Sujata Dasgupta: Leading the way for the Greater Good!

Amidst COVID-19 pandemic, many sectors in various industries have had faced difficult time. Be it healthcare, fintech or IT, the damages done to businesses ranges from lowest to the highest. Yet, in such striving/difficult times, some leaders have beautifully portrayed their exceptional skills on sustaining their organizations to its desired stature. One such professional is Sujata Dasgupta.

Being the Global Head – Financial Crimes Compliance Advisory at Tata Consultancy Services, Sujata has excellently implicated her unique ideas and methods to enhance the financial risk management and compliance.

Early in my career, my goal was to rise the corporate ladder, just like anyone else,” quote Sujata. She envisions to finding a purpose and adding value through the work she does, rather than to only focus over the career growth. That later become her driving force to last 5-6 years. Moreover, she is extremely active in the global community on financial anti-crimes, and wrote in multiple journals and spoke extensively at industry events about this subject.

Tycoon Success admire such leaders and takes pride in featuring Sujata in its special edition ‘The 10 Young and Inspiring Businesswomen to Watch’.

Below are the highlights interview:

A Journey worth Appreciating

She started his career as a Banker with India’s largest bank, State Bank of India (SBI), in the year 2000. Having worked across varied functions from retail banking to corporate credit, foreign exchange, risk and compliance in India and New York for close to 7 years, she moved to the IT industry as a banking advisory consultant. She states that in the last 14 years, she initially worked in IT services and eventually moved to IT and Management Consulting, focusing on non-financial risk and compliance. During this period, she worked earlier with IBM and Infosys, and now with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) where she head the global advisory on financial crimes risk management and compliance. She have worked in 7 countries across USA, UK, Europe, and Asia, in Risk and Regulatory compliance related transformational programs for leading global banks. And, she is currently based in Stockholm, Sweden.

Accomplishing many Achievements

Sujata states that there have been several achievements during her career which are very precious to her, as each has helped her to grow both personally and professionally. From being the topper in the selection for foreign postings from SBI India (leading to her New York deputation) to several awards in IBM, Infosys and TCS, being featured in interviews by leading international journals viz. She also states that the Economist and Bloomberg, the privilege to run her own column in Corporate Compliance Insights, USA, being invited to speak in the FinCrime World Forum where each one has been very special. However, she states that the most recent accomplishment, and probably the most notable yet, has been winning 2 prestigious international awards in the March 2021 – ‘Risk Professional of The Year’ by Waters Technology in their ‘Women in Technology & Data Awards’ and ‘Fraud Prevention Award’ by Themis in their Anti-Financial Crimes Awards 2021. “Industry recognitions like these are truly motivating and drive me to pursue my passion in the risk and compliance field with a stronger resolve!” quotes Sujata.

Overcoming the Challenges

Sujata addresses that her area – financial crimes risk and compliance – is a very dynamic, complex, and challenging space to work in. Thus, it takes a lot of effort to stay up to date with all that is going on in the financial world in terms of Regulations, technology advancements, emerging risks and designing corresponding controls. “But this is an area which has grown beyond my profession – it is more of my passion now, and I consider myself one of the many fincrime fighters who are doing their bit to prevent some of the disastrous impacts of these crimes on human lives, environment and the economy!” says Sujata. So, in addition to helping her clients develop robust risk management and controls framework around fincrime and other non-financial risks, Sujata is and has been very active in the global community writing and speaking on this particular subject to bring awareness in these areas as well.

A Unique Approach

Sujata asserts a commonly known definition of leadership which states that it is about inspiring people to do things they never thought they could. And she tries to inspire by example, by pushing her own boundaries, reinventing herself and accomplishing new milestones, continuously learning while keeping her ear to the ground to stay ahead of the curve. She also believes in and also practice sending the elevator back down, to groom and nurture the next layers and build the leaders of tomorrow. When asked about success, Sujata explains that success for her is to be happy doing what she love and making a difference in the process by achieving tangible results. With years passing, her idea of success has changed from material wealth and rising the career ladder to pursue her passion of research and innovation, writing and speaking on the subject that has grown very close to her heart—anti-financial crimes. “The fact that I have had a positive impact on the businesses of our clients as well as the global community in this pursuit, and the recognitions that have come my way through this are what I hold as my successes!” Sujata adds.

Creating Room for new Ideas

Sujata states that she is a strong advocate of data-driven and AI powered solutions for financial crimes risk management & compliance (FCC), aligning with the business 4.0 agenda that is steering all industries globally. FCC is poised to witness a digital disruption in this new decade, and she has been sharing her ideas on leveraging digital innovations like smart identification and verification solutions for KYC, automated screening for customers and transactions including adverse media, AI based transaction monitoring, graph technology based linkage analysis for discovering criminal networks, dynamic risk monitoring and due diligence, to name a few. She advise that enriching financial institutions’ data quality through ongoing remediation and integration of internal data with external data, as the effectiveness of AI models are heavily dependent on the firms’ data quality. She describes herself as a people’s person and have strived to build effective relationships with her teams and all stakeholders she work with.

Through quoting, “A leader is as good as his team, and that is why I invest a lot of effort in grooming those who work with me, bringing out the strengths they are not sure of themselves!” Sujata states that she leads her team from the front, with a clear vision of what she and her team must and can achieve, enabling her team to work towards that goal. She trust her people and give them the autonomy to drive initiatives on their own, while providing all the required support to achieve the target.

Advice to Rely On

Sujata expresses that her parents have always advised her to stay humble and keep her feet firmly on the ground, no matter how high life takes her. Incidentally, after her successive international award wins this year which are undoubtedly some of the highest points of her life, a close friend of hers gave me this very advice which says, “I do not to get carried away by this success but stay humble and continue the hard work!

Sujata believes in ‘Empathy!’ She recites a quote that she read long ago: ‘if you want your team to accomplish great things, you must first show them that you truly care’ and has always stayed with her. She admire such quality in her superiors and do practice with her teams. She discovered that empathetic leaders are able to communicate with their team better, eliciting more effective feedback in the process.

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