Anat Bernstein Reich: Boasting Twenty-Five Years Of Industry Expertise In Accelerating Business In India & Israel

Anat Bernstein Reich: Boasting Twenty-Five Years Of Industry Expertise In Accelerating Business In India & Israel

Anat Bernstein-Reich , CEO

Anat Bernstein-Reich


Companies, like empires, can come and go with the times. However, there are some that continue forever, and the secret is outstanding leadership. Great leaders can inspire people, help others see and believe in a goal, and drive organizational innovation. Anat Bernstein-Reich is such an exemplary business leader with years of industry expertise. An investment banker, lawyer and business consultant active in India since 1997, Anat Bernstein-Reich is the first woman President of the Israel-Asia Chamber of Commerce, Chairperson of the Israel-India, Sri Lanka Chambers of Commerce. Anat Bernstein-Reich is the CEO of BDO Israel-India Investment Banking & Consulting, which is part of the BDO group in Israel, the leading consulting firm in Israel.

In an exclusive interview with CEO Insights Asia, Anat Bernstein-Reich enlightens us more about her professional journey and the unique traits of her company.

Could you give a brief account of your educational and professional background?

Post my mandatory army service, I went to law school. I'm glad I did because it introduced me to analytical tools which are useful in all walks of life. Initially for a few years, I worked as a lawyer in my family law office, but I realized that it might not be enough for me. A lawyer is often called in to fix and address problems that others have caused, but I wanted to be in the forefront and make the decisions. I felt I lacked the business acumen and chose to pursue MBA in finance from the University of San Francisco in California. The MBA in finance opened my eyes to the world of business and innovation, as Silicon Valley at that time was the epicenter of the startup and high-tech industries. After my MBA, it was evident to me that I'm searching for positions in business rather than law. I partnered up with an Indian who lived in the Silicon Valley, and we co-founded Across World Communications, a telecom network start-up which built networks between US and India and this way I built my own personal network in India.

How would you define BDO Israel-India as an organization and its position in the market?

Our firm is Israel's leading investment banking and consultancy on the axis of Israel and India. It serves both Indian and Israeli businesses, and we serve as a link between Israeli innovation and entrepreneurship in short, the startup nation, and the magnificent market of India. We are attempting to transfer Israeli technologies to India, allowing those wonderful civilizations to communicate and collaborate. I wouldn't say it's easy because there is a significant cultural difference between the two, even though, in general, both Israelis and Indians share similar values, and we have very similar ideas for peace, family and education. However, the Israelis are too direct, which may be deemed impolite at times, and we lack an understanding of protocol or hierarchy, whereas the Indian’s, corporate culture is based on hierarchy and protocol. This is truly an issue when doing business between our two cultures. My firm acts as a bridge, attempting to hold the hands of two parties and guide them across it so that they can converse, understand each other, and do business.

We are attempting to transfer Israeli technologies and opportunities to India, allowing those wonderful civilizations to communicate & collaborate

Tell us about your leadership approach. What are the guidelines you follow as a leader?

I was a lieutenant in the Israeli army, where at an early age you learn and discover leadership. I believe that I lead by example, showing, demanding, respecting the individuals with whom I work, and truly caring about my team, knowing who they are, what issues and challenges they are facing, and guiding them through hurdles.

What are the future market opportunities that you look forward to investing your time to reach your goals?

Personally, with India becoming the world's thirdlargest economy in this decade and the incredible progress that we are seeing in India from all fronts. Rightfully, Israeli technologies are highly valued in India. I believe that startup scene in India is growing and challenging Israel as a start-up nation. The major opportunities lie in the mobility area, smart industry, and food tech, which is a growing market. Israel grew to be the capital of Vegans and many companies develop alternative proteins such as 'milk less milk', 'beefless beef', 'meatless meat', and 'eggless egg'. All these technologies have the potential in India and can assist in overcoming the food security challenge in India. To feed 1.4 billion people while the population is increasing, more food and proteins are required. The same applies to agri-technologies, which Israel developed due to lack of land and water resources, India is eager to absorb and implement the Israeli knowhow in agriculture.

In light of your strong experience within the industry, what advice would you give to budding industry leaders?

Many people lose their humility when they reach positions of authority, this is one of the most significant characteristics I observe in a true leader.

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