After working with eminent law firms for close to a decade, Archana Khosla decided to start her own law firm, Vertices Partners around ten months ago. The inspiration for this came from a keen desire to work for herself because until then she was only helping to build and nurture someone else’s dreams. After much self-prodding about the risks involved, she decided to jump right in - ‘every accomplishment starts with the decision to try’.
One of the key areas of practice in the firm is the vertical which Archana heads, being a Start Up and the Venture Capital practice. She says, “We have been working with several startups to ensure that we showcase the long term growth trajectory to them, from a legal vertical’s perspective. This is rather bespoke to each client where some may look at bootstrapping for a longer period and need advice from corporate governance and contract management, while some may be in the fast track mode to raise capital and hence would need the advice to be prepared to be fund ready.”
Archana stresses that although the term entrepreneurship might have gained a glamorous connotation, it is, in fact, it is a very lonely journey which requires constant motivation.
The goal post keeps shifting and the challenges keep surmounting - right from the initial stage of the preliminary business plan to the pitch deck to the establishment of the minimum viable product to the creation of the proof of concept.
Archana adds, “In this fluid and yet extremely sensitive stages, there is also the pressure of the runway and hence the need to also be legally organised and appropriately prepared. These multiple elements and challenges need to be faced with a very positive mind frame. Mentoring adds that much-needed guidance, vision and support which becomes a core requirement going forward.”
When it comes to mentoring, Archana informs that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach.
However, there could be a few fundamental aspects that one needs to bear in mind while seeking mentorships:
1. Always ask yourself what the core reason is for looking for a mentor? Do you need to because you are stuck at a particular inflection point or are you looking at it because of it just being a peer pressure element?
2. What is the specific help that you are seeking from the mentor?
3. Is it always the tangible benefit or are you looking at the macro intangible benefits as well?
4. Is your interaction with you mentor completely transparent and are you open to listening to the negatives as well as against only seeking the benefits of the knowledge of the mentor?
She asserts that for entrepreneurs, mentoring has more intangible benefits than tangible ones, but must be taken seriously, “Hence one should never take the mentor’s time for granted. One should never reduce the mentor to a mere secondary sounding board. At times people try to trivialise the stature by bringing an essence of commercialisation which at times could be a personal affront to the mentor. The smaller elements are much more important in this relationship.”