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.
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.