Apurva Joshi, CFE, is the founder and CEO of Fraudexpress, based in Solapur, India. Joshi created Fraudexpress as a digital media company to help increase fraud awareness, and provide news, views, training and other services for anti-fraud professionals. For her work as a fraud fighter and entrepreneur, she was recently featured in a book by bestselling author Rashmi Bansal.
What inspired you to start Fraudexpress?
I founded Fraudexpress at a time when India was witnessing some of the biggest scams in its history. These scams were quantified to the tune of 15-20 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). There was a big movement in India against corruption at different levels. Politicians were fighting in the Parliament, people were agitated and the media was covering their efforts. Everyone wanted to protect public money. But none of the anti-corruption crusaders were talking about strengthening our youth in India.
Fraudexpress was started with the objective of equipping Indian students with anti-fraud tools and training. Initially we created campaigns to create awareness about insurance frauds, banking frauds and others on social media; then we published newsletters and books. Today there are 11 titles published by Fraudexpress that address frauds in India.
You were featured in the book Arise, Awake: The Inspiring Stories of Young Entrepreneurs Who Graduated from College Into a Business of Their Own by renowned author Rashmi Bansal. How did Ms. Bansal come to find you and include you in her book?
Ms. Bansal and I are connected through social media platforms. When she proposed to write her next book on the theme of young entrepreneurs, I gave her a brief of my work through email. Out of thousands of replies she chose to write about my journey as a forensic accountant and a female entrepreneur.
You recently mentioned that fraud is still a taboo subject. How do books like Arise, Awake help provide more awareness of what anti-fraud professionals are doing to prevent and detect fraud?
Ms. Bansal explains business in very simple words. Fraud is a taboo subject, very few like to talk about it – at least in India. Youths shy away from this domain. But when an author like Ms. Bansal, who is popular among young readers, writes about anti-fraud efforts, it becomes an endorsement of our work. Ms. Bansal’s books sell millions of copies, so when a story about anti-fraud efforts is explained to millions, to youths and in layman’s language, it encourages students to take up fraud fighting as a career option.
During your career, you have also worked as a research analyst. How did your research skills serve you in the anti-fraud profession?
Our research is always aimed at quantification. Also, I have always supported numerous research projects, including studies on insurance fraud and corruption. In India, our research papers are considered benchmarks for academics and are often quoted.
What advice do you have for other fraud examiners who would follow in your footsteps?
I would always recommend earning a global certification like the CFE, apart from local accreditations (like CFAP or CBFA). I also recommend investing in technological solutions that enhance their efforts and provide added insight.
Read Joshi's full interview on ACFE.com.