AkzoNobel

AkzoNobel

The AkzoNobel South Asia legal team is led by Singapore-based legal director South Asia Surabhi Agarwal, who reports into the global in-house legal headquarters in Amsterdam. The five-person team is responsible for a vast geographical area of important markets for the company – 15 overall – including Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam. Given the extent of its responsibilities combined with the relatively small size of its team, the South Asian legal department team members are required to have a number of specialties. Assisting Surabhi Agarwal are senior legal counsel Jeremy Tan and Sudhanshu Rai (based in India), and legal counsel Zenith Phankova. Jeremy explains that the team has been involved in multiple important projects on behalf of the company over the last year. As well as driving ‘global contracting improvement initiatives’, the team ‘contributed to the company’s discrimination and harassment work-stream’ and ‘supported the compliance, ethics and integrity initiatives of AkzoNobel by implementing global compliance programs’. Jeremy describes the team’s style as ‘a synergized and transparent way of working’, and that ‘leveraging on each other’s strengths and individual contribution is an integral part of our ethos’. By all accounts, the team has continued its excellent record in support of the company over 2017. ‘The South Asia team served a revenue close to 1.8 billion EUR in 2017, and the 2017 YTD cost of South Asia legal function as a percentage to revenues served was a third of the global benchmarks’, Jeremy explains.