Vice President Legal | Fast Growing Electric Vehicle Company
With the company’s group General Counsel retiring soon, NGS Global ran an executive search project to find an accomplished VP of Legal.
India was going through a progressive shift towards adoption of electric vehicles, especially in the two-wheeler category. Our client built India’s first smart and connected electric scooter line because they believed that's where the future of personal mobility was headed. Our client was one of the few electric vehicle companies in India to have products and associated services that were an amalgamation of clean design and engineering, encompassing both hardware and software. Their product offerings included three variants of electric scooters, public and private charging infrastructure, and innovative vehicle ownership plans. They were also building a complete ecosystem for India’s electric vehicles, powered by indigenous design and manufactured locally.
Our client was seeking to bring in a Head of Legal and Compliance, as a succession plan to their group General Counsel who was due to retire in a couple of years. They were looking for an accomplished leader who could strengthen their legal systems and oversee compliance to regulatory requirements, internal policies, procedures, and codes and balance the needs of various stakeholders. The role was also responsible for the company’s secretarial function and would additionally oversee delivery of legal services in line with the firm’s goals and strategy. Among the key deliverables were negotiation of a payment gateway and payment options (for their products), and building standardized draft license agreements and lease deeds for charging infrastructure. In addition, the role would be expected to advise the business on data and privacy regulations, product safety regulations, central bank guidelines on payment systems and online prepaid payment instruments, and ensure compliance with India's Electricity Act for charging infrastructure.
Strategy and Approach
The search was particularly challenging as our client was looking for an executive who could potentially succeed the group General Counsel in about a year, which meant that the bar was set high. Also, the potential candidate should have had prior experience in IPO processes as the client was planning one in a few months. After an extensive research effort, focused on mid-sized and emerging enterprises to large industrial companies, and filtering candidates based on the complexity of legal/regulatory situations they were dealing with, prior litigation experience and exposure to IPO processes, we built a comprehensive long list of potential candidates. We shortlisted six candidates who the client interviewed, of whom one was offered the position.
Our NGS Global Value-Add
• A first-principles approach to drawing up the search strategy, aligned to the client’s key asks.
• An exhaustive study of the legal talent landscape in India to determine our best bets for finding the right candidates.
• Partner-led search execution to ensure that we were able to get the passive job seekers to consider the opportunity.