The Institute of Risk Management (IRM) asks its members what working in risk is really like and what hints and tips they'd share with people looking to move into the industry.
Hitesh Kalia, IRMCert
Head of Risk & Compliance Practice,
MMTC-PAMP India Private Limited, India

How did you get your job?

I began an unusual journey to become a risk professional. Initially, after becoming a Chartered Accountant, I started as an Internal Auditor in the risk practice of a consulting firm for a year. Afterwards, I shifted to New Delhi and began working with EY under Assurance Practice of New Delhi to conduct Statutory Audits. After a few years, I shifted to industry to work in the risk and compliance department with the one and only LBMA accredited gold refinery in India (MMTC-PAMP) which is a part of MKS PAMP Group.

What’s a typical day like as Head of Risk & Compliance Practice?

My daily activities includes assisting senior management on emerging external issues and a game plan to mitigate them, monitoring regulatory compliance adherence, process audit reviews and strategic planning. Also, writing articles for industry magazines and public speaking on Responsible Gold adherence in India.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Risk management is the most dynamic job in the industry which never lets you off the hook for a moment. Our daily external environment is changing consistently which may affect our business environment. Immediate attention to such threats and formulating mitigation plans around them is very exhilarating and increases my interaction with internal and external stakeholders.

What are the challenges?

One of the biggest challenges I face is to make people aware about the importance of risk management since the awareness is still very minimal in many companies and risk management is often confused with internal audit or forensic audit. People fail to understand the direct co-relation of risk management to the strategic planning of the organisation which is inseparable.

In what way are your IRM qualifications relevant?

IRM qualifications provide a comprehensive study of risk management and carefully focus on every aspect in a detailed and practical manner. Every time I read the content, I was able to co-relate to the risk environment of my own organisation which helped me understand the practical side of it.

What would you say to others thinking about joining IRM as a member?
If you are interested in understanding the art and science of risk management with exciting career opportunities for yourself in any industry, I strongly recommend IRM qualifications and membership.

How has your role developed and what are your career ambitions? Has being linked to the IRM helped?

IRM helped me to realise that the risk management is not about just mitigating the risk of the organisation but to help the organisation achieve objectives by acknowledging existence of external threats and adopting right approach in tackling them.

What advice can you give to others?

Try to co-relate the events happening in external world to the study material provided to you.

Try to read more books relating to risk management such as Black Swan by Nassim Taleb and The Big Short by Michael Lewis.