Smooth Tran­si­tion

ASHU SUYASH, HEAD OF IN­DIA’S LARGEST RAT­INGS AGENCY, IS MAKING CRISIL FU­TURE READY.

Business Today - - THE MOST POWERFUL WOMEN IN BUSINESS - By ANAND AD­HIKARI

IIF YOU ARE HEAD­ING the coun­try’s largest rat­ings agency, you have a good un­der­stand­ing of the pulse of the econ­omy. Ashu Suyash, MD & CEO of CRISIL Ltd, an as­sign­ment she got three years ago, doesn’t shy away from ex­press­ing her views on risks the In­dian econ­omy faces as well as its growth prospects. The 51-year-old pro­fes­sional, who honed her skills at the fund man­age­ment and bank­ing in­dus­try, ex­pects the econ­omy to grow 7.3-7.5 per cent in the cur­rent year, but is wor­ried about the geo-po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion.

For the ex–Citibanker who pre­vi­ously headed as­set man­age­ment busi­nesses at L&T and Fidelity in In­dia, the tran­si­tion has been smooth. Her man­date three years ago was to sta­bilise op­er­a­tions af­ter the sud­den exit of the CEO and iden­tify new ar­eas of op­por­tu­nity and growth. She started fo­cus­ing on two-three ar­eas to take the fran­chise to the next level. First, she led growth into risk an­a­lyt­ics and in­tel­li­gence space. CRISIL added good quan­ti­ta­tive an­a­lysts and cre­ated a slew of ser­vices such as stress test­ing, model val­i­da­tion and mar­ket risk. To­day, it serves more than 90 per cent of the bank­ing in­dus­try by as­sets. In fact, for CRISIL, con­sul­tan­cies be­came com­peti­tors. She also fo­cused on emerg­ing mar­kets to lever­age the strengths of In­dian and US op­er­a­tions. “We ex­tended two of our of­fer­ings, in­fra­struc­ture ad­vi­sory and risk so­lu­tions, to on­board clients from emerg­ing mar­kets,” she says.

Un­der Suyash, the 30-year-old CRISIL, ma­jor­ity owned by global rat­ings agency S&P, has also stepped up its

WHY SHE MAT­TERS She has stepped up tech­no­log­i­cal ca­pa­bil­i­ties and is lead­ing the push into an­a­lyt­ics

tech­no­log­i­cal ca­pa­bil­i­ties. “It is time for us to make CRISIL fu­ture ready keep­ing in mind the next 30 years,” she says. While risk was one area, she re­alised that an­a­lyt­ics is the com­mon thread that pow­ers CRISIL’s busi­ness. “To­wards this, there are three ma­jor foun­da­tion ca­pa­bil­i­ties – agility, strength­en­ing the tech­no­log­i­cal base and un­lock­ing the value of data,” she says. In Jan­uary this year, CRISIL bought data an­a­lyt­ics com­pany, Prag­matix. This com­pany is an an­a­lyt­ics and so­lu­tions player in the risk and busi­ness in­tel­li­gence space. “The com­pany has been com­pletely in­te­grated. It links very well with our vi­sion of be­com­ing a global an­a­lyt­ics player,” she says. CRISIL has also launched Quan­tix, a cross-sec­tor data an­a­lyt­ics plat­form with in­for­ma­tion about 25,000-plus com­pa­nies.

As an out­sider, Suyash has brought in a client-side view at CRISIL. “Suc­cess is all about know­ing your cus­tomers. It is even bet­ter if you can an­tic­i­pate their needs,” she says. And this is work­ing well both for Suyash and CRISIL.

PHO­TO­GRAPH BY MANDAR DEODHAR

MD&CEO,CRISIL ASHU SUYASH

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