Expert Verbatim

Based on the experience of over a decade, Payal has shared her experience and benchmark in the techno legal space.


Challenges specific to industry and being a GC in India.

1. What have been the key challenges for you as a GC throughout your career?

The key challenges have been building a competent team who pursue performance excellence through shared goals which can translate into significant competitive edge. Apart from building the team, setting up internal processes to focus on reducing No-Value added activities aligned to the organization’s vision, encompassing both cultural and process transformations. Another key challenge would be the critical imperative to keep abreast with the frequent changes in external environment while anticipating, adapting or responding to these changes in a agile way.

2. In the current industry:

• How was your Journey of being a GC in India?

In this fast-changing landscape, my journey as a GC has been challenging. A couple of months back I have joined the automobile industry which is undergoing many businesses challenges in India. I had to deal with multiple issues which were business critical and needed nimble legal support. It has been quiet exciting journey and there is lot, to do at the moment.

• What are the specific legal challenges you faced in the current industry?

The key challenges as mentioned above implies for every industry but currently the lack of internal processes, has led to huge dependency on people.
The key challenges as mentioned above implies for every industry but currently the lack of internal processes, has led to huge dependency on people.

• What steps can the company take to deal with that challenge?

Setting up basic processes within legal department to focus on value added activity vs. non-value-added activity. Currently, this is work under progress.

• How the challenges have affected the bottom line of the business?

As I have joined a few months back it will be too soon to comment.

• What are some of the key performance indicators within the industry?

To achieve key business objectives, the essential factor is the speed of response and collaborative behaviours amongst all functions setting it at the right path towards strategic goals.

Challenges specific to industry and being a GC in India

3. When you came to Volvo Cars and started the legal operations function, did you have specific ideas of what you wanted to benchmark?

Business models are changing at a rapid pace. Hence legal has to adopt to a more agile business focus approach. The benchmarking would be the right capability to agile legal support.

4. What were the key data or areas you wanted to focus on?

The key data area I would like to focus on is consumer issues and corporate governance.

5. What are some of the key factors that allow your legal departments to successfully achieve their highest performance and efficiency?

I find the key factor to achieve greater performance and efficiency is to have a solution minded approach to meet business requirements. It also helps in critical thinking, evaluate, analyse and decide clearly the way to solve a problem.

6. How can GCs and legal ops professionals ready themselves and their department for the future of legal operations?

Proven leaders in the industry have already started improving predictability, and achieving better outcomes, have undertaken the difficult and complex work of transforming while using Automation and streamlining the base processes.

Technology Implementation, Advantage and Leverage

1. Why do you think a Technology Platform is required, how does it justify the cost of the platform?

Technology Platforms take away the problems of human errors & repetitive tasks Gives a consolidated view, control, visibility, etc and makes you less people dependent which is long term and sustainable with growing legal complexities .

2. What are some ways that corporate legal departments can demonstrate their business value (Using Technology)?

There are many ways the corporate legal department can demonstrate their business value amongst which Automated contract renewal and repository of legal documents for easy retrieval in future is a must.

3. Looking ahead, what do you think will be the most positive trends for the in-house Dept.?

I feel that most positive trends for in-house Legal Department will be Automated solutions to drive speed of response.

4. AI is a big buzzword today in the market. Where are you seeing the benefits of using AI?

AI is spread across in a lot of processes in the Legal Department. I find the benefit of AI in Legal research and documentation retention.

About Payal Khanna


Payal is working as a Director- Legal ( Head ) with Volvo Cars. Earlier to this Payal was working with PepsiCo India Holdings for 7 years where she was responsible for handling All India Business & Litigation Support for both beverage and foods division of the company on various legal issues relating to Indirect taxation.

She has more than 12 years of experience in handling diverse legal issues relating to Indirect taxes, Company law, FEMA, labor laws etc. Prior to joining PepsiCo, Payal was a practicing lawyer with esteemed law firms in Delhi. She has extensive experience in advising and doing litigation work for various sectors such as automobile industry, real estate, information technology, aviation, oil and natural gas etc. Payal lead the successful GST implementation for PepsiCo India effective from 1st July’2017

Payal is born and brought up in Delhi and is a Law Graduate from Amity Law School, Delhi. She is happily married and blessed with two kids. Payal loves travelling, dancing and spending quality time with her family.