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“I’d do it all over again”, in conversation with Saurabh Arora, Lawyer turned Entrepreneur.
Professional Guidance

“I’d do it all over again”, in conversation with Saurabh Arora, Lawyer turned Entrepreneur.

Saurabh Arora, completed his Bachelors in Law from Symbiosis Law School, Noida and was working with firms in the corporate department when he decided to move from being Lawyer to an entrepreneur. In this interview, he talks about his law and entrepreneurship.

Saurabh Arora, Co-Founder at Larder

A. Tell us a bit about your childhood and pre-college life as well as educational background. How would you introduce yourself? 

I spent my entire childhood in my hometown Dhanbad, a small town in Jharkhand. I was an average student throughout but always had knack for connecting things with logic and some techniques. Born in a business family culture, we always had some or the other compliance that needs to be met and then my dad would come up to me and take my help to understand and prepare a response to it. My interest kept on growing in that sphere and the elitist NLU’s had become a rage already, therefore, I made up my mind to pursue my career in Law.

B. How would you describe your college life? How was your experience at Symbiosis Law School, Noida? 

In my experience, self-learning is one of the greatest forms of learning. Symbiosis Law School, Noida was only 6 months old when I joined it. From being a not well-perceived college to a point where my college has become a sought-after place, the efforts put in by the batches and faculties is worth mentioning. 

C. You worked as an associate at corporate firms for a couple of years. What constituted your work profile? 

Corporate law has always been my specialty. I led teams on transactional assignments majorly into M&A and PE/VC transaction. We were handling every aspect of the deal starting from diligence to structuring of a transaction and negotiating the commercial terms of the deal with the opposite party and last but not the least – ensuring proper closing of the transaction (including some post-closing activities/ filings). 

D. What diverted you to take a big jump from being a corporate lawyer to being an entrepreneur? What made you opt out of the legal profession? 

I have always wanted to do a business of my own. After around a couple of years in the legal profession and handling clients into the startup ecosystem, I wanted to take plunge for a bigger game and therefore moved into the startup ecosystem and started a brand called “Larder”. 

E. You are the co-founder of Larder. Please tell us about it. Did you conduct any market research before going ahead with the start up? 

Larder is a food-tech company delivering food from the promising brand across Delhi NCR through smart refrigerators installed within the corporates. Through Larder we got the chance to win the business park food delivery game.

After my co-founder and I identified the problem areas and we undertook a mammoth research to understand the market and the use cases. After we were convinced with the business viability, and studied the same for over 5-6 months, followed by competition analysis and once we had a grip on all this information, we started developing our model and eventually it was time to hang our boots! Honestly, we never went into discussing the odds in our favor or against us as we believed that the solution and the service which we aim at rendering shall only make life easy for people and therefore, there was no reason for not liking it.

F. What challenges did you face during your entrepreneurial journey? Were you able to raise funds for your startup?

One of the worst days that I can recollect when everything went wrong was when our riders did not turn up for work. So, I was running, delivering food, talking to my customers, staff and at the same time repairing my machines. Customers would get frustrated because the machine wasn’t working and it would usually take about a few hours to rectify.

Our angel investors had some or the other requirements which we were unable to fulfill with the limited resources we had and by then we were running out of money and it was a near death moment for us to survive. We were in touch with lot of investors but it didn’t work out. I remember vividly the day our last investor called and said that the deal was not going through and that moment, the reality finally set in that, ouch, it is an end to 2 years of my journey with Larder. 

G. Why share about your failure? What is your take on trying new things?

It’s embarrassing and it’s difficult. I never wanted people to know much about it. There were several thoughts that kept daunting me day and night. What will I tell people who believed in me and I failed? Will anyone value the experience I gained? Will this question my credibility with the stakeholders?

But I felt, it is the right thing to do to come out and talk about failure. Failure is a very valuable life journey. After failing, I realized that “I’M A HUMAN AND BOUND TO MAKE MISTAKES and once you see ITS NORMAL TO FAIL, YOU WILL ALWAYS DARE TO TRY NEW THINGS and appreciate the surprises life has to offer you in different ways”

H. How does being a law student helps a person to go about their startup? What would be your message to our readers, particularly young lawyers, who wish to become an entrepreneur?

As a student, I always wanted to start something but wasn’t fortunate enough. Being a law aspirant, you always get to understand technicalities of almost every sphere of business in direct or indirect ways.  

Last but not the least, if you are not 100% passionate, don’t do it all. 

“I’d do it all over again”, in conversation with Saurabh Arora, Lawyer turned Entrepreneur.
Professional Guidance

In Conversation with Nikunj Rakyan, IPR Lawyer turned IIM Bangalore Post-Graduate Student

Nikunj Rakyan, completed his Bachelors in Law from Amity Law School and was working at one of the best IPR firms, Remfry & Sagar when he decided that he wanted to pursue MBA from a top-tier IIM. Learn about his journey from law school to scoring a 99.76 percentile in CAT and finally achieving his dream of making it to a top-tier IIM. 

Mr. Nikunj Rakyan, alumnus IIM-Bangalore

(1) How was your experience at Amity Law School, Noida? How did you go about your academics as well as extra-curricular activities?

Amity was a great place to study where students had a lot of freedom to pursue their interests. Since I knew about the considerable weightage IIMs placed on academics, I tried my best to keep my grades high. 

I also tried my hand at a few moot court competitions, took part in clubs and committees, and interned at a few law firms-  basically the traditional law school experience.

(2) How would you describe your experience at Remfry and Sagar? Do you recommend that one should gain some experience after graduation and then join a B-School?

Remfry was a great place to work. I got to work on IP portfolios of clients from across several industries and learnt more about trademark and copyright law than I could have imagined. 

I distinctly remember how supportive my seniors were when I told them about my MBA plans (though I did have to sit down and explain where this ‘sudden’ decision came from). 

Now work-ex isn’t exactly necessary and freshers are quite common in B-school. However, there are 2 distinct benefits to getting some work-ex under your bet:

(A) Work-ex (in months) is considered during both the shortlisting and selection phases. The weight of this factor varies from B-school to B-school (For example, IIMB weighs it heavily while IIMC doesn’t consider it at all); and

(B) Work-ex gives you some insight into the ground realities of a business and helps you contribute to class discussion in a more meaningful manner.

And of course, having invested 5 years in law school, it also makes sense to invest some time working in the legal field to get rid of any reservations you may have about going down the MBA route.  

(3) What made you pursue an MBA after a law degree? What difficulties did you face at the starting and how did you overcome them?

The idea of doing an MBA was something I started considering during the first half of law school. The Marketing Management course really opened my eyes to the possibilities of the field. 

Daily discussions over brands and protection strategies at Remfry got me interested in marketing even further. Eventually, I took the leap and decided to focus on CAT preparation full time.

Now switching careers after 5 years of undergrad isn’t an easy decision. Even after convincing myself that this was a good idea, I still had to answer to everyone around me including my parents. 

Coming to the CAT exam itself, it consists of 3 sections, but rather than their ‘official’ names, let’s just call them English, Logic and Math. After a 5-year gap from the subject, Math is arguably the hardest for any lawyer to cope with and scoring at par with your peers from Engineering can be tough.

Luckily, the level involved rarely exceeds what we learnt in class 10th and consistent practice can help you ace this section as well.

(4) When did you start your preparation for CAT, when should a person ideally start preparation for CAT and other management exams?

I started preparing in mid-July (roughly 4 months). I think the preparation time really depends on the person based on his/her strengths and weaknesses. For someone preparing full time, July (or even August) is a great time to start. 

On the other hand, preparing with a full-time job can be quite difficult considering the long working hours in the field. In such a case, it’s really important to dedicate a few hours every day for preparation.

(5) Did you get yourself enrolled in a coaching institute? How valuable do you think coaching institutions can be for MBA? Which coaching institute did you go to?

I enrolled myself at Alchemist in July the day after I quit my job. I consider myself someone who does well under structured guidance and that’s where coaching classes came in handy. Alchemist also had a modular booking system which let me schedule all my classes into a two day per week frame. This let me reduce my time commuting and focus on self-prep.

While coaching may or may not be necessary (depends on you), mocks are a must. They help you gauge your level of prep and let you experiment with different strategies.

(6) How many hours did you put in for your preparation everyday? Is it important to have a time table or weekly targets?

I generally put in anywhere between 2-8 hours a day. However, I would regularly take week-long vacations to break the monotony of preparation and come back afresh. 

Weekly targets are important to make sure that no topics are left until the last minute. That said, it’s also important to take mocks regularly and not wait for the syllabus to be finished. 

(7) What strategy did you follow to crack the interview? What kind of questions have you been asked in the interview? Give some tips to nail an interview in order to secure admission to a top business school?

The only thing IIM interviews certainly are is unpredictable! While it helps to prepare some typical HR questions such as “Why MBA” or “Introduce yourself”, the panel can pretty much ask you anything from the subjects you studied in undergrad, your hobbies, your work ex, or simply stick to current affairs. Brushing up on these is important.

Of course, this is easier said than done and I had a tough time answering many questions that came my way. For example, during one interview I was asked to respond to questions regarding my hobbies in German. Once I got over my surprise (read: shock) at this request, I somehow managed to mumble something in broken German until the interviewers finally asked me to stop. 

On the other hand, my interview at IIM Bangalore revolved around my copyright law, a field I love and was more than happy to talk about. 

(8) After the interview and until you got the final result, how did you cope up with the anxiety as the pandemic situation would have made it worse for you?

Waiting for results can make anyone anxious and you can truly never know whether you’ve converted the call or not. Having quit my job, I couldn’t help but imagine the worst-case scenario where I had wasted an entire year and had nothing to show for it. 

In such a case, it’s important to be surrounded by family, look for distractions, and focus on the bright side. I also spent my time reading books and discovering new hobbies such as writing and watercolour painting.

(9) What is your message for law students who want to choose MBA as a career after pursuing law?

The decision to go for an MBA can be incredibly difficult given the time already invested in law school. It makes sense to think things through and invest some extra time to make sure that this decision is right for you.

The most memorable piece of advice I received during this time went something like this – your decision now won’t just impact the next 2 years of your career, but the 40 that’ll follow.

Graduate Insolvency Programme: The easy way around to be an Insolvency Professional
Professional Guidance

Graduate Insolvency Programme: The easy way around to be an Insolvency Professional

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 came to be enacted only a few years back but with clear and vital objectives. The need for the Code was felt because: 

  1. It binds the law for re-organization and insolvency resolution for corporate persons, partnership firms and individuals all together, or what one may call unifies the rules.
  2. It’s different from a debt-recovery mechanism but it rather tries to help the conglomerate or the individuals to bring the partnership or company or venture as the case maybe on the right track. Thus, helping to construct a better economy.
  3. To establish the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI).

Who is an Insolvency Professional?

An Insolvency Professional (IP) is a term defined under Section 3(19) of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 and states that “insolvency professional means a person enrolled under Section 206 with an insolvency professional agency as its member and registered with the Board as an insolvency professional under Section 207”

Further, Section 3(20) states that “insolvency professional agency means any person registered with the Board under section 201 as an insolvency professional agency”

Criteria to be an Insolvency Professional

Part IV Chapter IV of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 deals with Insolvency Professional in depth and certain eligibility criteria are provided under-

  1. Section 206 requires an IP to be enrolled as a member of an Insolvency Professional agency and registered with the Board.
  2. The official website of IBBI presents a platform to enroll for Limited Insolvency Examination (“LIE”) or the National Insolvency Examination (“NIE”).
  3. The Limited Insolvency Examination requires 15 years of experience after graduation if one has been working at management posts, otherwise an experience of 10 years is required if one is a CA, CS, CMA or even an advocate.

The board categorizes the professionals on the basis of qualifications and experience in the varying fields like finance, law, management, insolvency or such other field. 

The Graduate Insolvency Programme

The better option for people who do not have the requisite experience is to opt for the Graduate Insolvency Programme (GIP). A person completing the GIP is eligible to be registered as an IP under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016, without having to wait for 10-15 years to acquire the experience as required by the Code at present. 

Not just that, the program is specifically beneficial for people who elect to become academics or researchers or work in media houses.

Further details and notifications could any time be tracked at the official website of IICA i.e., The Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs established by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), Government of India.

Website Linkhttps://iica.nic.in/gip/programme.aspx

Professional Guidance

Best Legal Applications for Lawyers and Law Students

In our day to day lives as legal professionals and law students, our career demands us to stay up-to-date with our concepts and the latest happenings in our profession and also to brush up on other topics in case we were not clear enough on them. A very convenient and handy solution to this problem is to equip ourselves with tools that will help us aptly even at short notice, and one such solution is using mobile applications tailored for the legal field. This article aims to acclimatize readers with the best and the most helpful applications used by us. The list is not exhaustive but indicative and to give the reader a brief idea about the various categories of such apps and the absolute must-haves.

By : Aditya Kumar Singh

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Bar and Bench

Starting with the most preeminent application, Bar and Bench is the most popular legal application which serves as a database for anything and everything connected to the world of law through legal news articles. This application is leading in its field and hardly needs to be fact-checked. There are various content options to choose from. These range from legal news to interviews with the most successful people in the field.
This application comes with a state of the art user interface and has a menu bar at the top to ease segregation of content. It not only helps with legal knowledge but also has an option for the apprenticeship lawyer for those who are starting out into the field. Other options include ‘Deal sheet’ which is the one-stop destination for the legal aspects in major transactions, investments and fundraising. Another option in the menu, ‘ Viewpoint’, is great for understanding the current legal positioning of the law over crucial issues in contemporary times. The articles in this section are from associates and partners of well-known law firms that comment over a variety of legal issues, amendments and Judgements.

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Live Law

Live Law is a comprehensive Legal News Portal covering Indian Courts, Judgments, Lawyers, Law Firms, Law Schools and Legal Developments In India. That said, it has a user interface which is slightly more enhanced from the Bar and Bench app and has to provide a little more options in the content than the Bar and Bench app. The home page covers articles that are trending in the field of law, and apart from this, it also has News Updates with the latest articles on legal happenings in India. It has a ‘Know the Law’ section for laymen in the field with the goal to help understand the legal duties and the rights of a person by legal analysis of day to day happenings.

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Lawyer Diary

This Application is specifically for the use of Lawyers and might not help Law Students as much. It ventures to be a personally customized schedule for the legal practitioners. It has a very simple user interface and does not use up a lot of space on your smartphone. The basic layout upon launching the app is a calendar where you can select a date and add cases with comprehensive details ranging from the case title and party name to the adverse party advocate name, contact details of your client. You can choose when to remind you of the particular case. This app is widely in use amongt advocates to make a hassle-free electronic reminding system of their cases lest they miss out a date. A similar application is ‘Supreme Court of India’, specifically for the lawyers practising at the Apex court of the nation.

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Lawyers Club India

This app is popularly referred to as the ‘Social Media of Lawyers’ as this helps people to put down their legal queries and legal documents to get answers from legal practitioners. This application also provides for articles related to the current happenings in the legal world, however they are not a match with the ones uploaded on Live Law and Bar and Bench in terms of quality.

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Online RTI

Every Lawyer, and even a Law Student in some cases, needs to file an RTI report sooner or later in their careers. This application eases that process by helping the user file the RTI online thus making the process very convenient and easy. As per the app description, once the details are entered in the app, it is directed to a group of lawyers who scrutinize it and draft it according to the RTI norms. This draft is then sent back to the user for approval, which is followed by the rest of the procedure. One of the primary advantages of the app is that it allows the user to track the status of the application through the Android devices itself.

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Legal Dictionary By Farlex

This is more portable than a pocket-size dictionary and has a very rich and varied collection of English legal words, as well as some cases that have turned into commonly used terms, with their meanings. The Dictionary is equipped with an online database and gives you suggestions and instant search results.

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Latest Laws

This is another very practical Legal application and is advisable for all lawyers and law students. Latest Laws has an online database and a user-friendly interface and provides almost all the Bare Acts that are relevant in the present-day Indian Legal scenario. What gives this app the edge over others is that it updates the bare acts according to the latest amendments and even provides the user with a plethora of State Acts that conveniently segregated. Another useful feature is the legal news section that provides the user with current legal happenings segregated according to fields like- Intellectual Property law, International Law etc.. The app provides the feature of Court calendars for practitioners and Campus Buzz for students to keep them posted with the happenings in law schools at a national level.

Top 10 Productivity and Skill Development Applications for Law Students and Lawyers
Professional Guidance

Top 10 Productivity and Skill Development Applications for Law Students and Lawyers

Skill development is a very essential part of one’s life. Having a unique and useful permutation of different skills is what gives one an edge over others. Skill development is also the most productive and wise method of time utilization. At times, we all are very occupied with our primary work to concentrate on the development of other additional skills. 
So, here I bring to you the Top 10 Applications which could help one to improve, develop, and excel in less than ten minutes, if used daily. Most of these applications are free of cost and tackle different areas of productivity from knowledge enhancement, language improvement to even ensuring that you adhere to a daily routine.  

By: Anjali Singhvi

1. The Economist GRE Daily Vocabulary

At any point, we all need to brush up our vocabulary and it is pertinent to know and enhance our diction. Good vocabulary puts forward a good impression, and learning words daily is the best way to improve learning capacity and enhancing memory along with understanding usage. This GRE app asks the user to revise all the words learned previously before moving forward. GRE word list is the basic word list that one must know and could be used in daily lives. As you move forward the level of words also starts increasing resulting in better results. 

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The Economist GRE Daily Vocabulary

PLAY STORE LINK : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.economist.grevocabulary

2. AnyBooks

Reading is essential but not all of us have access to all the books we plan on reading. This has become particularly difficult with the closing of shops and online delivery systems amid the Covid-19 outbreak. This application is a solution to the problem. One can download a variety of books on this app and even enjoy it while one is offline. The application puts forward clear demarcations on the different genres of books. It makes reading before one sleeps, easy and enjoyable. The app requires a payment of Rs. 620 for downloading, however no addictional payment is required afterwards, while the user is able to access millions of books.

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AnyBooks

PLAY STORE LINK : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=anybooks.audiobook.ebook.free.library.books.novels.story.download.p10

3. Cure Fit

Staying fit is essential for mental health and overall productivity. To kick down your laziness, the best way is to find a mentor for yourself, who can keep check of your sleep and eating habits along with workout sessions. This application proves to fulfil all the requirements one required, let it be mentoring or simply help follow a routine and discipline our lives. 

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Cure Fit

PLAY STORE LINK : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=fit.cure.android

4. Bar & Bench

Lawyers are known for their deep understanding and vast knowledge. Having updated legal knowledge and being aware of latest precedents is vital. This application helps one to know the recent amendments and orders passed, judgments and opinions. Reading material here gives a person edge over others. The information is authentic and the opinions of various acclaimed professionals of the legal fraternity can also be found here. 

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Bar and Bench

PLAY STORE LINK: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.barandbench

5. Phrasal Verbs

Not only words but a law student or professional must know how to convey their intention with the use of fewer words. What’s a better thing other than using phrases? Since the oldest of times, phrases have been a mark of good usage and help one to project a well-read image. 

This app helps the user to know and be aware of different phrases along with giving examples so to help in understanding and facilitating in its application.

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Phrasal Verbs

PLAY STORE LINK : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.arturagapov.phrasalverbs

6. Haiku JAM

A person must have the skill to express with few words. The profession of law requires a certain knack for wordplay. This application helps you write on different topics and assist you to connect with new individuals, intellects, and opinions. The formation of bonding over words happen here. The app has been found to be particularly helpful for enhancing creativity and taking care of one’s mental health.

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HaikuJAM

PLAY STORE LINK : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.herokuapp.haikujam

7. TEDx

Knowing oneself and being motivated is important for one’s growth and success. This application provides various persons sharing their experience and perspectives in a range of subjects. The collections of talks can help inspire you, enhance your knowledge and also help you learn from the achievements and experiences of these speakers.

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TED

PLAY STORE LINK : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ted.android

8. World Map Quiz

Knowing different countries and their location can be fun at times. We all plan to travel know different countries and but do we enough about these countries? So here is this application which helps you locate different countries along with helping you trigger your memory. As a law student, letting your brain exercise is important to sharpen its faculties and letting it work for longer hours. This application helps one locate the countries and give an out of box activity to our daily routines.

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World Map Quiz

PLAY STORE LINK : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.qbis.guessthecountry

9. Duolingo

Knowing languages always adds to your CV. It always gives a person an edge over other candidates. Learning languages in itself is fun and helpful. It gives the person the confidence of doing something out of the box and something which adds to the personality. The feeling and vibe of knowing different languages give a person inherent confidence. This application helps one learn different languages. Communicating and learning a new way of expression always enhance your understanding and approach towards life and different things. 

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Duolingo

PLAY STORE LINK : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.duolingo

10. Smart Puzzles Collection

Solving puzzles and exercising your brain is always important. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. This application gives you easy puzzles which helps one to refresh from his/her normal mainstream work that might mundane at times and helps activate his/her mind for better results. Scientifically, puzzles have always proved helpful and result in enhancing IQ and grasping power.

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Smart Puzzles Collection

PLAY STORE LINK : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.pixign.smart.puzzles

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