Mitesh is a “subject matter expert” in the field of organizational resilience, business continuity management and enterprise risk management. He has over 12 years of experience in consulting organizations on how they can de-risk their business and improve their resiliency posture through risk assessments and creation of frameworks in physical security, business continuity and information security. He has worked extensively in the APAC region and assisted clients across sectors of banking, financial services, insurance, retail, telecom and global conglomerates.

In terms of certifications, Mitesh is CBCI Certified. He is also a CISA & CISA from ISACA and a certified ISO 27001 Lead Auditor.

He’s been staying in Singapore since 2011 and is blessed with two lovely daughters.

1. Would you share with us how you started your career journey in Business Continuity and resilience?

I started my journey in business continuity and resilience way back in 2008, when I joined as an intern at a consulting firm in India called Mahindra Special Services Group. After a short stint of 4 months, I realized that many organizations didn’t have a formal business continuity framework and were then looking to adopt business continuity management practices and standards. I joined back the same firm in 2009 after completing my MBA and became a BCM consultant for almost 2 years. I was humbled and am grateful that I joined the industry early in my career.

I was able to assist many organizations from various sectors such as Banking, Financial Services and Insurance, Telecom, and Manufacturing in forming a robust business continuity management framework by performing business impact analyses, risk assessments, developing business continuity and disaster recovery plans, and doing tests and exercises. One of my favourite stints as a consultant was assisting Nokia’s India factory to receive BS25999 certification. It was the first manufacturing setup to be BS25999 certified in India. I moved to Singapore in 2011 and played the role of business continuity management and information security consultant for almost 5 years assisting telecom, insurance, and aviation industry.

After being a consultant for many years, I joined Regus as a Workplace Recovery Director for the APAC region, assisting organizations with the recovery site needs. The role in Regus gave me a lot of regional exposure and understand business continuity needs of organizations in APAC. In 2020, I joined MitKat Global Consulting as a Regional Director enabling organizations de-risk their business.

2. With your more than a decade of experience in India and Singapore across multiple sectors, do you notice whether Asian collectivistic culture has impact in managing and implementing business continuity and organizational resilience?

It is true that Asia has more collectivistic culture than the west, and that attributes organically into managing crisis incidents better. Organizations in Asia were a touch late to start in adopting business continuity compared to US and Europe. Traditionally, this region (with the exception of Singapore) had seen more disruptions in the past with regards to natural calamities and man-made crisis (protests, terrorism, etc.). If you live in a disruptive environment, you tend to adopt resilience characteristics naturally.

The Asian collectivistic culture enables the Asian countries to bounce back quickly; a tight-knit community that is always there to help neighbours, more so ever at a time of crisis.

3. What kind of mindset do you think is important to career success in our industry?

The attributes of “flexibility” and “empathy” are particularly important to succeed in the industry. The first attribute is “flexibility”. It is important to always be flexible in your approach in managing crises or incidents. No two critical events are the same, and hence, thinking out of the box and being flexible with your approach is imperative to better manage incidents. Plans can help us prepare well, but one has to be flexible in the response.

The second attribute is “empathy”. This is shown by having compassion towards employees who might have been impacted themselves or their families due to an incident. Employees are at the heart of every recovery plan and employees may be emotionally impacted as well. If the organization effectively manages employee emotions and shows compassion, the results would be great for the organization as in return it may develop employee loyalty to the organization.

4. As a working dad, how do you find balance between work and home? (Note: Your profile on MitKat Advisory mentioned that you have 2 lovely daughters)

I am happy to be offered a ‘’Hybrid Working’’ environment which plays a significant role in balancing work and home responsibilities. I personally believe, if you have your calendar sorted at the start of the day, you can better balance work and provide time for family. Also, talking about your profile with the family especially children help in setting expectations. Being in the risk and resilience domain, you may be required at odd hours and if the family are aware of your role, they will be more understanding.

Like in crisis, communication plays a key role in ensuring family dynamics are well maintained. Also, kids help in de-stressing from an exhausting day of work. Planning periodic family breaks is important, especially for professionals in this industry as they live, talk, eat and sleep ‘’risk’’.

5. Any encouraging words for professionals who are starting out in the field, especially those in Asia?
COVID-19 Pandemic has ensured that each organization however small or big, understand the value of resilience. There has been a lot of opportunity in the region to grow as resilience is no longer a checklist item but a “way of life” now. It is a world where “plan or perish” analogy fits in.

Professionals should start first with training themselves with the fundamentals of resilience. I would strongly encourage budding professionals to take courses on business continuity, IT disaster recovery, etc. Take up professional certification courses such as CBCI or CBCP to build credibility.

Also, it is highly recommended to find mentors in the industry who can help you guide you throughout. I was blessed to find mentors at an early stage who helped me understand the nuances of resilience and importance of pragmatism in resilience.

Author: Lucil Aguada

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