Simon Dealy, managing partner of Control Solutions International, an internal-audit firm that has 800 employees, sees growth opportunities for his firm in areas of corporate governance. The firm started India operations earlier this month. In an interview with Sangeeta Singh of Mint, Dealy talks about Control Solutions’ India plans. Excerpts:
What are the strengths of Control Solutions that you plan to leverage in India?
I feel there are gaps in Indian companies adhering to good corporate governance. We are looking at filling these gaps by using our expertise in internal audit consulting. Also, a lot of Indian companies have no formal or elaborate internal-audit structures and we can work towards developing these. Control Solutions has been a leader in the area of strategic internal-audit partnership for over 15 years. We have advised over 500 public, private, non-governmental organizations in 35 countries.
What are the sectors that Control Solutions is thinking of entering?
We plan to look at various sectors, including the BPO sectors for data protection; education sector, where private participation is increasing; development sector, which has to properly allocate funding (obtained) from the government; and the multilateral institutions. Apart from these, we want to work with big corporates. We have already initiated talks with several big (companies such as) Bharti group, DLF, Apollo Tyres, Hero Honda and Ranbaxy.
How do you compare Control Solutions service offerings globally with what you will offer in India?
Globally, our offerings include Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, quality assessment reviews, ERP (enterprise resource planning) implementation, M&A (mergers and acquisitions) due diligence, internal-audit training, industrial security reviews, operational and financial control reviews, etc. We will be doing almost the same kind of job in India, subject to the regulatory environment. For instance, clause 49 (of Sebi’s listing agreement), that deals with corporate governance issues like independent directors, is an area of interest to us. We look forward to working closely with Sebi in this area. We are also looking at working closely with Nasscom for making the Indian BPO sector more vibrant.
And how will Control Solutions expertise help the BPO sector?
While India is fast emerging as the global leader in the BPO sector, a lot of foreign banks and multinationals are scared of having their back-office operations in India because of increasing threat of data theft, information leakage and poor compliance. With our expertise in IT infrastructure and risk assessment, we will be able to strengthen audit systems of a large number of call centres. This will enable them to provide best and safe services to their clients.
What kind of structure will Control Solutions India have?
The firm is being headed by an India partner. In order to understand the Indian environment, we thought it was a better idea to join hands with someone who has the expertise as also the understanding of laws and legal environment in India. So, Control Solutions has entered a joint venture with the internal audit division of JC Bhalla and Company, a Delhi-based consulting firm specialising in risk-management and legal matters. Akshay Bhalla will be the India partner.