Rajitha Boer, Elevate Vice President and Co-Geography Head for Switzerland and Singapore, sat down with Nicole Giantonio, Global Managing Director of Marketing, for a brief conversation. Rajitha was Founder and CEO of Yerra Solutions, prior to its acquisition by Elevate in February of 2019.
Q: Raj, it sounds like the journey that led you and Yerra to Elevate is a fascinating one.
A: I started as a software developer, where I led the development of a major IP Management solution some 20 years ago. I transitioned to customer-facing roles, supporting the CFO of MDC with a SOX compliance project and when the business sold to Thomson Reuters, I then moved to Datacert (acquired by Wolters Kluwer) and set up their IP legal business, where we built an IP-centric Spend Management solution. After successfully running the IP & Legal business in North America (becoming the first female VP in the company), I transferred to Europe to grow and run operations.
Q: Specifically, what led you to start Yerra Solutions?
A: Following my move to Europe, I interacted with a considerable number of Legal and IP departments in Europe, and it quickly became clear that the tools available were tailored to the American market, requiring substantial adjustment for the EU market. The Legal industry also needed specialized advisory services around Legal Tech and Legal Ops, with local resources. On 18th March, 2013, I started Yerra Solutions with three people to provide these services to Europe-based customers. We quickly began engagements with Roche, UBS, Credit Suisse, and Deutsche Bank, and grew from there. Our offering aligned well with those from Elevate–consulting, technology, and (managed) services.
Q: What was surprising about the experience of starting and running a company in today's legal industry?
A: Yerra was a minority and woman-led business, based in Switzerland. We had no outside funding, so it certainly wasn't all plain sailing! Our customer-centric, flexible approach was very well received, and we grew and promoted people quickly. As a leader, I focus on shoring up our business and expansion. I'm hands-on, which is appreciated by our customers and teams. Yerra became part of Elevate a month before our sixth anniversary. One of the most favorable outcomes of this partnership is finding an excellent home at Elevate for our Yerra colleagues and associates.
Q: What do you consider your area of expertise in the legal industry?
A: I transitioned from being a Practitioner to being a Leader, and I work with Legal department leadership to drive meaningful change.
Q: Where do you think Elevate makes the most significant impact on the working lives of our customers?
A: Elevate effectively combines consulting, technology, and people; with the ability to truly serve the global market.
As a leader, I focus on shoring up our business and expansion. I'm hands-on, which is appreciated by our customers and teams.