere to data confidentiality agreements with foreign customers, which makes agreement processes long and difficult, in especially when interacting with their global customer base once our data privacy law receives adequate rulings from other Regions.