Abhishek Apte: Strategizing Success For Global Businesses In Indian Market

Abhishek Apte: Strategizing Success For Global Businesses In Indian Market

Abhishek Apte , Managing Partner

Abhishek Apte

Managing Partner

INSEAD has long been a crucible for transformative education, empowering its pupils to become trailblazers in various niches across the globe. The impact of its education echoes far beyond the classroom, shaping leaders who set benchmarks in their respective fields. Today, we have the privilege of introducing you to one such elite alumnus, Abhishek Apte – Managing Partner at Apte & Co.

A Chartered Accountant and a qualified Chartered Financial Analyst, Abhishek's thirst for knowledge led him to undertake an Executive Masters in Finance program at INSEAD, further enriching his expertise beyond finance. His recent focus has honed in on assisting international companies in establishing their operations within India. At Apte & Co., he oversees regulatory compliance practice while concurrently spearheading initiatives aimed at facilitating the seamless entry of foreign enterprises into the Indian market. In an exclusive interview with CEO Insights ASIA, Abhishek shares more about his journey.

Give an overview of Apte & Co. and the impact the company aims to create in its specific segment.

Apte & Co. was founded by my parents around 35 years ago, and it had been primarily focusing on accounting and regulatory compliance for the first 20 years. However, in recent years, especially since I joined the firm, we've been shifting our focus towards serving overseas clients. This transition was driven by the evolving needs of our growing MNC clients who required comprehensive support for regulatory compliance in India.

We noticed that, India poses unique challenges for foreign businesses, and identified a significant gap in the market. Today, there's a growing interest from foreign companies to establish a presence in India, but the process isn't as straightforward as it might be in some other countries. We saw this as an opportunity to provide guidance and support the Indian government’s thrust to promote FDI. Our role goes beyond simply offering incorporation services – it's about helping these companies navigate the complex Indian business landscape effectively. We believe that our guidance is not only instrumental in facilitating their entry into India but also plays a vital role in the overall success of their ventures. In line with this vision, we've expanded our operations in Singapore, as we continue to serve as a trusted advisor for global companies looking to establish themselves in India.

Tell about your leadership ethics. Share the guiding principles that shape your role in steering the company and motivating your workforce?

For me, the fundamental principle of leadership is fairness. I often delved into business literature to understand why some organizations thrive while  others stumble, even when they seem to undertake similar activities. I have realized that, consistently, fair leadership is the linchpin of success or failure. At INSEAD, we even had a whole course dedicated to 'Fair Process Leadership’! At Apte & Co., I give due credit to my phenomenal team, foster an open environment, and actively ensure effective communication of our organizational goals. So, in a single word, my leadership philosophy is encapsulated as ‘fairness’. Moreover, I've observed that when a leader leads with enthusiasm, their team tends to follow. They tend to mirror your actions. The way I conduct myself as a leader sets the tone for the entire team. If I don't uphold my own standards, it would be unreasonable to expect my team to do so. This alignment between my actions and expectations forms an integral part of my leadership philosophy.

Share with us your academic experience from INSEAD Singapore.

Apte & Co. Is the crucia enabler for global multinationals entering the Indian market

With a background in accounting and subsequent specialization in finance as a CFA, I recognized the need to bridge the gap between finance and the broader functions of business. INSEAD helped me learn all aspects of business and tie them together. The emphasis on holistic leadership has been invaluable, expanding my knowledge beyond finance roles to prepare me for leadership at the CEO or entrepreneurial level. The diversity of my classmates, representing 13 to 14 nationalities has had a profound impact on my personality, network, and knowledge. INSEAD believes in building leaders who will become a ‘Force for Good’ in the world. I feel it’s an incredible goal and I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of it.

What is your roadmap for Apte & Co.?

The primary goal is to transform our firm into a premier ‘India incubator for large corporations’ seeking to establish a presence in the country. We aspire to become the go-to destination for any overseas corporation considering India, starting from their initial exploration of the market, setting up representative offices, hiring local talent for specific functions, procurement, and marketing, all the way to fully establishing their operations in India. We aim to be their trusted consultants, offering guidance on the most effective strategies for entering and thriving in the Indian market. My vision is to bring in numerous overseas multinational companies to establish a lasting presence in India and be a partner in their success.

Abhishek Apte, Managing Partner, Apte & Co.

Abhishek obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from NM College and Master of Commerce (MCom) from Sydenham College in Mumbai. He further studied to be a Chartered Accountant, where he earned 5th All India Rank and completed his CFA Charter, before pursuing Executive Masters in Finance from the prestigious INSEAD Business School in Singapore.

Current Issue