Episode 30

Leading Legal in Complex Regulatory Environments: Hardeep Singh, GC, CRED

Episode summary

Introduction: 1:17

  • Introducing Hardeep Singh, General Counsel at Cred
  • Cred is a reward-based credit card payment app in India.

Launching your legal career: 1:52

  • Preparing for a career in litigation at law school.
  • Developing basic research and problem-solving skills at a litigation firm.
  • Gaining confidence by presenting cases in front of the Supreme Court as a junior lawyer.

Switching to corporate counsel from an appellate practice in Delhi: 5:27

  • Taking a role at Uber after litigating family disputes in the appellate court.
  • Learning to solve complex problems, draft contracts and work closely with the business as an in-house counsel.

Applying lessons from Uber to your legal leadership at Cred: 8:50

  • Working with a sharp, motivated team that believes they were making a difference in a city with public transit issues.
  • Getting comfortable speaking up when you have a valuable idea to share.
  • Incorporating Uber’s core values into your mission-driven work ethic.
  • Always thinking of a solution to a problem instead of saying no. 

Explaining Cred: 12:45

  • Offering rewards to financially responsible users who pay bills on time.
  • Improving credit scores in India’s tech-heavy financial infrastructure.
  • Helping users manage credit card and other bill payments.
  • Working with insurance companies and banks to offer great loan deals.

Encountering a learning curve as a first-time team leader: 16:31

  • Recognizing that every employee needs to be a shareholder and looking for asymmetric outcomes.
  • Dealing with anxiety and imposter syndrome.
  • Drawing strength from the insights and challenges from a principled founder. 
  • Feeling comfortable admitting when you don’t know something.
  • Working from the ground up on a design-focused product.

Considering the role of legal in an organization without titles: 22:18

  • Focusing on learning and being accountable to yourself instead of landing your next promotion.
  • Changing the narrative around your role by avoiding the “GC” designation. 
  • Hiring people who are excited about the business’s mission more than their title.

Lessons learned from M&A at Cred: 27:46

  • Recognizing the benefits of acquisitions beyond buying another company.
  • Bringing in top talent and scaling up your product through M&A.
  • Always structuring the deal at the start of the process and leaving some value on the table.

Working in India’s legal landscape: 33:37

  • Working with regulators who understand the nuances of India’s rapidly changing tech and UPI landscape.
  • Dealing with the spirit of regulations and why they were drafted instead of the way they are written.
  • Preparing for coming regulations by always thinking one step ahead.

Driving communication, marketing and PR in legal: 37:15

  • Being prepared to do the right thing and take a revenue hit if it builds long-term shareholder value.

Understanding UPI, India’s unified payment interface: 39:40

  • A smart wallet developed by the Indian government that handles more than 12 billion transactions a month.
  • Finding a solution for building credit in a cash-first economy.
  • Creating a path towards offering microlending and microcredit.

Advice to companies trying to expand into the Indian economy: 45:54

  • Grappling with India’s cultural, geographic, and linguistic diversity. 
  • Understanding the nuance of Indian regulations and carefully following the checklist.

Book recommendations: 50:23

  • Atomic Habits by James Clear
  • Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
  • Read Write Own: Building the Next Era of the Internet by Chris Dixon
  • The Sovereign Individual by James Dale Davidson and William Rees-Mogg

Advice to your younger self: 53:25

  • Understanding that finishing the race at your own pace is more important than finishing first.
View more
Tyler Finn
Head of Community & Growth, SpotDraft
Hardeep Singh
General Counsel CRED

More episodes coming soon

Subscribe to hear from the biggest voices in legal.

Tell me when new episodes are out