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LexTalk World Talk Show with Sharifah Thaherah Alasree, Head of Legal of APAC and India at Infobip



She has 19 years of working experience and was attached with Multinational Company, Government Link Company, Private Companies and Public Listed Companies cut across from various industry such as Electric & Electronic, Oil & Gas, Telecommunication, Waste Management and Development & Construction. She started her career after being called to Malaysian Bar as a practicing lawyer focusing on corporate related matters back in 2003. For the last 7 years, she was attached with Petronas as the Group Legal Manager and was tasked to attend to the legal and secretarial matters for APAC Region, Africa & Middle East Region including LATAM lubricants business. She then joined National Instruments (a US company) as the APAC Legal Director focusing on the legal and corporate secretarial matters for both sales & manufacturing for APAC Region including being in charge of the government engagement affairs for Malaysia business. She is now with Infobip as the Chief Regional Counsel or Head of Legal for APAC and India region having 18 countries under her helm focusing on all legal, regulatory and corporate secretarial matters.

She graduated from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (National University of Malaysia) with LLB (Hons) and was called to the Malaysian Bar as an advocate and solicitor of the High Courts of Malaya in 2003. She then continued her education and graduated with Masters of Business Administration from University of Nottingham, United Kingdom. She is also a certified company secretary with Malaysian Association of Company Secretary.


Interview:


Host: Tell us about a complex legal issue you worked on. Describe the complexity and tell us how you approached it.

Sharifah: A good question. The complex legal issue that I have worked on and still having the issue is managing stakeholders. Complexity varies as being an in house lawyer, our clients will be all the stakeholders coming from different functions and backgrounds who has different requirements. In making them understand on the legal risk and its impact is never easy. There will situation where they will extremely adamant particular from sales team. Understand the importance of closing the opportunity however it is also very important for them to know about what are the risk based on the risk impact analysis done. It is duty of us the in house lawyers to protect not only the company but also the people.

Host: In the era of legal technology, what are the most commonly used tools for you? Sharifah: Those days (well for me), we are used to only fax and there was not even any online facilities. But now thanks to pandemic, the digitalization of the tools and its usage has increased tremendously. In my previous organisaton including now in Infobip, as we are dealing with sales related transactions thus we use SalesForce for contract request and record management and now we have merge the SalesForce platform with Conga for better enhancement and for structured record management and depository. Additionally, as we have over 100 offices worldwide, we used Jira as for managing and archiving all our corporate secretarial documentation for all offices and legal entities.

Host: Being in the telecommunication, multimedia and technology industry, how do you see your company evolving in this digital era and how can your company help support the digital agenda in most countries globally.


Sharifah: Everything we do at Infobip centers around building meaningful connections. Our cloud communications platform is the largest of its kind and reaches almost 70% of the world’s population. As the world’s most connected cloud communication platform, we help democratize global communications to enable businesses to transform their customer relationships, increase loyalty and grow. We innovate top-notch digital communication solutions from day one and as an industry leader partner with the most reputable global tech companies.


Our products and solutions help organizations communicate with their audiences across any channel, any device – anytime and anywhere in the world. The Infobip technology stack is designed to reduce the points of friction and empower companies to forge stronger relationships with their customers. This makes it easier to acquire new and retain existing customers, which increases customer lifetime value. This is why thousands of organizations choose Infobip to help them with their digital transformation, their omnichannel communications strategy, their secure communications, or just simply their customer engagement.


We are at the core of digitalization for many of our customers. We are shaping the future of digital interactions between businesses and people and are at the heart of this digitalization wave that continues with many innovations that have been more quickly expedited and implemented like conversational UI. We aim to be at the forefront of it in years to come

Host: Time is money in any profession and in legal it's most of all. How do you ensure to make the best of your time as a lawyer or as an in house lawyer?

Sharifah: A very good question. People tend to say that lawyers do work round the clock however the most important and for sure it is never easy is to ensure proper time management. Work life balance is very much important and when you are at work, you dedicate your time for your team and as much try not to bring work home unless it is extremely needed. In my case, at times I do due to nature of being in an MNC and the ability to connect with other colleagues in other time zone. Nevertheless, working smart and teamwork is important. Delegating the task to your other team members would create a structure way in completing the matter.

Host: Where do you see your company in the future and being an in house lawyer/counsel how can you see yourself assisting towards the company goals and agenda.


Sharifah: Today, Infobip connect people, businesses, and internet of things on a truly global scale and see this being no different for us in the future. With more than 15 years of industry experience, Infobip has expanded to 70+ offices across six continents. We offer natively built technology with the capacity to reach over 7 billion people, mobile devices, and things in 190+ countries. We’re directly connected to more than 700 telecom networks.


We know that we achieve our best outcomes with the connections and partnerships we forge – and that our long-term success is deeply connected with the world around us. It’s why collaboration is one of our core company values. And its why teamwork, empathy, and connection will be key to reaching our next strategic milestones and defining the future of customer engagement.

 

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