Leadership & Executive Communication , Training & Security Leadership , Video

Profiles in Leadership: Keyur Desai

How Essar Group's Veteran CIO and Infosec Head Balances Technology and Security Decisions
Keyur Desai, vice president of IT, Essar Ports and Shipping, and head of infosecurity, Essar

The roles of chief information officer and chief information security officer complement each other: While one leader plans the company's technology initiatives, the other ensures that security is built into every part of these initiatives.

See Also: Post-Transformation: Building a Culture of Security

But sometimes organizations face a tug of war over which executive's solution is in the best interest of the company. How can you balance sound cybersecurity with a good user experience - and which leader gets the final word?

Keyur Desai wears both those hats, as vice president of IT at Essar Ports and Shipping and head of infosecurity at Essar.

"There are instances where businesses want to access certain data but the policies are restricting," Desai says. Heading both teams has made his professional life easy, as he has access to and influence over both teams, he says.

In this video interview with Information Security Media Group, as part of the CyberEdBoard's ongoing Profiles in Leadership series, Desai discusses:

  • Highlights of his two-decade career at Essar;
  • How to upskill for multiple roles in technology and cybersecurity;
  • Why people skills are as vital as business and technical skills in a leadership role.

Desai has more than two decades of experience managing information technology for global manufacturing conglomerate Essar, which focuses in the core sectors of energy, infrastructure and logistics, metals and mining, and technology and retail across eight countries. He is responsible for aligning the company's digitization journey with its business strategic road map, with information security at its core.

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About the Author

Rashmi Ramesh

Rashmi Ramesh

Assistant Editor, Global News Desk, ISMG

Ramesh has seven years of experience writing and editing stories on finance, enterprise and consumer technology, and diversity and inclusion. She has previously worked at formerly News Corp-owned TechCircle, business daily The Economic Times and The New Indian Express.

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