Hrishikesh Datar, founder of vakilsearch.com: A perfect match
Matching business model to customer needs, we’ve bagged 1% of the company registrations and trademarks market in India
April 1st, 2015
Vakilsearch is an online facilitator, enabling businesses and individuals to avail the best legal, accounting and allied expertise without leaving their desk.
Our sweet spot is small and medium enterprises (SMEs)—of which there are 40 million plus in India. We’re offering services that are closely tailored to make their lives easier.
Specifically, every individual and small business struggles to comply with labyrinthine regulations. Understanding the ‘system’ sans assistance is costly and time consuming.
By way of contrast, our tagline “legal is now simple” sums up what we are all about. We want anyone and everyone who needs legal and allied professional support to be able to get it—easily, simply and at affordable prices.
By maintaining competitive pricing, charging between Rs. 1000 and Rs. 8000 for most of our services, Vakilsearch has already helped Indian businesses save Rs. 7 crores in professional fees at the going average market rates for lawyers and chartered accountants.
Even more fulfilling for us is the knowledge that by making services available online, we’ve managed to save our clients 40,000 hours in travelling time to get such jobs done.
Our biggest core differentiator is that we offer almost 100 different services on one platform, an outcome of questioning how we can bring all the services a business needs in the legal and allied domains under one umbrella.
Right from starting a business (for which there are different approaches: sole proprietorships, partnerships, companies and non-governmental organisations) to navigating through a maze of legal regulations to acquiring trademarks, filing taxes and preparing documents and contracts, we stand by our clients.
We have recently also forayed into accounting, company advisory and property transactions. This year, Vakilsearch launched e-tax filing services with the idea of simplifying the process for lay persons and to reach out to individual customers.
Obviously, it takes more than a team of lawyers in an office to offer such a wide range of services. Our team includes lawyers, chartered accountants and company secretaries (on a retainer as consultants to the company). Just as critical to us are those who engage customers (business development), fill up forms (data entry) and build our services (technology).
Vakilsearch clocked 10,000 transactions last year, a large chunk of which came from repeat customers. A key achievement that I am particularly proud of is that we processed 1 per cent of all company registrations and trademarks in India.
Next on the agenda is offering customers the ability to generate legal documents and contracts for free, and engage a lawyer to review these documents at a nominal additional charge.
Overseas expansion is also on the anvil. We’re gearing up to launch our services in the US, UK and Singapore.
We are targeting serving a million customers by 2016. Certainly, that is a huge challenge which will call for tremendous innovation and creative thinking on our part, but we’re confident we’ll get there. It will be fantastic to reach that milestone, one happy customer at a time.
Hrishikesh Datar is the founder of vakilsearch.com, India’s largest professional service facilitator. Datar started the business soon after graduating from the National Law School, Bangalore.