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In Interview with Aravind Varadharajan -Sr VP and MD -APAC and Middle East

Mr Aravind Varadhrajan Sr VP and MD - APAC & Middle East

Mr Aravind Varadhrajan Sr VP and MD – APAC & Middle East

Aravind Varadhrajan, Sr VP joined MetricStream in January 2021 as Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Asia Pacific as part of MetricStream’s growth and expansion strategy for the region.

His passion for inspiring others and leadership style have been at the forefront of his professional success. In addition to empowering his team, Aravind, a Masters in Sociology focused on cultural and social change, racial and ethnic diversity, and social inequality is a champion of diversity and inclusivity. He founded the APAC region at MetricStream,

We engaged in a conversation with him to understand MetricStream and the business. Read on to know more.

1. Could you give us a brief background about MetricStream?

MetricStream is the global market leader in Integrated Risk Management and GRC, empowering organizations to accelerate growth with risk-aware decisions. We connect governance, risk management, and compliance across the extended enterprise with business objectives, enabling our customers to thrive on risk.

Recognized by all top industry analysts as a leader in GRC, MetricStream has been helping customers thrive on risk for more than 15 years. Leading companies around the world depend on MetricStream to help them turn risk into a competitive advantage. We are headquartered in San Jose, California, with an operations and R&D center in Bangalore, India, and sales and operations support across the globe.

2. What are the tools/technology/solutions that MetricStream is offering for companies?

MetricStream is a global GRC SaaS leader, providing deep domain governance, risk, and compliance products with an integrated platform to help organizations Thrive on Risk. Only MetricStream combines deep domain expertise across GRC focus areas, with our in-depth product lines, equipping companies to make quick, consistent decisions across all areas. MetricStream’s deep-domain products can be used in combination or separately to meet a business’s risk needs.

The comprehensive portfolio of products and advanced MetricStream Platform provide quantifiable risk insights powered by deep domain expertise, embedded content, collaboration, integrated data, analytics, and AI. ​This includes the following product lines: Risk Management, Cyber GRC, Audit and Financial Controls, Regulatory Compliance, Third-Party Management, and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG).

3. What specific problem do your tools solve?

MetricStream’s products help companies tackle the following challenges:

  • Risks are coming at business faster than ever – and they’re all connected. Emerging areas like Environmental, Social and Governance are creating a board-level focus on climate change, diversity, and related sustainability risks. New legislation on data security and privacy has upped the ante on cyber risk. Risk professionals must manage both an increased VOLUME and VELOCITY of risks. Manual approaches won’t cut it.​
  • Risk is moving outside the traditional boundaries – No longer is risk just the province of the risk team. Risks abound inside and outside the enterprise – and they call for new tools, like artificial intelligence and machine learning, to sift through and make sense of them. By collaborating across the enterprise, made possible by the cloud, we help companies to tackle this new world of risks.​
  • Empowering the frontline – Front-line employees see and hear disruption first. We empower them to report on what they see, with simple observation tools, and to aggregate and make sense of the front-line intelligence. ​
  • “Agility” is a must. Today’s risk environment calls for speed, simplicity, and agility. We help companies to pivot and act quickly – aided by modern tools and technology.​
  • Harmonization is an alternative to simple integration. To truly gain visibility into risks and act on them, we help companies to act not only in a connected way, but in a way that allows for fast integration of new controls and frameworks with a harmonized risk program and quantified risk results.​

4. Where do you see an opportunity for MetricStream in India?

India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and represents a significant opportunity for MetricStream, not only from a business standpoint, but also from a recruiting and retention standpoint. As the business climate continues to grow, Indian companies are experiencing increases in regulatory requirements, cyber-attacks, and an emerging interest in Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG). Several highly regulated sectors that would benefit from a GRC strategy are experiencing significant growth in India, such as automotive, healthcare, information technology, pharmaceutical, fintech, and mining.

5. How do you have an edge over your competitors? Which technology do you leverage that gives you an edge?

Only MetricStream combines deep domain expertise across GRC focus areas, with in-depth product lines, and a flexible, integrated platform that equips businesses to make quick, consistent decisions across all areas. Instead of point solutions that address only one area of risk, MetricStream empowers customers to address every domain that’s important to them, enabling the application of an integrated approach, expand as needs grow, and apply a consistent, interconnected approach to see and mitigate risks wherever they lie across a business’s enterprise.

MetricStream’s deep-domain products can be used in combination or separately to meet a company’s risk needs. Use all for an integrated, enterprise-wide approach, or expand as specific risk needs do.

6. How do you think that the Risk & Governance systems/policies in India are affecting your market?

The GRC and Enterprise Risk Management space in India has been lagging, compared to western and other APAC countries. While the Indian GRC market was showing signs of an uptick before the pandemic, the sudden, swift and uncertain nature of the pandemic, completely altered the mindset of risk professionals from a reactive to a proactive approach.

The pandemic has not only proved that risks are inherent to any business but also one can never be completely prepared for such low-frequency, high-impact risk events. Instances of this have frequently cropped up over the last 18 months as Indian companies have been hit by several cyber security and regulatory compliance related issues.

While there is a push to adopt next-gen technologies, such as AI, IoT, machine learning, blockchain, etc. for forward-looking GRC framework, there is a lack of a skilled workforce. Not just technological knowledge, compared to western and few other APAC markets, India also has large gaps to fill in Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) education.

7. What are your plans for MetricStream in India?

India has always been a focus area and in Bengaluru, India, MetricStream has the largest GRC R&D centre in the world. We will continue to invest in India and focus on key innovation areas including Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), AI/ML, deep domain (GRC) products and integrated platform, risk quantification & analytics.

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