Ugen Tashi Bhutia – GC Powerlist
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India 2018

Financials

Ugen Tashi Bhutia

Executive vice president, head legal | SBI Card

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    Ugen Tashi Bhutia

    Executive vice president, head legal | SBI Card

    Ugen Tashi Bhutia - India 2016

    General counsel and executive vice president, legal | SBI Card

    Having worked at law firms Fox Mandal Little and Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan between 2002 and 2012, Ugen Bhutia gained litigation experience in banking and debt recovery laws by advising on...

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    About

    With exposure in both litigation and the transactional side of law through his experience in private practice as litigation counsel, Ugen Tashi Bhutia joined SBI Card as head of the legal team in January 2012. ‘Given the fact that this was a B2C kind of business and especially credit card being a push product in the Indian Market, we did see a plethora of consumer litigation – the number of cases filed against the company was almost about 3.5 times the present cases’, explains Bhutia. With the help of able team members and some changes in case strategy coupled with the technological support, his legal team was able to bring down the total number and even reduced the total inflow of cases by almost 150% whilst increasing the win ratio substantially. ‘The total amount of compensation claimed compared to the actual amount of compensation paid decreased tremendously’, he adds. As regards the transactional side, the turn-around time for finalising an agreement decreased from days to a few hours. The team leveraged technology and also adopted digitization. Bhutia’s team started having sessions with the business team and partnered with them to understand what the essential elements in a contract were, what are the terms which are negotiable and such terms and conditions which are not negotiable. The overall team is divided into the litigation team which has its expertise on handling matters which are filed against the company, the corporate advisory team who take care of all the regulatory, transaction and the corporate side of law, the collection legal team who use legal tools for recovery and fraud risk management (FRM) litigation who deal with the prosecution of cases where fraud has been detected. In the last three years there has been a phenomenal growth of SBI Card as the Company is now the second largest issuer of credit cards in India and investment has increased drastically. This resulted in substantial increase in the marketing tie ups, co-brand partnerships and aggressive sales, thereby impacting the overall volume of the legal team’s work. Bhutia and his legal team have ably partnered with the business to achieve such numbers and to enable creative marketing and sales initiatives, at the same time strengthening the risk profiling and know your client (KYC) management in compliance with applicable laws. Bhutia’s leadership has been critical in this development. He describes his role and transition to in-house counsel work as challenging. He says, ‘it’s through experience that I have seen that the general counsel’s role has evolved over a period of time. It is expected that the general counsel should not be engaged in advisory capacity in various facets of law, but also guide the company in achieving the growth of the company in a sustainable manner’.

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