On the lighter side of things we ask Kokila Alagh, Founder, KARM Legal Consultants, a legal firm focusing on the technology industry, what makes her tick.
What would you describe as your most memorable achievement?
My most memorable movement was the launch of KARM Legal Consultants to a global audience at the International Court of Justice, Hague at a Global Legal Tech event- so the benchmark for KARM has been set high and above a regular law firm. Since then, KARM has had countless accolades despite being a young law-firm. I have always believed the key to success for a lawyer is a curious mind- a mind that explores and absorbs the unthinkable or the out of box solutions. At KARM we are lucky to be working with clients in the innovative technology space, offering solutions to the real-world problems– for which most of our clients have appreciated and stood by our innovative solutions.
What first made you think of a career in technology?
Bridging the gap between law and technology. Most of the lawyers are averse to experimenting with the newer horizons the technology can take us to. I have always been very curious to work out new solutions, working along my cause and effect reasoning which enhances my analytical ability. In a nutshell a good blend of both innovative legal approach and sustainable growth, made me believe that this might be just the aspect that’s currently sparse in the technology world.
What style of management philosophy do you employ with your current position?
At KARM, I have always believed in promoting an independent thought process for all of KARM’s lawyers. I believe in individual strengths and at KARM we have been able to achieve just that! The legal profession is marred with a factory-made solution approach, which in turn also makes the lawyers document churning machines. We have made significant effort in not having a similar culture at the firm and our internal team coordination and working style is also extremely different from other law offices.
In our team we define the roles more on “taking charge” and not so much as “responsibility”. Each team member is empowered to stand for what they believe is their right while respecting and believing in the ethos of the firm.
What do you think is the current hot technology talking point?
Investment in process tech, like supply chain and logistics and any other technology where human interreference is minimal and more automated platform is a hot technology point. Newer solutions in e pharmacy and medicine delivery and digital banking are also in demand given the times we are living in.
How do you deal with stress and unwind outside the office?
I am an early morning person and usually start my day as early as 04:30 am with meditation and prayers followed by either yoga or training in the gym. By meditation, I am able to channelise my inner peace and get my brain to function at its optimum best and able to work more productively. Usually I end the day by telling bedtime stories to my six year old son – every day mummy creates and narrates a new adventure story!
If you could go back and change one career decision what would it be?
Well I live by the philosophy of ‘in the moment’ and truly believe in when the right time comes right things happen with right people, thus all my focus is on keeping the momentum and living the moment, thus there wouldn’t be any thing that I would like to change in my career, each step and role has taught me and prepared me for the next.
What do you currently identify as the major areas of investment in your industry?
Major investments are currently in the projects leading to Digital Transformation which have more primary and less tertiary interaction with the users in all spheres ranging from education, healthcare, finance and investments and overall, wellbeing.
What are the region-specific challenges when implementing new technologies in the Middle East?
The region is actually going through huge shift to a digital era from predominantly a trade focused market and one of the biggest challenges of this region lies in its uniqueness of being a melting pot to many cultures and nationalities living together. So, from a regulatory and legal perspective the regulator has to keep in mind the global landscape and also sense and sensibilities of the region. The region has also been very open to ideas both from the Asia and West and hence, it’s in the phase of identifying what might be best suited for itself given the diverse demographics and strategic location on the globe.
What changes to your job role have you seen in the last year and how do you see these developing in the next 12 months?
I have been in management position for 12 years now, I was managing partner of a UAE law firm to now being founder of a start-up technology focused law firm and see myself learning about developments in the global legal space around new technologies and unlearning some of my old management skills, as am dealing with progressive lawyers as part of my team.
What advice would you offer somebody aspiring to obtain C-level position in your industry?
‘Curiosity is the key’ and ‘there can be multiple right ways of doing the same thing’. Don’t stop being curious and don’t take instructions or advice on face value. ‘We have always done it this way’ is a bigger pandemic than anything else.Click below to share this article