EDITOR’S NOTE: The DRJ Career Development Committee is supporting this series of articles featuring the career paths of industry professionals. Throughout this series of candid interviews, we hope to provide career advice to our readers by highlighting lessons learned, highs and lows, opportunities and challenges. The DRJ Career Development Committee promotes education, opportunity, inclusion, and excellence surrounding the exploration and evolution of career paths in all aspects of business continuity and risk management. Key elements of our mission include promoting open and candid discussions of career opportunities, providing mentorship, resources, and guidance to equip our membership with the necessary knowledge, best practices, and tools to succeed in their chosen career path.

Renuka Darbha is director of enterprise risk and business resiliency for Box, Inc. She is responsible for building the business continuity, enterprise risk management, and compliance training programs from the ground up. This includes emergency management, crisis management, and disaster recovery.

She has overcome many challenges in her career: managing static plans, decentralized processes, and manual workflows; lack of resources and budget issues; resistance from employees; and ensuring management understood the value of the BCM program.

Darbha is proud of some significant achievements and moments of her career. She built a global program which has “brought so much value to our organization and to our customers, done in a short amount of time.” She is also proud of how much employees respect their programs. The emergency response teams are always jumping into action and helping when needed.

She has also learned some lessons which she still uses today: the ability to sell and market the BCM program to any audience, how one must have good data to help articulate what one wants to achieve, and empowering a team to make decisions and see them through. It’s also important to know that it’s okay if things fail as long as lessons are learned and the company and employees positively move forward.

As for advice to other professionals in the industry, Darbha said building one’s network early on and leveraging lessons learned from other practitioners in the industry and keeping the conversations going are all extremely important.

Darbha said it’s vital that professionals bring in centralization, automation, streamlined workflow capabilities. One must also be flexible in developing their program. Doing something one way at another company does not always mean it will work at another one.

She offered one final piece of advice: “Partner with your internal audit team because they can help you focus on the areas of your program that need the most attention.”

For more information on the DRJ Career Development Committee, contact Tracey Forbes Rice. Rice is a member of the Disaster Recovery Journal Editorial Advisory Board (EAB) and chairperson of the Career Development Committee. Rice has 20 years of experience in business continuity and risk management. As vice president of customer engagement at Fusion Risk Management, Rice brings customers together, partnering with them to develop innovative solutions and to achieve new levels of program success. Rice welcomes your feedback at trice@fusionrm.com.

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