Q&A: Avi Das Discusses How Clients Can Tackle Complex Data Challenges and Investigations in India
As FTI Technology’s newly appointed leader in India, Avi Das is ready to take the business forward. With over 17 years of experience in digital forensics and analytics, risk management, compliance and regulatory investigations, Avi plans to help clients solve data challenges through advanced data analytics and solution innovation.
Avi, you’ve recently joined FTI Technology as a Senior Managing Director to lead the segment in India. Can you talk a bit about why you chose this role?
I’m actually returning to FTI Technology—I originally joined the firm early in my career and was a part of the consulting team that established the digital forensics and e-discovery practice in the U.K. After spending the last 12 years at various consulting businesses, I realised that the pace of innovation and growth at FTI is so much faster than at many other firms. We’re also much more technical, which as a forensic technology, analytics and e-discovery specialist, is important to me.
I really enjoy the opportunity to address complex data challenges and bring new solutions to the market, and that’s a significant focus of our business in India for the coming years. That, combined with my existing relationships with senior leaders within the segment, including Craig Earnshaw, Nick Athanasi and Veeral Gosalia, made it an easy choice to come back to FTI.
What will be your key areas of focus as you grow the team and practice in India?
I think 2022 will be the year of collaboration—between our teams and with our clients. In terms of growing our presence and offerings in India, we’ll focus on our core strengths in solving data challenges, especially those relating to e-discovery, data governance, and investigations. There’s a great deal of opportunity for organisations in India to leverage advanced analytics and discovery methodologies that have already gained significant traction in the U.S. and Europe. Along with robust data management techniques, we’ll be working closely to help clients implement various forms of machine learning to reduce the time and cost of their legal and regulatory matters whilst keeping the end-to-end process defensible.
What are the primary issues driving e-discovery matters in India?
Our clients here are dealing with a lot of pressure around investigations relating to data theft, insider threats, fraud, corruption and employee misconduct. According to FTI Consulting’s recent Resilience Barometer survey, nearly one-third of business leaders in India said their organisation has dealt with fraud and/or regulatory or political scrutiny in the last year. Many organisations are anticipating these types of investigations, and as a result are preemptively collecting large volumes of data or placing sweeping legal holds. As these issues come to bear, organisations are going to struggle to handle their data volumes and will need sophisticated technology and expertise to conduct effective e-discovery and investigations.
Aside from supporting clients with solving data challenges, you’ll also be leading a robust group of experts in India. How will you approach growing and building the team?
It’s very important to me to make sure our local teams in India feel connected to our firm’s greater strategy and goals. This is critical so that our people here are positioned to grow their careers as well as the impact they make to FTI and our clients. I really believe that everyone on our team has the potential to become a leader and to move our business forward, and I want to help reinforce that culture.
My approach to doing this aligns with the old proverb, “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.” My goal is to empower our men and women to build up their own individual practice and expertise, so they have the foundation they need to generate interesting work, strong client relationships and long-term growth for our company.
The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not necessarily the views of FTI Consulting, its management, its subsidiaries, its affiliates, or its other professionals.