DIRECTOR, GENERAL COUNSEL AND COMPLIANCE OFFICER
BOEHRINGER INGELHEIM INDIA PVT. LTD., MUMBAI
YEARS IN LEGAL FIELD: 19 YRS.
- Mentioned among “Trailblazers – India’s finest in-house counsels” in the 2017 annual summit organized by the Indian Corporate Counsel Association.
- Won the ICCA “General Counsel of the year” award for 2019.
- Received the General Counsel of the year, 2019 award in the Future of Legal Awards 2019.
- The BI Legal team was recognized as the Legal Team of the year in the Future of Legal Awards 2019
LawSutram (LS): Why did you choose law as a career?
Delvin Jacob Mathews (DJM): I was always inclined towards the Legal profession as a youngster. The news reports coming out on Legal matters always grabbed my attention. Law is one area where you can be as involved and clued as you may want but can retain the freedom of opinion on issues.
LS: A brief about your work and what you do?
DJM: I am the General Counsel and Compliance Officer of Boehringer Ingelheim India, one of the leading multi-national companies in the country. As a GC, I believe in being as much involved in the various aspects of the organization as possible, and in doing so, adding value to the organization.
We are as much involved in the day-to-day issues of the organization as we are on the strategic and long-term missions.
A job in Legal is also about drafting a contract and negotiating it as it is about responding and dealing with an unexpected surprise or a crisis.
A career in Compliance is about guiding the business with a balanced view on the Law and Practice of the region that you operate in as well as the Law, Culture and Values that the parent company or the group holds as important.
LS: Any special challenges you faced during initial years?
DJM: The challenge that I faced during the initial years of my Legal practice as any other youngster who enters the profession was in balancing the expectations that you would have about the profession and the reality that you face, and the time and journey that you would take to bridge that gap.
It is also about assimilating the sudden stream of knowledge and experience that comes your way, integrating into the profession and adjusting to the pride that comes with it.
LS: How do you balance Professional & Private life?
DJM: As you grow in the profession, the professional and personal responsibilities both grow with you. When you take the journey, people confuse having a career with having a life. We, at Boehringer Ingelheim stresses the importance of having a balance between your career and your life and the importance of balancing it out. It is not that exceptions do not happen, but they are exceptions and not practice.
LS: Out of the busy schedule, how much time do you take out for yourself?
DJM: Week days are for work, weekends and the evenings are for family. I consider the time that I get to spend with family as my-time also. In addition, reading or watching the news also is considered to be to my account.
LS: How do you manage Work-Stress?
DJM: Take a break between tasks. Identifying what is really important is the key. Marissa Mayer once said, “You can’t have everything you want, but you can have the things that really matter to you.”
LS: How do you prepare yourself before any tough / complicated / high – profile case / matter?
DJM: Do your homework. Avoid last minute rushes. Discussing the issue at hand with stakeholders is an important step. This will help to have different views on the table.
LS: What would be your goal to accomplish in the next THREE – FIVE years?
DJM: We are currently in the process of improving the maturity level of the Legal organization to the next level. Will plan for the future after the said task is accomplished.
LS: Best piece of advice you have ever received in your legal career?
DJM: “What you are doing today will be judged by the standards of tomorrow”. I try to keep this in mind while being on the work place.
LS: Any advice for young lawyers or students?
DJM: Shed your ego, as it is one thing that have ruined many a flourishing careers. Always be ready and open for an opinion and be ready to correct yourself.
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