Tuesday, November 17, 2015


Someone has rightly said “playing with money helps to grow”. This saying has actually encouraged people to invest in different ventures. The stumbling block in investment had been the risks associated with it. The volume of investments made globally in the last four years has been more than $2.27Bn till 31st March 2015 but it could have easily been twenty times of this amount. If one wants to avoid hassles in making such investments, they should follow the seven star formula of investing:
  1. KNOW YOUR INVESTMENT SEEKER: The first cardinal rule of making an investment is to know the organization looking for investment and the people behind it. The structure and brain of an organization is the first guiding principal for making an investment. No one is likely to use the hit and trial method while investing, rather an investor would be prompted by the spirits behind the organization. An encouraging factor is to identify and understand the brain behind the seeker, their entrepreneurship and the ability to grow.
  2. CONNECTING WITH YOUR INVESTMENT SEEKER: Once a general understanding about an investment has been achieved then the next goal should be to develop a connection with the seeker. After the exchange of general mails, meetings should be scheduled - telephonic or personal. A regular touch before making an investment is a must, as this would assist in getting first hand information whereby the seeker would share his project and other details. The connectivity between the investor and seeker has to be pre-established before entering into a relationship.
  3. EVALUATING THE PROJECT/INVESTMENT SEEKER: Every startup or the innovator considers one’s project as enterprising & very profitable but that requires a strong evaluation from the perspective of an investor. An investor needs to know the worth of the project viz. popularity, technical feasibility, business growth, local or global.  Similarly, an overall review of the people behind the project needs to be made which means identifying their knowledge, background as well as financial background. In case of a seeker involved in a previous project which failed, extra caution needs to be taken. On the other hand, a successful seeker would attract more and sound investors. The risk gets minimized once a decision is taken after having concluded due diligence on the project as well as on the investment seeker.
  4. DEFINING YOUR GOAL: Every investor needs to know the goal one aims by such investment. It may not always be necessary and important to see growth in revenue; rather it may be the fame & reputation of being part of a very successful project. Similarly, at other times one may not look out for immediate returns but returns over the passage of time. Once a goal has been determined then milestones need to be fixed. The goal should be understood as a period and gain of investment and not merely return of the investment. 
  5. LEGALIZING THE RELATIONSHIP: No relation co-exists for long time unless supported by a well reasoned legalized document. Investors and seekers relation does not stand long where it is based upon oral understanding or weak documents. Gone are the days when documents were created just for the sake of remembrance, today the documents are created to strengthen the relationship between people/organization. A well defined and understood agreement not only encourages people to work together but equally discourages them to fall prey of unnecessary risks. Every investor must start their relationship with the seeker depending upon documents like Letter of Intent (LOI), Founders Agreement, Confidentiality Agreement, Mutual Non-disclosure agreement, Term sheets, Shareholders agreement etc. 
  6. UNDERSTANDING THE FLOW OF RELATIONSHIP: As an investor one would need to know what information and at what level the same would be shared by the seeker to the investor. The expectation as well as the obligation between the investor and seeker needs to be defined with clear understanding for mutual benefits. The flow of relationship has to both ways and not merely one way. A standard of charter or report can be defined to encourage transparency which would strongly glue them together. The compatibility between two increases with defined flow of relationship and ideally reduces the fears of an investor and helps in the strong growth of relationship.
  7. TAKING CALL TO QUIT FROM THE PROJECT: A nomadic journey never lands a person anywhere, rather a defined strategy to achieve a destination has more probability of being successful. Once a goal has been setup then one should be clear to take calls on the exit or review the goal. In certain cases investors prefer periodic exit from the project rather than the same being dependent on financial gains. One needs to take call on the exit from a project rather than repent at the end, especially when the project does not look to be going. The investor will have a clear understanding as to their achievement in case they are open for review and exit from the project instead of bound with time limitation.


Investment is like soil which requires care and nutrients to help plants to grow. Sometimes it acts as a soft bed and on other occasions it works as a catalyst. In financial terms, investment means financial input along with other support directly connected with the growth of a company. It is well said “demand and supply determine the economic growth”. This fact exactly explains the flow of investments in innovation industry. An innovation can be described as something new which is majorly useful but did not exist till sometime back. An innovation may happen in any sector or industry viz. IT, FMCG, Education, Automobiles, Communication.

Investment in an industry may depend upon different factors which can be grouped as:

PROSPECT OF GROWTH: The probability of an investment is directly proportional to the profitability of an innovation. An innovation having an early success is always likely to attract huge investments. In the recent past, we have seen that companies that have come up with new and innovative concepts like Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Uber, OLX, Quikr, Paytm, have attracted huge investments. Investors are always attracted to invest in innovations where short term gains can be seen. Not only that, investments can also be seen in industries such as fashion, IT and Real Estate.  The concept of investment remains the same - whosoever invests money, looks for growth. An investor takes a call on the period of investment which in turn determines the expected returns. Largely, one can say ‘Investments In Innovations’ go hand in hand but at the same time the investment are equally made in other running industries. Investments were made in more than 662 start ups in the first nine months of 2015 i.e. till September 2015 which means - 2.42 deals a day.

QUANTUM OF FUNDS: The requirement of fund determines the level of investor willing to enter into an investment. It has been a common practice that an investor makes an investment in different scales depending upon the requirement of the start up. Sometimes a big investor invests in startups with low investment and then takes up further investment to scale its growth. In countries like India, startups have boomed and attracted huge investments. In the first half of 2015, startups gained investments of more than $3.5 billon. As per the number of investors in the total deals are concerned, nearly half of the deals of startup investments were for less than $20,000. A big volume of private equity has been invested in such deals. Apparently, startups looking for smaller funds attract more investors rather than startups aiming for big funds.

LOCATION: The location of a startup plays a pivotal role in attracting investments. This further determines the growth and the relationship between the two. Remotely located startups grow only if they are attached to a particular sector like agriculture, else they struggle hard to seek funds. The growth of startups has apparently been more in metropolitan cities.

RISK: The fear of losing investment is balanced by the allurement to multiply the investments. Investors look out for a balance between the two. Investment is indirectly proportional to risk and directly proportional to allurement. No one invests in projects where risk of losing investment is higher. Therefore, investors prefer to draw a line where risk can be evaluated for them to take decision about investment. The chances of investments being at peril have risen due to the way startups are mushrooming. With such an increase in the number of startups, an optimum level is likely to be reached. Investors have to become more cautious.

ACCESSIBILITY: Startups have boomed in countries like India at places like Indian Silicon Valley i.e. Bengaluru and at the best in big metropolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai. Investors are equally available in other areas where the startup projects are coming up. In all events, the close interaction between investors and startups is always preferred. The more accessible a startup is to the investor, the more viability of investments and the higher chances of growth.

FASCINATION: An unexpected increase is happening where every entrepreneur is contemplating or has contemplated to get into startup venture. Similarly, every investor is aiming at one or the other startup to multiply the investments. The boom of new ventures with upcoming projects like e-commerce, health, delivering consumer services/goods, has magnificently shown a rosy picture to the investors which seems like a fascination. On the other end the lackadaisical of investment opportunities in real estate, yellow metal and share market has further widened the scope of investments in startups.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


By the time I am writing this, it’s my 90th day, 12th hour, 46th minute and 17th second of my business trip to USA. This is my first trip and I almost travelled and landed over most of the known States/Cities – Florida, Atlanta, California, Las Vegas, Houston, New York, New Jersey...

It is an exciting and a fruitful trip where I am able to meet people from across the world not only the attorneys and counsels but many businessmen, storekeepers, cab-drivers, sheriffs, and the list goes on. One thing that amazes everyone here in the USA is the overall customer service one gets. I am too excited about the fact that I got many opportunities to meet the legal industry experts with whom, beside work, I could talk and gain knowledge about the real legal industry. As my profile talks about business development and marketing – “Yes, I may be one of them who had called or sent messages to you”, I am glad all my face to face interactions gave me a sense that senior attorneys and counsels were ready to hear my part of story as well. I may not know much about legal marketing and various social media tools and activities but whatever little I know they paid attention to and I am pleased that some of them implemented it by taking time out of their busy schedules and creating their profiles on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and some are giving a deep thought that how and when they should start working on this.

Why Social Media?
I know legal professionals still love the black and white features and show more trust on the paper work and word of mouth marketing but trust me social media will make it more powerful and will increase your reach from a community to society, city, state and to the whole world. We are living in a world where we have an amazing amount of information which we can gather and share at the cost of few clicks. The varied options - print, visual, and multimedia give us a chance to explore the diverse social and psychological behavior of people in most interactive and personal ways. This is an era where even computer systems are finding it difficult to make a place in our offices/homes. Everyone, now a day, talking about I-Pads, I-Phones, and Android systems. So why to question the credentials of Social Media…? No doubt it increases your reach, allows you to communicate better and is most prominent, quick and easy method to share information. So what are you waiting for?? Go for it!!

I believe by now you must have made your profile on LinkedIn, and if not you should do that. It’s a professional networking website which not only gives you a chance to network with like minded professionals but also allows you to know the latest trends in the industry/area of your interest. When it comes to the legal industry, it is one of the best and the most popular tools used by the legal professionals worldwide.
  • Connect with hundred, thousands of like minded professionals, share and gain insight from their life experience, knowledge.
  • Make your company’s profile there and post updates under your company’s name.
  • Create a LinkedIn group where you can invite your connections and other members in the community to join. This allows you to run your small networking/informative group by sharing your blogs, webinar, podcast, post and current updates of your business.
LinkedIn reports more than 277 million acquired users in more than 200 countries & territories and is getting paced among the legal professionals too.

Facebook & Twitter:
Facebook and Twitter not only makes you aware of people prospects and views but also help you to socially know your partners, clients and competitors. You are one post away to get likes, comments, re-tweets and get noticed from millions and billions. These platforms allow you to share your content to your connects, their connects and this chain goes on. Facebook also gives an option to promote your company page amongst your prospects.

For Facebook & Facebook Page:
  • Market your legal services by using blogs, real case studies, law association or government legal updates.
  • You can even run a contest for your prospects/clients and get ‘LIKE’. Example: Join our contest and get free legal consultancy.
  • Look for paid promotions, make groups, and engage your followers and keep interacting with them through your posts/comments.
For Twitter:
  • While using Twitter use Hashtags (#). Example: #Attorney, #PersonalInjury to make your content appears to relevant readers.
  • Interact and share information with people using their handles (@abc) – Be ethical and try not to be seen as a “Spammer”.
  • You can create a contest monthly, quarterly on Twitter to attract followers.
  • How can you forget the #FF (Follow Friday) messages? Use this to appreciate your audience for their involvement and say thank you.
I am sure in our lives there is one moment when we don’t ask questions from GOD. We get all our answers from “GOOGLE” (Just Google it down). Now, create yours and your company’s profile and use this platform to market yourself. Like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn you can share your posts, write blogs, connect with others and do your own SEO (Search Engine Optimization) at your level.
  • Make your Google+ profile, your Google+ company page.
  • Share updates, news, blogs.
  • Connect with people, join groups, and associations.

You all will be happy to know there are other such social media platforms which can schedule your 100’s of posts, updates, and tweets in advance and can launch multiple campaigns at one time, few of such websites are – Buffer, Scoop it, HootSuite, etc. Though there are multiple other tools which can be beneficial for today’s legal professionals for marketing and networking, I believe, if one gets active on the above mentioned platforms, in addition to the physical interactions, the very purpose of marketing and branding oneself and one’s organization will get fulfilled.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Summarizing a Deposition - Skills & Tools

Someone has rightly said, “Deposition is the core part of litigation”. An attorney heavily relies upon the testimony of the witnesses in order to prove the claim of the client and to demolish the claim of the opponent. The purpose of the testimony is to yield the truth. It helps in bringing out the actual veracity from the witnesses. The fate of the trial to a greater extent depends upon the depositions. Testimony is a technique to tacitly elucidate the correct version from a witness. Attorneys put across the questions to the witness so as to bring them to their desired statement in very scattered manners. This makes the deposition a lengthy affair.

As the depositions go to the root of the trial, it entails the demarcation of relevant part out of the deposition which further requires to be summarized. The correct summarization of deposition depends upon two vital factors:
  1. Legal acumen
  2. Ability to summarize
Each trial has its peculiar set of facts which mandate its course of trial. The testimony is expected to revolve around the issues involved in it. In absence of a legal acumen, the vital points of testimony are at risk of being missed. The selection of relevant text out of the deposition can be done only by a qualified attorney. Anyone other than an attorney / paralegal would be unable to actually understand and identify the required portion in the testimony to support the defense or otherwise. So the role of a person with legal acumen becomes vital in highlighting the selected portion. The legal acumen in summarization deposition requires the following skills:
  • Ability to identify the key points involved in the testimony in hand.
  • Skill to comprehend the legal issues lightly to be supported or demolished by the witness.
  • Selection of the key points including the supported / non-supported version by the witness.
Summarization produces a comprehensive and organized portion of testimony. It requires the real understanding of the highlighted portions by joining them with relevant connectors or other words. Good comprehension along with grammatical and analytical skills plays a vital role in conveying the same sense but in a more concise and articulate manner.